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Increasing the Comfort and Entertainment Value of Your Home

Smart Home Comfort

While living room smart home technology discussion is often limited to your home theater set up (don’t get me wrong I love a good smart home theater system) there are so many other smart home devices out there to keep you entertained and comfortable in your living room space. Smart home theater aside, let’s look at some of the best devices to increase your comfort and entertainment value at home!

Smart Speaker

A smart speaker is one of the most important smart devices you can have in your smart home. This is so much more than just a speaker, giving you voice control over your compatible smart devices throughout your home. They are accessible, versatile, and easy to use, and help you stay organized and on top of your appointments and obligations. Your smart speaker can also:

  • Play your favorite music.

  • Play music all over your house, with multi-room audio.

  • Tell you what song is playing, ask, “what song is that?”

  • Get your questions answered.

  • Access news, shopping, podcasts and more.

Our favorite:

Amazon’s Echo Dot 3rd Gen. This inexpensive smart speaker gives you the best bang for your buck. Giving you versatility and control over your other Amazon devices, it’s hard to compete with this cost-effective option.

Amazon Echo Dot 3rd Gen

Smart Display

A smart display is useful anytime you want the functionality of a screen. For example, when setting up your smart home thermostat, or checking on its energy usage, you might want to access the app to do that. Smart displays can provide some of the same functions as a smart home speaker, such as controlling your other smart home devices, or playing music. Some of the added functionality includes:

  • Video Assistant.

  • Video Chat.

  • Help with home security.

  • Doing your shopping.

When not in use, your smart display can act as a digital photo frame, featuring family photos, vacation shots, or your favorite artwork collection!

Our favorite:

Amazon’s Echo Show 8 is an awesome mid-range option. While Amazon continues to release new smart displays to the lineup, recently announcing the 15, the 8 offers a budget friendly option with all the functionality you need out of a display. The 10 offers motion detection, so it can adjust its screen to your position in the room. If you find yourself moving around a lot and think that feature is worth the additional $120 to the price tag, upgrade to the Show 10!

Amazon Echo Show 8

Smart Light Bulbs

These are one of our favorite devices to introduce to someone’s home. From being able to dim your lights from your phone, without needing a dimmer switch, to being able to control your lights from anywhere and even changing colors, this simple swap has a big impact on your living space. They can even help you sleep better! You can set your smart lights up to emit specific color temperatures that help your body produce melatonin when it’s close to bedtime, while similarly adjusting that color temperature to optimize how you wake up in the mornings!

Our favorite:

Kasa Smart Light Bulb. With a 4.5-star rating on Amazon, at over 9k reviews this tried-and-true option gives you all the functionality you’re looking for in a lightbulb. Available in a pack of 4, this is a great starting option for anyone wanting to add smart light bulb functionality to their home.

Kasa Smart Light Bulb

Smart Thermostat

This is one of the most important smart device swaps you can make! From saving you money, to increasing sustainability, the benefits of this smart device are huge! Giving you the ability to control your home’s temperature settings right from your phone (or smart display) you will have improved temperature visibility and control, you can set up a specific schedule, and track your energy usage. If you want to splurge, you could purchase a learning thermostat, which would include motion sensors that would learn your home’s schedule and adjust your temperature accordingly to maximize efficiency and money savings.

Our favorite:

Ecobee Lite Smart Thermostat. We recommend this one because it can save you up to 26% annually on heating and cooling costs.* It syncs with both Siri and Alexa voice controls and will automatically pause your heating or cooling when a door or window is left open (when paired with SmartSensor).

Ecobee Lite Smart Thermostat

Smart Plug

This is by far the simplest device swap you can do to start to incorporate smart device functionality to your home. Smart plugs give you the ability to turn off your appliances from anywhere, so you never have to wonder if you left the iron plugged in again! You can track your appliance’s energy usage, and even schedule when things turn on and off based on timers. This is an awesome feature for anytime you plan on being out of town. Simply set up your lamp or TV to turn on at certain times of day to act as a deterrent, making people think you are still home.

Our favorite:

Wemo Smart Plug. This plug is compatible with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit, making it a versatile option with voice control capabilities. It is one of the highest rated smart plug options on the market and with the simple setup, you’ll be left wondering why you didn’t add these to your home devices sooner!

Wemo Smart Plug

And there you have it. Our top list of smart home tech to upgrade your living room experience. What is the first smart home device you would introduce to your living room to improve your at home experience? Let us know in the comments below!

*Estimated cost savings, results not guaranteed.

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