Best Smart Home Accessories to Reduce Your Environmental Impact iMore 2019

Smart home accessories can bring a number of 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.

Versatile plug: iDevices Switch

Staff Favorite

This smart plug lets you control any standard 'dumb' appliance, from lamps to toasters, using Siri or Alexa. Using the iDevices app, you can monitor how much energy the appliance attached to the Switch is using, and turn it off or on remotely.

$30 at Amazon

Built-in energy savings: iDevices Wall Outlet

The iDevices Wall Outlet replaces your standard wall outlet and may require professional installation. Responds to Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. Like the Switch, it offers energy monitoring for products plugged into the outlet, as well as independent outlet control, letting you control the top and bottom outlets individually from one another.

$90 at Amazon

Energy-saving lights: Philips Hue White & Color Ambiance (4-pack + Hub)

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 smart, you can save even more energy by scheduling their use or turning them on or off remotely.

$160 at Amazon

Hue alternative: LIFX Smart LED Bulbs (4-pack)

These multicolor bulbs are a slightly less costly alternative to the Philips Hue while offering the same set of features, including energy savings, remote control, scheduling, and support for Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant.

$145 at Amazon

Smarter heating and cooling: ecobee4 Smart Thermostat

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.

$200 at Amazon

Learns what you need: Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat lives up to its name, learning about your heating and cooling needs, and automatically building a schedule around you and your home. This can save you a lot of energy (and money) on heating and cooling, without you having to do much of anything.

$212 at Amazon

Smarter sprinklers: Rachio 3 Wi-Fi Smart Sprinkler Controller

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.

$230 at Amazon

Stop leaks fast: Aqara Water Leak Sensor

This small sensor will spot leaks in your home's water system so you don't waste water. The sensor will alert you as soon as it detects a leak, both through a notification on your phone and through a built-in flashing alarm. You can add HomeKit compatibility through Aqara's smart hub.

$20 at Amazon

Our recommendation

If you're just getting started with home automation, the iDevices Switch is a great first accessory. You don't have to get any new appliances, just plug your old ones into the Switch, and get smart control and scheduling over them. I use Switches to control various lamps and have schedules set that turn some of them on in the morning and to turn them all off when I leave my home.

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If you want to spend the money, you should also think about either the Philips Hue or LIFX smart lightbulbs. They'll work with Siri, Alexa, or Google Assistant, and because they're LEDs, they can save you up to 80% of the energy cost of traditional light bulbs.

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