Live more comfortably, feel safer and save money: You can easily make your home more comfortable. You don’t need a lot of equipment for most of our smart home ideas.
By Claudia Frickel
Smart home idea 1: Finding your way into the bathroom at night
Don’t just create a nice ambience: LED light strips from Philips Hue.
Image: © Philips 2017
Sometimes you have to go to the bathroom at night. You don’t want to stub your toes or run into the closet in the dark. But when you turn on the light, your roommates wake up and complain. You can easily solve the problem – with an LED light strip. You network it with a motion detector that is located by the bed. The stripe runs down the wall from the bedside table to the bathroom door. As soon as the motion detector registers that you are standing up, it switches on the soft LED light. It burns for some time and goes out again.
What you need: an LED strip and a motion sensor with WLAN connection. Both are from Philips Hue. For example, you can set the strip to light up with a warm light when you move it and go out again after 20 seconds. With many models, you can also control the combination via Alexa.
Smart home idea 2: The right temperature when you come home
With the smart thermostat from tado, you can control room temperatures while you’re on the go.
Image: © Tado 2018
It’s cold outside and you’re looking forward to a cozy evening at home. Luckily, the apartment is already pleasantly warm when you get home. The heating didn’t run all day there – it turned on as you approached the house. If nobody is at home, the radiators remain switched off.
What you need: a smart thermostat with geofencing, for example from tado. The Starter Kit V3+ works with an app on your smartphone. The system recognizes where you are and reminds you to turn on the heating. If you wish, it can also start itself if you approach it. AVM, Bosch and Hama offer smart thermostats with similar functions.
Smart home idea 3: Turn off the heating when the window is open
Netatmo radiator thermostat detects open windows
Image: © Netatmo 2020
When airing, you don’t always want to have to remember to turn off the heating. But if you forget that, you’re wasting energy. You can prevent this with intelligent heating control and window contacts. You attach the latter directly to the frame. You can see whether the window is open or closed. At the same time, they can communicate with the heating system. Register an open window, turn down the heating – and vice versa.
What you need: smart radiator thermostats, for example from tado, Bosch or the Magenta SmartHome. Join in Window and door contacts for each window you want to network. They are available from Bosch, Eve or Magenta SmartHome, among others. Make sure that the devices are compatible with each other.
Smart home idea 4: Monitor the chocolate cabinet or mailbox
You can also combine the Amazon Echo Show 8 with a window or door contact.
Image: © Amazon 2019
Your mail comes at irregular times. You don’t want to set off in vain if the postman hasn’t even arrived yet. This cannot happen to you with a window contact: you mount it on the mailbox and it monitors whether the flap has been opened. If you network the contact with Alexa or another voice control, you will receive a message in this case. You can also secure the chocolate cupboard if you don’t want your child to snack so much: the sensor notices when the door opens.
What you need for that: a window and door contact as in smart home idea 3. In addition, there is either a system such as Amazon Echo with Alexa or a smart home hub compatible with the contact.
Smart home idea 5: Effortless remote gardening
Gardena’s SILENO Minimo robotic lawnmower does the gardening work for you.
Bild: © Gardena 2020
It’s quite warm today and the flowers in the garden are in dire need of watering. In addition, the lawn is quite long. But you’re sitting by the lake right now and don’t feel like doing the tiresome work. The solution: smart gardening. A The robotic lawnmower then drives itself across the meadow at the predetermined time.
Alternatively, you can start it via an app. When it’s done, it returns to its charging station. You can also control intelligent irrigation systems via smartphone or voice commands. You then also determine how long they should work. Some variants can use sensors to detect whether it is currently hot or raining, and activate or deactivate them as required.
What you need: a smart robot lawn mower, for example the Gardena smart SILENO, as well as an irrigation system such as Elgato Eve Aqua or Gardena smart Water Control. If the devices come from the same manufacturer, you can coordinate them even better.
Smart home idea 6: Talking to visitors from afar
With the Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 you can also check who is ringing on the go.
Bild: © YouTube/Ring 2021
While you’re in the office, the doorbell rings at home. You can see who the visitor is on your smartphone display and talk to them. In this way, you tell the neighbor who is about to borrow something that you will come by later. The dubious passer-by, who maybe just wanted to check if someone is home, quickly moves on when you talk to him – he thinks you are in the house.
What you need: a smart video doorbell like Ring Video Doorbell from Amazon or Ctronics Video Doorbell with Camera. These devices are equipped with speakers and microphones. You connect them to WiFi and then communicate with visitors via the smartphone app.
Versatile: the smart socket from Devolo.
Image: © Devolo 2018
You’re going away for the weekend. But it should still look like someone is at home. In such a case, you used to laboriously program a timer and then plug in the floor lamp. It’s easier today: with an intelligent WLAN socket. You can not only switch them on and off via the app – and thus the connected device, such as a lamp. Many models can be easily programmed to work automatically. You can also connect other devices such as radios or kettles to the smart sockets.
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