It's 2019 and your residence doesn't have to just be an ordinary home anymore. Now, you can outfit your living space with all manner of gadgets, gizmos, and technology to make your home more comfortable, convenient, and secure.
But picking and choosing your smart home devices can be a bit of a chore. There are so many brands and options to pick from -- and everyone's unique living situation plays a role in which products will be the best fit. Not everyone needs a smart thermostat, for example, but most people can benefit from smart locks or cameras.
That's why we've narrowed down your choices to the top 5 smart gadgets that, when configured, will make your home a safer place to live. If you're ready to dip your toes into the world of smart home equipment, read on for the best gadgets to secure your property from whatever may come.
Not all locks are created equal. Just ask Schlage, the famed locksmithing company that's been producing high-end door locks for years. Now, it's bringing its patented craftsmanship alongside modern technology to bring customers a traditional style lock with a digital twist.
This Schlage Smart Deadbolt is app and home assistant compatible -- meaning it's easy to use your personal code or smartphone to unlock. You can even unlock your door remotely or by voice -- meaning you don't have to get up from the couch to let your guests in. Plus, it's compatible with security cameras for a complete security solution for your home.
We tend to think of our garage as a catch-all storage location. That's why we put both our vehicles and holiday decorations in the same place. Despite this habit, garages are highly vulnerable to break-ins, so securing it with a proper system is the best way to keep your property safe.
This smart garage door from Chamberlain makes it easy to control access to your garage from both your car and your phone. Plus, the device is compatible with Key by Amazon, which means delivery drivers can safely store your package inside your garage per your request.
If you're not looking to replace your existing setup, however, MyQ offers a simple hub that gives you the same functionality while integrating with the garage door opener you already have. It's the perfect way for first-timers to get started with the world of smart home equipment.
One of the biggest red flags that burglars look for when selecting a home to rob is a perceived "lack of occupancy." All this means is that criminals tend to target homes that look empty -- and one of the clearest ways to know if a house is empty is to check if the lights are off.
That's why it's never a bad idea to leave the lights on when you leave -- but what about times when you're already out and forgot to turn them on? What if you only want them on at a certain time of day?
That's why smart lighting is a super convenient way to control the appearance of your home both in-person and remotely. This Kasa Smart Light Switch by TP-Link makes it easy to access your lights via phone -- so your house never looks empty or unoccupied.
There's a lot to love about Alexa, but one thing that makes her really useful is the ability to expand her functionality with skills and accessories. In the latter department, Amazon's Smart Plug system allows Alexa to gain access to any device that's plugged in -- so you can control any part of your home with nothing but your voice.
With the Smart Plug, you can easily use the Alexa app to turn on your security camera, activate the lights, or trigger an alarm -- even when you aren't home. Compatible products are sold separately, but anything drawing power from the plug can at least be turned on and off with Alexa's help.
Let's say, worst-case scenario, your home's defenses fail. What happens to your valuables at that point? Surely, anything not properly locked up is at risk of being stolen. That's why people invest a good deal of money into a proper safe for jewelry, documents, and important heirlooms that are irreplaceable.
But combination safes aren't always the most secure -- and sometimes, they can even be cracked!
That line of thinking has led to the development of smart home safes -- including this awesome safe from AmazonBasics that uses advanced biometric fingerprint readings to unlock its door. Just like with your phone, this combination is unique to you, meaning only you will be able to access the safe.
And, naturally, in case you're unable to use your finger to unlock it (yikes), there is a spare key you can use to open the safe. How's that for thinking ahead.
Bonus: Keep your entire home secured with SimpliSafe
Outfitting your home with smart home products is only the first step towards a more secure residence. Installing a fully functioning security system with cameras, alerts, and real-time reporting is the best way to protect your loved ones and valuables.
That's why we're happy to recommend our sponsor, SimpliSafe. In fact, it's the only home security system recommended by Kim Komando! Visit SimplisafeKim.com right now and receive a 60-day money-back guarantee, free shipping, and free returns.
13 clever gadgets to use with your Amazon Echo or Google for a smart home
These 13 items are the perfect way to get started on a smart home or build on your existing one. They work with Amazon Echo and Google Home, and the best part is, you can get all of them on Amazon. We've got info on lightbulbs, lawn sprinklers, keyless locks and even a clock that does more than just tell time.