The Top 10 Best Home Automation Systems of 2018

There’s nothing like having to get up to adjust the thermostat or change the light settings when you’re in the middle of doing some important work at home or having to wake up and get out of bed. It’s not only a hassle to interrupt your work every time, it’s actually so unnecessary these days when we have such convenient technology available to us. With the best home automation systems you can fully integrate your home and enjoy amazing conveniences.

These days, you can easily use different home automation devices to streamline your everyday routine. From adjusting lighting and thermostat settings to getting your coffee ready by the time you hop out of bed. These simple devices connect with your wifi so that you can control everything with a click!

home automation products

6 Benefits Of Smart Home Automation

1 – An Added Measure of Safety

With a simple click now, you can check to make sure you have turned off certain devices in your home. Some devices you might want to monitor include hair curlers, ovens and more. You can even have simple wifi cameras in place that allow you to have a quick look into your home while you are away.

2 – Never Forget To Lock Your Door Again

If you’re one of those who regularly leaves home then spends the day wondering if you’ve actually locked the door after you left, home automation door locks can help upkeep your home’s safety. Children might sometimes run out the door and forget to lock up behind them as well. With home automation, you can easily control your home automation door locks or even be alerted if someone enters your home.

3 – Easily Connect A Network of Security Cameras

Use a network of security cameras, connected to your smartphone, to monitor your home from anywhere at any time! Security cameras can record clips and you can even set them to detect movement at different times of the day.

4 – Control Your Home’s Temperature Throughout the Day

Don’t want to leave the heater on when you’re not home but don’t want to come home to an icy cold place either? Use your automated thermostat or a smartphone app to control your thermostat to turn on half an hour before you get home so it’s the perfect temperature for you the minute you step inside.

home automation door locks

5 – Saves Time and Increases Your Productivity

Needless to say, most of us are so busy with everyday life and ever increasing tasks and chores. Automating your home takes another list of things off your shoulders. You also no longer have to rush home to adjust or control any household appliances since you can now do so from your smartphone from anywhere. Put the time saved and the peace of mind to better use instead!

6 – Increased Savings and Convenience

Automating your home can actually help your reduce your monthly utility costs. Now that you can control household appliances with a simple click from anywhere, you no longer have to waste electricity leaving appliances on unnecessarily.

Top 10 Best Home Automation System Options

Any of these available devices will work hard so you don’t have to. From smart plugs to little hubs, you’re bound to find one that will work for you. And the great thing is that you don’t have to buy everything in one go. Just add to your smart home over time!

1. Wink Relay – Smart Home Touchscreen Control Panel

Wink Relay - Smart Home Touchscreen Control Panel - Intercom - 2x Smart Switches

The touch screen on the Wink control panel lets you access all your wifi home automation products through the Wink app. Customize your temperature, humidity and proximity sensors, along with your lights too! Single or double light switches will soon be a thing of the past.

Maybe lights witches will become obsolete altogether! If you have built up several different devices and you’d like to have one central place to control them all then this is a great solution. It will have the look and feel of a smartphone app and can be used anywhere in your home.

The device also has temperature and humidity sensors built in. This can help with setting certain conditions to turn on devices like HVAC or dehumidifiers. As a result, those appliances will only turn on when they are needed. And that will save you a ton of money in just a short time.

Pros:
  • Great for providing master control over everything
  • Installation is straightforward
  • Out of the box usage is easy, and you can add devices simply
  • The interface is pretty smooth

Cons:
  • System updates take quite a while
  • The quality of the buttons don’t feel very well constructed
  • Substantial delay (10-15 seconds) sometimes with turning lights on or off

2. Etekcity 5-Channel Wireless Home Automation Remote Control

Etekcity 5-Channel Wireless Remote Control for Outlet Receivers, White (1Tx)

There are 5 buttons on the Etekcity control for five different channels. You can pair it with one or multiple outlets, and it’ll even work through doors and within 100ft. It’s quick and easy to install and can be operated just through a digital remote!

This is the ultimate way to operate and control power points from one central place. You won’t need to connect to an app or find your smartphone first. Simply use the remote to turn sockets on and off. This is ideal for turning everything off at the end of the day.

When appliances are left in standby mode they can end up consuming up to 30% more electricity. But you will likely forget to check all appliances before you go to bed. And that can be a bit of a hassle. With this device you can simply turn all your connected sockets off from one device in a matter of seconds. And at under $10 the savings will pay for it in no time.

Pros:
  • Helps you easily reprogram a plug to respond to a new remote
  • Sturdier than other comparable options out there
  • Batteries are easy to replace and cheap to buy
  • Works great when compared with the Echo

Cons:
  • Does not let your outlets work with old remotes
  • It can get a little complicated changing up the 5 plugs
  • You may have to open it up to get everything connected properly

3. Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Use Monitor

Belkin Conserve Insight Energy Use Monitor, F7C005Q

You can use this Belkin Monitor to show your carbon footprint! The tracking feature helps you monitor energy while projecting the impact on your electric bill. All you need to do is set it on a table, plug it in with the 6 foot cord, and see how much you can save.

If you want to save yourself money in the long run, then this is a must have device. You can basically use it plug any lights or appliances into. It will then monitor the usage over a days and you can then see how much those appliances cost you over a year.

This then allows you to make changes to your lifestyle or invest in more energy efficient products. Making your home smart doesn’t just mean buying smart devices. It means understanding how to best use those to reduce your carbon impact. Over the space of about a month you will have enough information to make very clear decisions on how to reduce your energy bills.

Pros:
  • Works great to power other devices too
  • The timer is set easily and can be set for multiple times
  • Can easily be plugged into multiple wifi home automation products

Cons:
  • The amount of time it works for can gradually reduce over time
  • Can short circuit sometimes

4. GE Z-Wave Wireless Home Automation Smart Lighting

GE Z-Wave Wireless Smart Lighting Control Appliance Module

With just this switch, you can wirelessly turn your lights on and off, schedule your lights, or turn them on or off from offsite. The GE Z-Wave is space efficient, so it won’t take up another plug either. All you need is your phone to change your lighting.

It is a very neat design so you will practically not notice it in your home. Simply plug your devices in the timer can be set for then to turn on and off. This is ideal if you want to give the impression that someone is at home while you are away. This is a great deterrent for burglars. As it fully integrates with Alexa, you can even use your voice to turn on devices while you are at home.

It is reasonably priced and you can add more of these over time. This way you can gradually turn your entire home into a high tech controlled system.

Pros:
  • Connects to a variety of hubs
  • You can let the lights be as bright or as dark as you need
  • For installation, all you do is replaced a manual box with this switch
  • Can also report energy usage

Cons:
  • Pairing the device with your hub can be difficult; if you push the button wrong, it won’t work
  • It is a little pricey
  • The product looks slightly different than the picture; not exactly right-angled

5. Sensi Smart Thermostat

Sensi Smart Thermostat, Wi-Fi, UP500W, Works with Amazon Alexa

Sensi has high compatibility in many homes, and you can even check online before you buy to see if it’ll work with yours. Connect it to your home wifi and control it anywhere with an app so you can schedule cooling and heating for up to 7 days at a time.

If you want to invest in a device that will be a central piece for regulating heating and cooling then this is it. You can specify different times for different days. So if you know you’ll be home at different times during the week, you can make sure your home is just at the right temp when you arrive in the door. Settings take inside and outside temperature into account. This is ideal for hot summer days when you just want to get home and cool down.

With Amazon echo integration you will even be able to voice command different temperature settings while you are at home. No need to get up, just ask Alexa to do it.

Pros:
  • Operates like a traditional thermostat, so it’s not excessively complicated
  • Very easy to install in around 15 minutes
  • Helps you keep your energy usage down with
  • Includes settings for temperature, schedule, fans, and AC

Cons:
  • Difficult to adjust when you’re away from home
  • Wifi connectivity has been a problem
  • People report that their device often goes offline
  • They are not compatible with everyone’s homes

6. WeMo Light Switch

WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi enabled, Works with Amazon Alexa

WeMo is meant to replace your light switch so you have seamless control. It’s easy to install if you’re doing it yourself and can be scheduled. So if you’re coming home late, the lights will be on! When you combine it with home automation light bulbs you get the fully integrated lighting experience.

It even works with thermostats or ceiling fans with just an app.

The cool thing is that you can even link it up to your Nest thermostat. That way the light switch will know when you are out of the house and can switch of lights. The app allows you to set very specific timing for lights to come on.

This is very convenient especially for the darker months of the year. Simply set it up to turn on front door lights for the time you expect to arrive home. You can also have it turn on ceiling fans if the outside temp goes above a certain level. With just a few of these around your home you can bring your life into the future.

Pros:
  • Installation is simple, even if you’re inexperienced
  • Connection to the wifi is simple
  • Enhances the appearance of your light switches
  • Timers work quite well

Cons:
  • Customer service isn’t the best
  • If the power goes out, it’s hard to get the lights re-connected
  • You have to pay for customer service after 90 days
  • You may need to reset often

7. TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb

TP-Link Smart LED Light Bulb, Wi-Fi, Dimmable White

You can use these home automation light bulbs with your Amazon Echo easily, so it can be controlled from anywhere. Use the app on your tablet to dim brightness, customize lighting, and set schedules, timers, and countdowns. You don’t even need a hub if you don’t want to, since it works without your wifi router.

It is equivalent to 50 Watt bulbs at maximum power which is bright enough for everyday use. It might seem like an expensive bulb at first, but it does combine a lot of features into one. It can even save you the cost of having to install a dimmer switch. Just screw in this device and you can immediately set the brightness to your mood.

Pros:
  • Compatible for direct control with the Echo or the Kasa app
  • Set up is a breeze since you don’t need to connect to a wifi hub
  • Can configure brightness from 1-100%
  • Easy to register and set up

Cons:
  • People find they have to reset the settings a few times
  • There are issues with staying online sometimes
  • The Echo may not recognize it all the time

8. Wink Hub 2

Wink Hub 2

Using Wink, you can control all your smart products wirelessly from the same app. It’s easy to set up, has a powerful wifi connection, and looks sleek and modern too. If you upgrade from another Wink product, everything can even be transferred over with ease.

This is a really great device if you have been adding different devices over time. Technology changes and different companies use various technology. Sometimes you end up with products that cannot talk to each other. And you have multiple different apps that you need to use individually. Wink solves that problem quite easily.

The system even has an auto discover function. With the click of a button Wink will try and find all compatible devices in your home. If you have a lot of different smart tech then this can save you hours of getting everything connected. Once you have everything set up, you will be able to use the Wink app to monitor and control everything from one place.

Pros:
  • Transfers from another hub with ease
  • Works quickly to turn lights on and off
  • Much faster than Hub 1, the prior version
  • Works very well with Echo as well

Cons:
  • There are some known issues with the connection and bulbs randomly turning on and off
  • Updates appear to take a long time
  • There are problems with the network connections sometimes

9. Smart Plug Mini

TP-Link Smart Plug Mini, No Hub Required, Wi-Fi

Use this mini smart plug to control devices that are connected remotely. Schedule it to automatically turn things on and off, or even set it for when you leave. If you have the Amazon Echo with it, they work together with just your voice!

It really doesn’t matter what device you plug in. You can use this to control lights coming on and off while you are away to make sure your home doesn’t look unoccupied. Or you can simply have you coffee machine connected so that you have a fresh brew first thing in the morning. The plug is also available with energy monitoring. This allows you to figure out the most efficient way to time your devices.

It’s a really simple solution and you can simply keep adding to your collection until your entire home is automated. You can then control countless devices through the app from anywhere in the world.

Pros:
  • You can group things together really well with the Echo
  • Works with an app too
  • Connection via wifi provide 2-way connection for real-time status
  • You can unplug it without losing settings if you want to relocate

Cons:
  • You may need more detailed instructions for set-up
  • The plug socket is placed a little awkwardly on the front
  • Slightly bulky compared to other models
  • It does cover both outlets if you plug it in

10. Amazon Echo

amazon echo

Say hello to Alexa. If you have used Siri on an iPhone, then you’ll understand the idea behind Alexa. Basically, as long as your Echo is turned on you will be able speak to her and ask for certain things to be done. Maybe you’de like to listen to your favorite music? Or you’d like to know what the weather will be for the day? And you can even have Alexa call or message your family and friends who also have an Alexa device.

Get the Echo in black or white and use it to play music with just your voice. It will fill the room with 360 degrees omni-directional audio, so you can hear it from anywhere. It’s hands-free with voice control that hears questions, reports news, and controls all sorts of other devices.

You can use your voice to control lights, fans, HVAC units, locks and many more smart devices. As long as you keep adding to your smart home with new gadgets you will be able to connect them to your Echo.

Pros:
  • The circle lighting shows you when the device is “listening”
  • The speaker is balanced well and has high quality
  • Encompasses a huge variety of voice commands
  • You can easily upload your music to it

Cons:
  • You do need to call it Alexa when you refer to it. There’s no customization available at the moment when it comes to naming your Amazon Echo assistant.
  • You may experience wifi issues and connection problems
  • They do go out of warranty after only about a year

 

Wifi Home Automation: Conclusion

There are lots of great products to choose from when it comes to making your daily life easier and automating your home. Any of these top 10 home automation devices will work great depending on what you need. Now when you have to click the lights off, you don’t even need to get up!

The great thing is that you don’t have to spend thousands of Dollars to invest in complex systems. You simply by a few items at a time and gradually turn your home into a smart one. Technology is improving on a monthly basis and this way you can keep up with the trend as well. The best thing to do is focus on devices that can work together.

Stick to one manufacturer or buy items that will integrate with Amazon Echo. That way you can be sure that you don’t end up with dozens of control apps that just make it annoying rather than smart.

Do share with us in the comments!

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