I made a video for Prime Days awhile ago, but when our friends came over (pre-COVID) I didn’t realize how many “Smart” gadgets we’ve gotten for our apartment. So I thought I’d compile all of our cool gadgets in here to show you what’s going on.
Smart Home Essentials
So a lot of the first to market smart-home things all centred around a hub (Think Philips Hue Bulbs). While it made sense in the beginning, I never wanted to invest so much money off the bat for something I wasn’t sure I was going to use.
But now that I have used all of these gadgets I’m not entirely opposed to it (Phillips Hue is still pretty expensive so nvm maybe I’m still a little opposed to it). As for now, I think all of the things on Amazon are pretty great options to get you started making your home “smart”!
So I’ve tried multiple smart plugs before but my hands-down favourite is TP-Link. Their Kasa app is super intuitive and has all the features you’d expect like a timed switch, etc. Amazon has some cool alternatives with USB ports on the side but they all have a humming noise and the price difference is around $5 for something I can’t deem as reliable so I just don’t think it’s worth it for that feature.
TP-Link – Kasa Smart WiFi Plug Mini (HS105)
This is by far my favourite one.
- It’s mini so you can add them on top of each other on a regular outlet no problem.
- The button on the side to trigger the switch is intuitive enough that my 2 year old nephew knew how to use it.
- And the app is clean and easy to use.
They often go on sale and will only net you around $15-20 CAD which is comparable to the Amazon alternatives for something a lot more reliable.
Philips Hue lightbulbs get all the clout. As they should. They were like the first to market movers. But they tied everything to a hub. While that makes sense in theory as a “broke”er individual. And not wanting to commit to one brand right off the bat I wasn’t ready to buy into that ecosystem.
Oddly enough I wanted to buy into the TP-Link ecosystem because I liked the app. But their bulbs are not so easy to find in Canada (This a states link). So, as a result, I’ve bought a bunch of cheaper alternatives on Amazon which are plentiful. But this is the one I ended up favouring.
Teckin Smart LED Bulb
So the ones I ended up choosing are called Teckin Smart Bulbs. The reason being was I bought it cause it was around $15CAD a piece which seemed cheaper than the rest and that it listed that it was compatible with Google Home, Amazon Alexa and Siri (Which is pretty clutch since I just jumped ship to team Apple/iPhone). And they got higher review ratings on Amazon.
Now that I have them, I definitely say they are worth it. The app “Smart Life” it’s pretty good and everything can be easily accesible via their app or even the iPhone “Shortcuts”. If y’all need a tutorial on how to setup any of that hit the comments below and I’ll get to you when I can.
We like these lights because they can range from yellow to white (and also all the other colours but we don’t really use that). Scheduling in the “Smart Life” app is really easy and you can set up schedules called “Automation” under the “Smart” tab that allows the lights to turn on automatically (we have sunset) and then turn off at a specific time (midnight). You can also set specfic colours and brightnesses at specfic times
Stick-On Anywhere LED Lights
We put this every it gets dark. Also since we’re in an apartment it doesn’t really make sense for us to go and install lights in places if we don’t know how long we’ll be here. So that’s why these LED lights are a great alternative.
They’re easily stickable to anywhere, it’s just a magnet on 3M Tape and then you just plop the light on and your good! We put them in dark places that you don’t need light often but will usually need them when you go in. Such as; closets, sinks, undercabinets, etc.
Definitely a super-underated purchase and highly recommend you to buy them cause they have been a game changer.