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The smart home trend has gained much traction in recent years, and why not? Being able to control your home automatically and remotely not only is convenient, it’s also energy efficient and makes life much easier. No more leaving the house wondering if you’ve turned off the oven. Now you can get alerts from your smart doorbell about unusual activity when you’re away, or even have the ease of having the lighting in your home automatically turn into your favourite mood lighting preset whenever you like.
But what if you aren’t tech-savvy, or did not factor in smart home systems when you were renovating your home? Fret not. You don’t have to rewire your entire home. There are simple and easy upgrades that you can make to turn your regular home into a smart home. These devices can easily and seamlessly integrated into homes, promising increased efficiency, security, and convenience. Here are some of our top picks for the smart devices you need to get.
SwitchBot Bot Switch Button Pusher, $38
If your home wasn’t designed to incorporate smart home technology and you’re regretting that decision now, this is probably the simplest device you could use for that instant smart home upgrade without much hassle.
The Bot Switch Button Pusher allows you to transform any regular switch or button on an appliance into a smart home device, just by attaching it to the device or switch of your choosing with the 3M double-sided tape that’s included. Connect it to your Bluetooth-enabled phone or even your Apple Watch, and you can control and activate it to push to turn on switches or buttons on and off, and control any switch or device at home remotely. Why, even your grandparents’ retro transistor radio could be turned into a smart device.
You can further automate it by setting schedules. Perhaps setting a fixed time for the Bot Switch button pusher to make you that fresh cup of coffee every morning at a specific time, or turn on your dehumidifier at specific times of day to avoid mould problems at home? SwitchBot Bot Switch Button Pusher, $39. Buy on Amazon.
SwitchBot Curtain 3, $82.99
Like its Button Pusher counterpart, the SwitchBot Curtain 3 allows you to open and close your curtain via an app. And the best part of all? No wiring or hammering is required, as you can simply hang the SwitchBot Curtain over your curtain rod and it is good to go. When activated, the motor within the SwitchBot Curtain moves the device along the curtain rod, drawing the curtain along with it. According to the company, the SwitchBot Curtain 3 works on almost 99 per cent of curtain rails in the market, from U-shaped rails and pole types to telescopic rails and decorative rails.SwitchBot Curtain 3, $82.99. Buy on Amazon.
SwitchBot Mini Hub, $46.50
So you’ve dipped your toes into smart home integration with the above two devices and want something to tie them all together? This is the little device to rule it all – the SwitchBot Mini Hub is both a hub for your SwitchBot devices like the Bot and Curtain 3, and a master remote control for your house. It enables you to activate your SwitchBot devices via the internet. This means you can potentially get your coffee maker to make you a cup of coffee just as you are reaching home. It’s also capable of learning from your infrared remote controls and executing the same commands through the app. The SwitchBot Mini Hub is also compatible with Alexa, Google Home and the Apple Home Pod. Nifty indeed.SwitchBot Mini Hub, $46.50. Buy on Amazon.
TP Link Tapo P110 Smart WiFi Socket Plug, $28.20
Think of this as a remote control for all your power sockets at home. The TP Link Tapo Smart WiFi Socket Plug converts your existing power sockets to WiFi-controllable ones. With it, you can instantly turn your attached devices on and off through an internet connection and an app. Imagine coming home to heated water or an air-conditioned room. There’s even an Away mode that lets you automate your lighting at home while you’re away to create the illusion that there are people at home. For added convenience, you can activate voice control on the smart plug with via Alexa or Google Assistant.TP Link Tapo P110 Smart WiFi Socket Plug, $28.20. Buy on Amazon.
Google Nest Doorbell, $237.62
The Google Nest Doorbell has proven to be instrumental in nabbing thieves and is a handy tool to have around at home (read our review here). After all, this smart doorbell is not merely a doorbell with a camera, it even detects motion within a pre-determined zone and sends you notifications on your smartphone. Another nifty feature is its speaker function, where you can communicate directly to the other person at the doorbell through the speaker function. Google Nest Doorbell, $237.62. Buy on Amazon.
Samsung SHP-DH537 Digital Door Lock, $499
Smart digital locks offer a higher level of security as compared to conventional key locks. After all, you don’t have to worry about lost – and potentially compromised – keys or the lack of monitoring capabilities.
This Samsung Digital Door Lock unlocks with an RFID card, passcode, mechanical key or via an app. Going on a holiday? You can even set up a vacation mode which alerts you to any intrusions during this period. You don’t have to worry about a flat battery when you’re outside either, as you can power the lock from the outside with any 9V battery. Samsung SHP-DH537 Digital Door Lock, $499. Buy it from Lazada and earn 1.2% cashback via merewards.
Philips Hue Smart Bulb, $42.50
With a simple setup, you can control your lights or toggle between pre-set light settings via the app or voice commands, setting the perfect ambiance for any moment. You can control up to 10 hue Bluetooth smart bulbs with the app. The Philips Hue smart bulb is energy-efficient and compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit, making it an ideal choice for a connected and customisable lighting experience.Philips Hue Smart Bulb, $42.50. Buy on Amazon.
Philips Hue Bridge, $75.65
Need to control more than 10 smart bulbs via the Philips app? Then the Philips Hue Bridge is the master controller you need. It allows you to add up to 50 Philips Hue lights and 12 Hue accessories. Control your lights and accessories easily via a smartphone app or smartwatch or set timers for different light presets to come on throughout different times of the day. Nothing rouses the senses better in the morning than a brilliant burst of bright light, right?Philips Hue Bridge, $75.65. Buy on Amazon.
Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation, $51.38
Smart speakers form the foundation of most smart homes. With smart speakers, you can control smart devices, get weather updates, set reminders, or play music simply via voice commands. The Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation is your voice-activated gateway to a smarter home, especially if you’re an Android user. It’s compact and sleek, fitting seamlessly into any room, and boasts improved sound quality for music and hands-free calling.Google Nest Mini 2nd Generation, $51.38. Buy it from Lazada and earn 1.2% cashback via merewards.
Apple HomePod Mini, $99
The Apple HomePod Mini is a compact and powerful smart speaker designed to work seamlessly within the Apple ecosystem (read our full review here). It delivers impressive sound quality, adapts to your room’s acoustics, and boasts advanced Siri integration for voice commands. You can even enjoy stereo sound by pairing two of the same models set up. Apple HomePod Mini comes in a variety of colours like Space Gray, Blue, Yellow, White, and Orange.Apple HomePod Mini, $99. Available at Apple.
Sonos Era 100, $449
The Sonos Era 100 has some of the best sounds among smart speakers in the market. It even comes with auto tuning technology; by analysing the unique acoustics of your space, it optimises the speaker’s EQ so that you hear the sounds the way they should sound. The Sonos Era 100 plays well with both your favourite streaming services and other smart devices, allowing you to control the speaker seamlessly via voice commands.Sonos Era 100, $449. Buy on Amazon.