Energy efficient gadgets and energy savings devices in your home can lower your utility bills. Upgrading your smart home capabilities lets these energy saving gadgets control you rHVAC, lighting, water, and security systems. Here’s our recommendation for the newest batch of electricity saving devices for the home.
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home uses technology to make life easier and make your home more energy efficient. The end result of these energy savings devices should be energy efficiency and savings with less effort.
Some examples of energy efficient gadgets include:
- Smart Home Hubs & Controllers — like Amazon Echo or Google Home that allow you to control multiple smart devices with a simple command.
- Surveillance Cameras — like Ring, Skycall, Nest, that let you monitor and view your home remotely.
- Locks and Home Security Systems — like SimpliSafe, Scout, iSmartAlarm, allowing you to cost effectively secure and monitor your home.
- Smart Thermostat — like Nest, Ecobee and Sensi, these thermostats automatically adjust based on your behavior, weather and your home.
- Smart Lightbulbs & Switches — like Ecobee Switch+ or Lutron Caseta, a smart light switch can allow you to control your lights from your smart phone.
The biggest opportunity for energy efficient gadgets are those that focus on lowering your electricity consumption. And since approximately 60% of your electricity usage comes from heating and cooling, a smart thermostat is the best place to start.
Smart thermostats are better than just a standard programmable thermostat. That’s because they optimize heating and cooling on their own. That’s key. Because studies have revealed that 72% of programmable thermostat owners admit to not knowing how to set their thermostat. That pretty much eliminates the benefit.
A connected smart thermostat can optimize your home (Ecobee), or learn your behavior and automatically react (Nest). No programming required, just answer some simple questions on set-up.
Here’s our list of the 9 top energy efficient gadgets and electricity savings devices that you can add to your home.
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If you only install one new energy saving devices this year, make it a smart thermostat. These gadgets take energy efficiency to a new level, preventing you from ever forgetting to adjust the temperature in your home.
Electricity customers in Texas can even get an electricity plan with a free smart thermostat.
Smart thermostats take programmable thermostats to the next level by learning how and when your family uses the heating and air-conditioning in your home. Smart thermostats can also be adjusted remotely from an app on your smartphone if you need to make adjustments on the fly. These thermostats adjust automatically giving you smart energy savings all year long.
They are the best energy efficiency gadget you can add to your home.
At the heart of most smart homes is a hub, and the Amazon Echo is our favorite choice. The Amazon Echo (or the Echo Show with display screen) is the personal assistant that instantly becomes a part of your life. It’s a voice-activated speaker, and so much more.
Connect the Amazon Echo to a number of supported smart gadgets and control your thermostat or light bulbs with the power of your voice. Add smart plugs and you can control your home electronics, lights and other devices from anywhere.
In addition to voice control, these smart hubs can all be controlled remotely, via your smart phone. And, you can link multiple devices to them for one centralized command and control site, simplifying how you manage your smart home. You can also program home hubs to run “routines” around your home, a set of pre-programmed actions that will activate at a pre-set time, or when you say a particular phrase.
For example, if you set up a bedtime routine, you can just say, “Alexa, time for bed.” Alexa would turn down the temperature to make it cool at night (so you can take advantage of a free nights electricity plan!), lock all the doors, and turn off the lights.
Take control of your water bill by controlling the ultimate sprinkler system for your home.
The Rachio Alexa-integrated sprinkler controller connects with local forecasts, considers your plant and soil types, and remembers your yard’s sun exposure. All of these features create a custom watering schedule optimized for your yard. By watering only when needed, the Rachio sprinkler controller saves you water and money and works with Amazon Alexa.
Bond Controller for Fireplace and Ceiling Fan
We like to think that they named this product after James Bond. Because we can imagine the super sleuth walking into a room with his paramour and saying “Alexa, turn on the fireplace.”
While you are automating your home, don’t forget the ceiling fan and fireplace. The Bond controller allows you to integrate these devices with Alexa for the ultimate control.
Sengled LED bulbs
Sengled LED bulbs are really high-tech appliances disguised as LED light bulbs. They offer LED bulbs with stereo systems installed, LED bulbs with security cameras, an LED light with a built-in Wi-Fi repeater, and many more.
Sengled bulbs can be controlled from an app on your smartphone which also measures your energy savings from these appliances. The combined systems in the Sengled line serve to simplify your smart home experience and realize energy savings
Gosund Mini Smart Plugs
Smart Plugs are one of the top smart home devices you can buy in 2019 (and in 2020) These outlet adapters allow you to turn any appliance on and off from any distance from any internet-enabled device. Turn your lights off from your office, turn on the space heater from your bed, use it for anything you can plug into a wall outlet.
One of the top sellers is the Gosund mini smart plugs. A set of 4 plugs is super affordable and quick to install. These are great to have if you will be traveling over the holidays. You can turn lights on and off in your home to simulate someone being there.
Wyze Cam Smart Home Camera
Monitoring your home doesn’t help save on electricity, but it’s a big part of home automation. This is a simple way to watch what’s going on at home when you aren’t there. (We use ours to spy on our pups when we’re not home.) For under $30 the Wyze Cam Smart Home Camera can’t be beat.
SwitchBot Hub Mini Smart Remote
Control multiple remote control devices, such as your air conditioner and TV through the SwitchBot Hub. Then use the app to control your devices. Turn all your old appliances into smart home devices.
AirMega Air Quality Monitor
Last, but certainly not least, the AirMega smart home air purifier cleans your air just like a normal air purifier, but also gives you real time feedback and control of your air purifier and your indoor environment. Basically, it monitors the quality of the air in your home, in order to live a more healthy lifestyle. It checks for toxic chemicals, particulate matter, humidity and CO2. The brightly colored LED ring lets you know how clean or dirty your indoor air is every minute of the day.
For more information on smart home technology, check out Porch.com’s beginner’s guide to smart homes.