It’s a common misconception that if you live in an apartment or rent your house, then you’ll just have to wait until you own a home to try out any of the growing number of exciting smart home devices. But if that’s what you’ve assumed, you’ll be happy to hear that you’re completely wrong. As a renter or an apartment dweller, there are actually a number of great smart home gadgets that you can use at home. Read on to get acquainted with six of our favorites.
1. SmartThings hub
Whether your landlord won’t let you drill holes in the wall to wire in a smart home hub or you simply don’t want to go through the trouble of an extensive setup process for a home that may be less than permanent, the SmartThings hub is a purchase that can help you create a connected home in any apartment or rented home. The hub is compatible with a wide assortment of other smart home devices, and enables you to control lights, speakers, and other products that you’ll be able to easily install without violating the terms of your lease. It’s a great way to start your smart home, and offers practically limitless potential for personalizing your current and future homes.
2. Philips Hue lighting
If you want more control over your lighting than just changing the lightbulbs in the fixtures your landlord selected, consider Philips Hue, a smart lighting system. The system incorporates LED bulbs and a “bridge,” which is linked to Wi-Fi and enables you to control your lights remotely or link them to other things on the web. The companion app enables you to change the colors, brightness, and functions of your Hue lightbulbs. You can set your preferences room by room or varying by areas in your apartment, and even use Hue to get different shades of light at different times of the day — all without having to switch out or run any additional wiring to the fixtures that are already installed in your rental home.
3. Twist light bulbs
Another version of the smart LED bulb is Twist, which is a great choice if you want both smarter lighting and high-quality audio throughout your home. That’s because each LED bulb is also a speaker. You can stream music from any app to Twist bulbs, and connect with bulbs throughout a room or around your home. Additionally, the light bulbs automatically adjust the color of your lighting by the time of the day, offering bluish-white light in the morning and a warm glow in the evening to mimic the sun’s natural patterns. There’s no hub to install and no wiring to complete, which makes it easy to get great sound and smarter light throughout your apartment or house.
4. Nest Cam security camera
If you want to monitor your personal space, or occasionally keep an eye on a pet while you’re at work, the Nest Cam security camera can be a good addition to your apartment or house. While you can stream live video of your apartment while you’re away, you can also benefit from installing a security camera even if you won’t be watching the stream. The software that accompanies the device looks for motion and can send an alert to your phone if it thinks that something’s wrong. And while the camera ignores background noise, it can also alert you if it hears something out of the ordinary, like a boom, a crash, or what sounds like the voice of an intruder.
5. August smart lock
Installing a smart lock doesn’t have to mean replacing the exterior hardware on your door. The August smart lock installs easily and only replaces the interior side of your standard deadbolt, so that your landlord won’t be any the wiser that you’ve added something smarter to your door. With the companion app for your iPhone or Android smartphone, you can lock or unlock your door, create virtual keys valid for specific timeframes for your guests, or keep track of who’s coming and going from your home.
6. WeMo switch
If your biggest concern about hour apartment or house is making sure that you turned off all of your appliances before you left for work, then the WeMo switch may be the best purchase to start building your smart home. The switch plugs into any electrical wall outlet, and enables you to turn your appliances and electronics on or off from anywhere with the companion app. You can turn on your space heater while you’re on your way home from work, make sure that you turned off the coffee maker after you left the house, or turn on the lamp in your entryway if you’ll have your hands full with groceries when you arrive home.