Smart Home Resolutions We’re already a month into 2018, but that doesn’t mean the time for resolutions is over. In fact, I’m a firm believer that January should be all about recovery from the holiday season, and February should be when we start fresh! However, to shake things up a bit this year, rather than sticking to the standard go-to resolutions of getting fit or losing weight, why not resolve to make the most of your year with some of these smart home products?


Personalize your home lighting

Philips Hue Smart LightThe days of stumbling in the dark to find those elusive light switches are long gone. Now, with smart lights like Philips Hue you can light up your home directly from your smartphone or tablet. Using an app on your smart device, you can dim lights or turn them off and on even when you aren’t home. You can also use the app to set a timer to turn your lights on and off, which is ideal for those times you want it to look like someone is home when they aren’t (like when you’re soaking up the sun somewhere tropical!).

With Philips Hue you can also add accents or create custom lighting effects to suit any mood, environment, or décor. With a spectrum of 16 million colours to choose from, and up to 800-lumen output, the options are endless! Best of all, these Philips smart home light bulbs screw into any standard light socket.


Keep tabs on your home from afar

Netgear Arlo smart cameraHome security is very topical these days, so to keep tabs on what’s going on in and around your home or business, look no further than a smart home security system. NETGEAR Arlo Pro wire-free HD camera systems are weatherproof, so can be used indoors or outdoors as you see fit. That means that whether you’re home watching TV or you’re half way around the world, you can see if someone is near your door or on your property.

Whether you want to know if your pets are getting into mischief, if your babysitter has arrived, or are worried about intruders, the Arlo Pro cameras will let you know immediately via a text or email. Once you receive your sound or motion notification, you can log in to the Arlo app to see what’s what. Talk about security!


See who is at your front door

Ring smart doorbellTo add even more smart security to your home, consider replacing your standard doorbell with a smart doorbell. Picture this: you are comfy cozy on your couch watching a movie and your doorbell rings, but you really don’t want to get up; especially if it’s someone selling vacuum cleaners. With the Ring Video Doorbell, you can see who is on your front step via HD video and, if needed, communicate with them using your smartphone or tablet. Better yet, you can do the same thing remotely as well.

Taking things a step further, smart locks grant you easy access to your home without the need for keys or codes. Take for example the August Smart Lock. After an easy installation, you can control who has access to your home, or provide guests with entry for a specific amount of time all through your smartphone.

August Smart LockYou might wonder why this would come in handy, but the reasons are endless! Perhaps you are expecting a package to be delivered while you are at work. With the August Lock, you can provide the delivery person access to your home for 30 seconds or so, so they can place your package in the foyer. Or perhaps you have guests arriving but are stuck in traffic so can’t let them in. Enter the August smart lock. To me though, the best feature of this lock is that you can open your door just by approaching it. The smart lock senses your approach and automatically unlocks the door to provide you with a hands-free welcome, which is fabulous for those times your arms are full.


Get your own personal assistant

Google HomeIf you’ve always wanted your own personal assistant, the Google Home smart speaker is just the ticket! Powered by Google Assistant, this voice-activated speaker lets you control devices and get information all via voice commands. Whether you want to play your favourite play list from your smartphone, find out what time a movie plays at your local theatre, or call a friend, all you need to do is say “OK, Google” and tell it what you need, and it has you covered. With Google Home you can even control other smart devices in your home to dim the lights or turn up the heat. That’s my kind of assistant!


Control your home temperature

Nest Smart ThermostatSpeaking of turning up the heat, smart thermostats allow you to take control of how your home is heated, ultimately saving you money and energy. The Nest Learning Thermostat, for example, uses learning technology to figure out your schedule and your heating and cooling preferences, and then programs itself to save energy. It connects with your existing home network over WiFi and can be controlled from your mobile device, laptop, or desktop regardless of where you might be located.


Create your very own rotating art gallery

Meural Canvas smart frameI don’t know about you, but I tend to tire of the artwork in my apartment after a while, and try my best to update it occasionally. However, doing so is hard work and can be ridiculously expensive! Plus there is always the issue of what to do with your existing artwork when you replace it with something new. Oh, the trials and tribulations of home décor. However, with the Meural Canvas, you can update your artwork anytime the fancy hits you.

This 27” digital frame with full HD 1080p display lets you select from tens of thousands of works of art and photography, including your own, and its TrueArt technology lends a lifelike texture to whichever piece you select. To change things up, simply do so via your smartphone, online, or with a simple wave of your hand. Genius!


2018 might already be underway, but its not too late to add one or more smart devices to your home to make life easier, more secure, and even more fun!


Stacey McGregor
Stacey McGregor is a marketing and communications professional based in Vancouver, BC. She has a passion for the written word, loves learning about new technology and gadgets, and enjoys sharing what she learns through Best Buy's Plug In blog.