What are the best smart home devices in 2021?

If you’re stepping into the world of smart homes for the first time, you’re probably not about to fill every single room with smart tech. Sometimes it’s better to build slowly.

So this article focuses on the smart home devices you might need at the start of your journey. And how you can gradually add more to create your own smart home ecosystem.


What is a smart home device?

A smart home device is a gadget you control from an app on your phone or with your voice. Some smart devices can also connect with each other to automate your home.

The list of smart home devices you’ll find on the high street or online includes lights, locks, sensors, plugs, doorbells and cameras. Some of the most popular smart home devices are wireless smart speakers like the Amazon Echo and Google Home.


What are the best home devices to start with?

Smart home devices like ours are simple to use, can save money and make life easier around the home. One device that embodies all those things is the smart light.

Smart lights have the same fittings as normal bulbs and setting them up doesn’t take more than a couple of minutes. Being able to control your smart lighting system from your phone is super useful and means you can always check if a light’s been left on – then turn it off if you need to.

They’re also the perfect shortcut to having dimmable lights in your home because you can do that from the app. So there’s no need to install a dimmer switch!

A lot of people use them for security too because when you’re away, you can schedule them to turn on and off automatically so it looks like you’re home.


What other smart home gadgets can I use for security?

Smart sensors are another simple security solution for the home. They’re affordable, easy to set up and simply designed for peace of mind.

At Hive we sell two kinds: motion sensors and window or door sensors. They work in similar ways.

When motion sensors detect movement at home – or when window or door sensors detect a window or door opening or closing – you get a notification on your smartphone. You can also check your app to see a timeline showing when anything’s been detected.

If security is a priority and you don’t want to invest in a full smart alarm system, sensors are a great place to start.


What smart devices are best if you’re on a budget?

Staying with simple devices, let’s take a look at smart plugs. They work just like adaptors: plug in your appliance then plug it in into a power socket. Now you can turn that appliance on and off from your smartphone.

Suddenly the old electric kettle you have in the kitchen becomes an all-singing, all-dancing smart home kitchen gadget! Because when you wake up bleary-eyed you can turn it on from the bed so it’s ready for your morning cuppa when you come downstairs.

Plugs are great smart home devices for your bedroom too. Connect one to a fan and schedule it to turn off automatically after an hour or so. Let it lull you to sleep. But don’t have it whirring away while you’re snoozing.


What smart devices can make life easier at home if you’ve got more money to spend?

Smart thermostats really helped lay the groundwork for the smart technology boom we’re seeing at the moment. And ours is one of the most popular smart home devices in the UK.

Whereas all the devices we’ve mentioned so far are likely to cost £40 or under (not including the hub), smart heating usually starts at around £150. It’s a lot more upfront… but they’re a brilliant combination of convenience and saving in the long-term.

We all know how costly heating bills can be. But with a smart thermostat they never have to get out of hand. Having control from your phone means it’s much easier to make sure the heating’s never on when it doesn’t need to be.

As for convenience, you can set schedules from your phone, boost your heating if you’re coming home early, get alerts if you’ve left home without turning it off… the list goes on.


How do I build my smart home?

So that’s a quick look at the sort of things the best smart home devices can do on their own. Now let’s look at how you can combine smart products. Because when you connect smart devices, they become even more powerful than the sum of their parts.

For example, you can place a motion sensor on the landing then set it to automatically turn on your landing smart light if someone’s heading to the bathroom in the middle of the light. Working like that, a smart light and sensor are two of the best smart devices for the elderly.

Or connect a Window or Door Sensor to your smart thermostat so if you leave the back door open the heating turns off. That way you don’t waste energy.

Or how about combining your smart camera with a smart plug that’s connected to a lamp? The moment the camera detects someone outside your front door it will start recording… and trigger the smart plug so it turns on a hallway lamp. Pretty sly right?!


Are smart home devices worth it?

If you’re still not convinced about smart home tech or what smart devices you should get, head on over to the Hive shop. There you can dive into individual devices and discover more about the whole smart home experience.

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