10 Ways Smart Home Products Can Update & Simplify Your Life

Aug 29, 2018 at 3:30 p.m. ET
Image: Lowe's. Design: Gabriela Arellano/SheKnows.

Whether you live in a small apartment or a big house, keeping track of everything your home needs can be daunting. Fortunately, as smart home products become more and more affordable, they can make life easier, helping with everything from securing your home to controlling the lights with a simple voice command.

Read on to learn how some of the best products can turn your home into a smart home, letting your phone and a few add-ons do the hard work. That way, you can actually spend time enjoying your sanctuary.

Feel more secure
Home should be a place where you feel safe, but paying for a security service can get pricey. Instead, trick out your home with a DIY smart security system that includes 24/7 professional monitoring for less than $15 a month. The Iris Security Pack, paired with the Iris Smart Hub, lets you designate the areas of home you want secured. Not only will it send alerts if any doors or windows are opened unexpectedly, but it will also allow you to schedule lights to turn on and off.
Image: Getty Images Know when your kids are safe at home
In the '80s and '90s, it seemed like most kids were latchkey kids, but these days parents are more watchful. Thankfully, there are ways to monitor your kids' coming and going so you always know when they're safe at home. With the Iris Pro Monitoring kit, you'll know as soon as your kid walks in (or out) the door, thanks to a key fob that goes right on their backpack. It also works with an indoor and outdoor camera that you can access remotely, so you can actually check in to make sure that they're safe at home. Should you need it, this kit also allows for 24/7 emergency dispatch, so help is never far away.

Care for older relatives
Make sure your parents are always able to notify you that they need help with an Iris Care Pendant or Smart Button. The Smart Button allows you track when your relative enters or leave the house, and you can also attach it to the medicine cabinet to make sure they're taking their medication. Better yet, the device will notice irregularities in their routine and notify you so you can check in. It can be nerve-wracking to leave older relatives alone, but with these devices, you'll know they're needs are being met, and they always have a way to call for help.

Keep your home warm and cozy
We all have that one room in the house that never seems to get warm. Enter the Duraflame infrared heater. You can turn it on and off remotely, which means you never have to fret about leaving it on. Even better, it can be put on a schedule — set it to turn on a half-hour before you get out of bed in the morning so you don't have to slip out from warm covers into an ice-cold room.

Stay alert during travel
If you're worried about what's going on at home, it can be hard to enjoy your vacation. This First Alert smoke and carbon monoxide detector puts you at ease, knowing your smart home can send alerts to your phone and tablet if disaster strikes.

Never worry about the garage door
Worried about whether the garage door was left open? Never again, with the Iris garage door controller. You'll be able to make sure it's shut tight, no matter how far away you are.

Image: Getty Images
Set up an easy home rental
In the era of Airbnb and VRBO, renting out a room, guest house  or second property has never been easier. The only annoying part is having to be there to let people in the door. Make things easier on yourself with the Kwikset Deadbolt. You can create multiple PINs for multiple guests or for properties with more than one unit inside, and you'll rest easy knowing your dwelling is secure. You can reset it after the guest leaves, too, so they can't use the PIN to get into the house when they're not supposed to. Learn how one family used Kwikset to manage their cabin in Wisconsin here

Prevent pricey water damage
Every homeowner knows water damage is one of the biggest disasters you can face. Detecting a flood or leak before it gets out of hand is key to keeping your house in good shape. Pair the Leaksmart water shutoff valve and Iris indoor flood sensor so you can detect water activity in your home and immediately switch off the water, potentially turning $25,000 of damage into a $25 mop-up job.

Control everything from your phone
It can be a little overwhelming when you first wade into the world of smart home technology, but never fear. The Iris Wi-Fi smart switch makes it simple. You'll be able to control any device that's plugged in, whether that's the lights, your coffeemaker or that hair straightener you never remember to turn off. You don't need a separate smart hub to use it, either — just your smartphone. It also works with Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Use voice commands to control your home
When you're juggling your phone, tablet and laptop, figuring out which device controls what can give you a headache. That's why a smoothly running smart home works even better with a voice-activated assistant, like the Google Mini and Amazon Alexa. Just tell the device to turn the lights on or off or to adjust the thermostat, leaving your hands free to play Words With Friends on your phone while catching up on work on your tablet.  

This post is sponsored by Iris by Lowe's.

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