Best Environmentally Friendly Smart Home Gadgets iMore 2020
Smart home accessories can bring several benefits to your home, but one that you might not consider is energy conservation. From monitoring your energy use to lowering it through automation, these accessories can help you reduce the amount of electricity and water you use, and thus, your home's impact on the environment.
This smart plug lets you control any standard 'dumb' appliance, from lamps to table fans, using Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant. For those times when you just plain forget to turn off an appliance before leaving the house or your home office for the day, a smart plug like the Wemo Mini can power it down remotely, saving energy and money. Home automations through platforms like HomeKit can even take care of things connected to this plug automatically in the background.
The ConnectSense Smart In-Wall Outlet replaces your standard wall outlet with clean, connected controls that blend right into your home. This outlet offers impressive energy monitoring as it claims accuracy within 0.1% of usage for products plugged into the outlet through an app. Each outlet also works independently, giving you two smart options for a cost that is just a little bit more than standard bulky smart plugs.
Power strips are a staple of the home office, but their ability to power down everything all at once often goes ignored as they are often hidden away behind or under the desk. The Eve Energy Strip solves this problem through HomeKit controls that turn off all of your gear with a tap or shout. This stylish strip also tracks energy usage so you can narrow down devices that are consuming way too much power and a standby mode that keeps everything ready.
Not only do these smart LED bulbs let you light up your home with color, but they'll also save energy over incandescent and compact fluorescent bulbs. And while LED bulbs, in general, will do that, smart or not, since these Philips bulbs are indeed smart, you can save even more energy through schedules, timers, and turning them on and off remotely. The included Hue Bridge in this kit connects to your home network, making your lighting available from anywhere in the world.
If you already have Hue smart bulbs in your home or if you plan to pick some up soon, then the Hue Motion Sensor can take energy savings even further. This compact sensor detects when you enter and leave a room, automatically turning on and off the lights without having to flip a switch. This leads to reduced energy consumption as it only lights up a room when in use, and it ensures that you never waste energy by leaving a light on.
Smart light switches are fantastic alternatives to connected light bulbs as just one switch can cover an entire room. Instead of replacing every bulb in the chandelier, which can cause unnecessary waste if they are working just fine, you can replace your in-wall switch in a matter of minutes. Lutron's Caseta line is one of the most reliable and compatible around, working with all smart home platforms and without a neutral wire. This kit even provides dimming features for any room in your home.
This smart thermostat is HomeKit-compatible and has Alexa built right in. You can quickly set the temperature manually thanks to its big touchscreen, or set a schedule for when the heat or AC should kick on based on your needs. Room sensors (one included, others sold separately) offer more granular control by directing heating and cooling efforts to the specific rooms of your home that need it the most with a compatible HVAC system.
Perfect for at-home offices or areas that see a lot of traffic, window air conditioners can cut energy usage by keeping only the room that you are in cool. Window air conditioners also work great for homes that don't quite need a whole home HVAC system year-round, but help in a pinch if things get a little on the hot side. Smart window air conditioners like the Frigidaire Cool Connect come with benefits like temperature adjustments via your phone.
Ceiling fans are a great way to circulate the air and to help cool you down when things get a little stuffy. Ceiling fans also help to lower energy consumption by creating a personal breeze without having to cool the entire house down. If you are in the market for a new fan, consider a smart option like the sleek Hunter Symphony, which gives you convenient app controls, and it works with Alexa, Siri, and the Google Assistant.
A lawn sprinkler system can end up using a lot of water, so Rachio's smart sprinkler controller can help you out with its smart scheduling features. You can set a custom schedule, or tell Rachio what type of plants you have and their sun exposure using the Rachio app, so they get exactly as much water as they need, and nothing more.
Just because you don't have a fancy in-ground sprinkler system, it doesn't mean that you can't use smart accessories to conserve water. The Orbit B-Hyve Smart Hose Faucet Timer connects directly to a common outdoor spigot, making above-ground sprinklers, drip irrigation systems, and even rain collection barrels smart. This system can also automatically skip the next watering time if there is rain in the forecast.
This smart leak detection system will spot the smallest of leaks in your home's water system, so you don't waste water. If it finds a leak, this valve can shut off all of the water coming into your home, saving you from costly repairs and keeping your valuables safe. Usage and trend reports are also available, which can help encourage more environmentally friendly habits.
Reduce your impact
Smart accessories like plugs and light bulbs are some of the easiest ways to reduce your environmental impact. By installing one of these accessories, you can cut down on energy consumption through remote controls, scheduling, and timers. If you are new to the smart home world and want plug and play convenience, then check out the Wemo Mini. This compact plug makes anything attached instantly smart, and it works with all of the voice assistants, from Alexa to Siri.
Looking for a way to conserve water but still want a great looking lawn? The Rachio 3 Wi-Fi Sprinkler Controller fits the bill by adding the smarts to your existing in-ground sprinkler system. This connected controller not only provides scheduling and weather delays, but it also tracks your total water usage, enabling you to change up your habits and make smarter decisions on when to water.
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