Everyone’s home could use a few high-tech home automation upgrades, right?

 

There are so many options out there. How do you know which Google Home accessories you need and which gadgets are a waste of money?

 

Chances are, you might regret splurging on that automated washing machine or refrigerator in a few years.

 

Yes, everything seems super cool when it hits the market. However, not all cutting-edge smart home devices are worth the splurge.

 

8 Home Automation Devices and Accessories to High-Tech Your Life

 

The purpose of smart homes and home automation accessories is to make your life easier, right?

 

The goal isn’t to spend a bunch of money to impress your friends.

 

Well, maybe it is. But that’s probably a waste of cash if you can’t actually use the smart home devices on a regular basis.

 

These devices and accessories can get pretty pricey, but they’re very useful. The only question is: what will you splurge on?

 

1. Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum

 

If you’ve been waiting for the price of robot vacuums to come down, it doesn’t seem like that’s going to happen anytime soon. You might as well spend your money on something high quality like the Neato Botvac Connected.

 

This robot vacuum works well so you can be sure it’s not just a novelty device. Plus, you don’t have to chase it down because the app offers complete control.

 

2. Alexa Echo

 

At this point in the game, a multi-purpose utility speaker is nearly a staple item in many smart homes. Not only is the Alexa Echo affordable at just under $100, but it’s also compatible with other smart home devices like lighting options, security gadgets, and thermostats.

 

3. Google Home Accessories

 

Just like Amazon’s Alexa Echo, Google Home offers a full suite of compatible devices for connecting your entire home. Whether you want voice-activated speakers, Wi-Fi-infused outlets, or lighting for smart homes, Google Home accessories have you covered.

 

4. Security Lighting for Smart Homes

 

There are so many options here it’s hard to narrow down one featured product. You really need to take the size of your home and needs into consideration before making a final decision on security lighting.

 

Smart lighting offers major advancements to improve your home’s safety – and not just from intruders. The BeOn bulbs, for example, work during power outages. You can also program them to turn on or off on a schedule or based on an event like when the doorbell rings.

 

5. Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

 

If you spend a lot of time away from your home or just have a large house, a smart thermostat can help save your money and the environment by reducing energy consumption.

 

Not only is the EcoBee4 Alexa compatible, but it contains its own Alexa Echo speaker for optimal efficiency. Beyond Amazon, you can integrate this thermostat with other brands like Apple HomeKit, IFTTT, and Samsung’s SmartThings.

 

6. WeMo Wi-Fi Smart Plug

 

Smart plugs may seem like a novelty device, but they’re really worth the money – mostly because they don’t cost very much (about $30) and are extremely versatile.

 

The WeMo Wi-Fi smart plug is compatible with most smart systems (besides Apple or Siri) and provides home automation on a large scale: you can automate just about any device. Plus, it’s safe and small so it won’t block other outlets.

 

7. Remote-Controlled Shades

 

Most smart shades don’t come cheap. If you know someone with a disability or medical condition that affects their mobility (or you just want to treat yourself) this is a great item.

 

These are also an excellent solution if you have a home with shades in hard-to-reach places. Although they’re expensive, smart shades are super easy to install and control with an app or remote.

 

8. Kwikset Kevo Smart Lock (2nd Generation)

 

This is the coolest smart lock for average folks. You’ll never need to fumble with keys while your arms are full of groceries ever again: just touch the lock.

 

It unlocks the door based on close-range authentication like many car key-fabs. You can choose from a regular key and lock, keyless touch, or app control. This smart lock also lets you give your friends or family eKeys for easy sharing and access when needed.

 

What You Should Know About Smart Home Devices

 

Although it’s tempting to splurge on the latest and greatest everything, it’s best to wait until these smart home devices and home automation accessories have been on the market for a while.

 

Why?

 

Because you can read reviews and give the companies a chance to work out all the kinks. (There are always kinks or glitches in first generation devices.)

 

This means if you wait to buy a second or third generation device, you’ll get something improved and tweaked based on customer feedback.

 

After all, you want these devices to make your life easier, right?