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6 practical smart devices for your connected home

Clever home automation which is easy to install

Today, home automation has become a simple and effective way to manage your home, which can even be operated remotely. Indeed, the ability to configure connected devices via your tablet or smartphone is now almost commonplace. This functionality also presents some interesting options, especially where you live alone or if professional constraints keep you away from home for long periods. So to help you understand the benefits of using home automation, we've put together a list of smart devices, and some examples of their potential everyday use. This type of equipment is featured in ENGEL & VÖLKERS houses.

Let's start with LED bulbs...

All of us have at some point wrestled with the problem of how to reduce our domestic electricity bill, and Philips Hue smart LED bulbs are one solution which can help to achieve this. They are easy to fit and can be found in most stores. To get them to work, you will need to connect these smart bulbs to a Hue Bridge (sold separately). But once installed and connected, they can then be voice controlled. This function is achieved via a Philips Hue app installed in a separate module, and can be used along with devices such as the Amazon Echo Dot.

Now let's talk about the Amazon Echo Dot

Because it seems so small, it can be hard to believe all the things this device can do. With the aid of seven microphones placed around your home, you can control several other connected devices using just your voice alone. Working in tandem with Alexa, Amazon's virtual assistant, enables you to make phone calls or call up playlist performances of your favourite music. Imagine yourself in the kitchen, working like a real chef and following every detail of a recipe which the Amazon Echo Dot dictates to you out loud. You can also program the device to act as a clock radio and thus decide exactly how you wish to start your day. And because it can be connected to any electrical outlet in the house, this device is so easy to use.

Wemo, the mini Smart Plug

As its name suggests, this plug is both smart and small. It’s a "little wonder" which can be used as a universal controller device. When connected to any electrical outlet, the Wemo Mini Smart Plug allows you to control the operation of other devices connected to it. This plug can be used as a safety feature – which is very useful, for example, if you have children at home. You may, for instance, forget to turn off your iron, or the washing machine, but this device will remember to do it for you. And as a result, quite apart from preventing your electrical devices from overheating, this plug can create energy savings by switching off electrical equipment. Whenever you’re not at home or perhaps have to stay out late, Wemo has a setting which allows you to turn on the lights remotely. This creates the impression of a presence in the house and boosts your home security. 

The "August Smart Lock" really is a smart lock

This is a lock which seems to know who to let in and who not to let in … And put like that, the whole thing seems very simple. But that's pretty much what the August Smart Lock actually does. For example, you may be away from home and wish to activate the lock to allow a particular person to access the house. This can be for a very practical purpose – for example, when you have a dog or a cat to feed while you are away on holiday. This lock is easy to install because it does not need fitting and can be simply screwed on to a standard door lock. There is therefore no need to hire a technician for the job. You will really appreciate this device when you arrive at home with both arms full shopping; this smart lock will recognise you and open the door automatically. And once you are safely inside, it will then automatically lock the door behind you.

Monitor your home inside and out via WyzeCam

This is a smart camera which incorporates Motion Tagging technology to detect even slight surreptitious movements. It will also detect the sound of alarms such as smoke detector or carbon monoxide monitors. And if necessary, the device can also send a hazard notification to the user. Another advantage is that the WyzeCam is very affordable – it costs only 20 euros and will monitor your home at all times. The WyzeCam also has a night vision function which makes it possible to capture and record images even in low light conditions.

Connect your cooling system via Frigidaire Cool Connect

Available at a very affordable price, this is a connected device which sits above a window. Any ENGEL & VÖLKERS houses without air conditioning will certainly appreciate this feature. The system is controlled via a Smartphone or tablet, using a mobile app, and can automatically detect any maintenance tasks which need to be carried out. For instance, the device will send a notification to your tablet or smartphone whenever you need to change the filter.

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