Living in smart homes is so comfortable and convenient. You don’t have to do as many chores and trivial tasks as you usually do. That’s because your home devices and appliances take care of them for you. Your vacuum cleans the floor on its own; the lights turn on automatically; the sprinklers water the plants without you lifting a finger.
Understandably, many people dream of living in a smart home. A decade ago, that would remain a dream for many. It is only for tech geeks, extra-famous celebrities, and millionaires. Thankfully, that’s no longer the case.
Advances in technology made smart homes more accessible. Thus, more people can now realize that dream. So, it has grown to be a huge consumer market.
However, you still need to spend a significant amount of money to automate your house. That does not mean you have to sell your kidney or lung to build one, though. There are cost-effective options for people on a tight budget.
This guide will show you how to build a smart home by spending less than $100. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
Smart home devices communicate with each other to automate tasks. It is the smart home hub’s job to connect them together. Smart home hubs have the added benefit of allowing homeowners to control the smart different home devices in one place.
However, smart home hubs are quite expensive. You can look at Samsung SmartThings or Wink to see the picture. The Samsung SmartThings Hub costs $284 – that’s already over our set budget! On the other hand, Wink Hub 2 costs $99.00, which is one dollar away from taking all our money.
In that case, opting for voice assistants is the best course of action. Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant work fantastic as a central hub alternatively.
Admittedly, compared to dedicated hubs, voice assistants’ functionality is limited. Nonetheless, they are excellent budget options for starting your smart home, especially now when more and more devices don’t require a hub.
Please note that Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant devices don’t have built-in Z-Wave and Zigbee capabilities. Thus, your smart home devices must have Wi-Fi connectivity to connect to your voice assistant. Also, you have to check if the other devices are compatible with your chosen voice assistant.
So, how can you bring voice assistants to your home? You can use smart speakers to do that.
The Amazon Echo Dot is the best budget option for an Alexa ecosystem, while the Nest Mini is for Google Assistant ecosystems. You only need to shell out $39.99 for the former or $29.99 for the latter.
Now that you have the “brain” of your smart home, it is time to buy the devices it has to control. Smart refrigerators, thermostats, bathtubs, and such will surely be great additions to your home. However, you can’t expect to afford all those with less than $100.
You can buy smart plugs instead. These outlets will enable you to transform your conventional electronics and appliances into smart devices.
You can remotely control anything plugged into your smart outlet through your smartphone or voice assistant. That will help you reduce your power consumption. Moreover, some smart plugs report the energy consumption of the devices or appliances plugged in them. How much those appliances are costing you is also included in the report. That will enable you to take proactive measures and make informed decisions to lower your energy consumption.
The best part about smart plugs is they are inexpensive. You can buy some for lower than $25.00. That leaves you with at least $25, which you can use to buy another device.
Smart Button Pusher
Even smart plugs have limitations. You can’t rely on them to transform all of your home devices and appliances. Many things, such as the water boiler, require you to push a button. So, buying a smart button pusher will let you improve your smart home without actually buying an expensive smart home device.
You only need to tape this small device next to a rocker switch or button with a sticker. Then, you can control it remotely using the companion app. Also, you can set timers so they would do their job automatically.
Like smart plugs, smart button pushers are not that pricey. You can easily fit it within your budget.
Smart light bulbs and panels are among the simplest and most affordable smart devices. So, they are great candidates for being your first actual smart device. You can also add more smart bulbs as you build your smart home.
You can set schedules for smart lights, so they will turn on or off depending on the time of the day. Also, you can use voice commands to control them. Smart light bulbs are controllable individually or in groups.
Turning on and off is not the only thing smart light bulbs can do. Many of them allow you to select from thousands to millions of colors. Some would even let you choose from preset themes. That allows you to set the perfect lighting ambiance for any occasion.
With a less than $100 budget, you will surely want to connect your smart lighting with voice assistants. It is highly recommended that you choose smart bulbs that communicate using the same protocol voice assistants use. That’s usually Wi-Fi. You ensure seamless integration by doing so.
As you can see, it is not impossible to build a smart home if you are on a tight budget. You only have to select the right devices to start it off. These devices can help you save and make money. They let you reduce power consumption. Furthermore, they would free you extra time. You can dedicate that time to side hustles and projects, which would help you earn more money. So, it will be easier to afford more smart home devices. Continue that cycle until you can enjoy a truly convenient and comfortable lifestyle in your smart home.