Transitioning to a smart home isn't just about being able to control things from your smartphone or using your voice. It's also about saving money and energy (going green, just a bit). There are plenty of smart home products out there that will help save you some cash on your utility bills, and many of these will more than pay for themselves in just a couple of months. Which makes them more than worthwhile purchases. Here are some of the best to pick up.
There are many options for smart lighting out there already. Of course, the big names are Philips Hue, Belkin Wemo, and LIFX. These are pretty easy to install - especially LIFX, since they don't need a hub like the Philips Hue lights. But more importantly, they can save you some money in the long run. Instead of leaving lights on all day long, with these smart lightbulbs, you can schedule them to turn on at a specific time (perhaps when the sun is going down and it starts getting dark inside). You can also schedule them to turn off at specific times. Another good way to save some money is if you forgot to turn off the lights before you left the house. Well using the app, you can turn them off and not use all that energy.
In all honesty, smart plugs can likely save you more money than smart lighting. Since these plugs can be used with anything in your home. Many smart plugs also have the ability to measure energy being used in that outlet. So you can see how much energy you are using when something is on, versus it being off. Much like smart lights, with smart plugs, you are also able to control them from your phone. So you can things off when you aren't home. But the real way to save some cash with smart plugs, is the energy monitoring feature that many have these days.
When you think of thermostats, the Nest Learning Thermostat is probably the first one that comes to mind. It's a good choice, but there are tons of others available, like the ecobee4 which has Alexa inside. Smart thermostats are able to save you money, since it will adjust its temperature during the day and at night, so that your home stays at one temperature (perhaps warmer at night and cooler during the day in the winter time). So that way you are still comfortable, but you aren't spending more money on heating and cooling. You can also use a smart thermostat to turn on the air conditioning during the summer, before you get home from work. So that you saved all that energy from it not running all day, but it is still nice and comfortable when you get home.
These are just a few examples of products that can help save you some money on your utility bills each month. You may not notice a big difference in the first month, but as you use them more, you'll notice a pretty sizable difference in your monthly bills. And who doesn't like saving money? On top of that, you'll be saving energy, which is good for the environment, and while it's not really "going green" it is taking a step in the right direction, which is what matters.