Top Home Automation Apps

December 10, 2015
Categories: Blog


Home automation is a trend that is gaining momentum and is a sign of the future.  In the past, home automation was limited to professionally installed systems with a high price tag.  But now the technology, both systems and apps, is increasingly available to the DIY market at an attractive price point.

There are several stand-alone gadgets that use home automation technology with your smart phone or tablet readily available at Home Depot, Lowes and even Staples.  There are smart lightbulbs, garage doors, home access locks, door bells, thermostats etc.  If you just want to try out the technology or have a single need, then these devices were made especially for you. 

However, if your intention is to automate many features of your home then you must do some research upfront to select a system that is compatible with all of the devices you wish to automate.  Afterward, you may add devices and automate specific items of the home over time. 

Here is a rundown of some of the most popular home automation devices and applications:

Temperature Control

One of the most popular applications is thermostat temperature control for your home.  This application can save you money while increasing comfort.  While you can program a thermostat to adjust the temperature for times of day, what happens when your plans change?  With these apps, you can adjust the thermostat with your smart phone, tablet, or computer.

Honeywell makes a Wi-Fi smart thermostat with voice control.  It is a smart device which means it will learn and adjust conditions automatically based on your behavior. It has a color touchscreen display for your home and the downloadable app is available for Apple and Android devices.  Local weather conditions, including temperature and humidity, can all be viewed on the thermostat screen and in the app. 

Auto alerts notify you for on-time filter changes and inform you of extreme indoor temperatures so you can respond remotely. It is sold exclusively through Amazon from $250 to $300 or about $175 without the voice control. Considering the EPA’s Energy Star program estimates that homes with programmable or smart thermostats can save up to $180 per year on heating and cooling, it should pay for itself within a short period.

Smart Light Bulbs

What is a smart light bulb and why would I need them?  A smart light bulb allows you to control it (or a group of them) remotely with just a bit more control than yesterday’s automated timers.  You can choose from over 16 million colors or just warm/cool white.  The lights are dimmable and can even sync to music for an extra special effect and perfect for that party atmosphere. Of course, you can schedule timers or program color affects for times of day.  Perhaps, mellow wake up mode and bright security mode for your welcome home?  The bulbs are simple to install; plug (screw in the bulb), download the app and play.  “LG Smart Lamp” is one manufacturer’s product and GE also has an entry.  The bulbs cost about $30 (have you priced lightbulbs lately?) for about 50,000 hours of use at 7 watts of energy usage.

Smart Locks

Smart Locks provide keyless entry to your home.  The Goji smart lock is a keyless locking system that opens the door when it detects your smart phone nearby.  You don’t even need to take the phone out of your pocket or purse.  This lock stands apart from most other smart locks because it also takes a picture of visitors to your home and will send you alerts.  You can also send access to your home remotely to anyone with a supported smart phone.  The lock is able to limit access to specific days and times when the recipient can enter. This feature is very convenient for providing neighbor or the house cleaner access.  All access is logged and recorded for review on the App.  Access can also be provided using Bluetooth Fobs which are great for kids or for anyone who doesn’t have a smart phone.  Pricing is about $375. August Smart lock is a similar product with pricing at $200.

For more information on home automation, contact us at Xpert Home Services to discuss what home automation technology will work best for your Outer Banks Home.