Smart Home Weekly: Making An Apartment "Smart"

The idea of the smart home is something that really appeals to millennials. However, many millennials are opting for living in an apartment or even shared living, which is usually cheaper than buying a house. That means that many smart home products are not available to millennials, since they don't own their own home. Items like a smart doorbell, or a smart thermostat, cannot be installed in many apartments and rental homes. But that doesn't mean the smart home is totally out of reach. Below are a few products that will work in homes that are being rented, versus being owned, and still work with your lease.

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control

This remote control isn't really considered a "smart home" product, but through software updates, Logitech has made it one. This remote control can control virtually everything in your home. That includes your TV, your gaming consoles, laptops, lights and really any other appliance you can think of. However, it also works with both Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, which means if you connect it to Alexa, you can then control everything it controls, with your voice. It's basically the glue that holds it all together.

LIFX (A19) Wi-Fi Smart LED Light Bulb

This smart light bulb from LIFX is also a great option, as you can put it into any light fixture into your home. Though it'll be better to put it into a lamp, since that is likely yours when you move out anyways. But it allows you to control the lights in your home with your smartphone using the LIFX app. Additionally, it also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant and even Apple's Homekit and Siri.

Logitech Circle 2

Of course, you'd want to keep an eye on your home when you're not home. And the Logitech Circle 2 is a great one to use. This is both an indoor and outdoor camera, and can be attached to the window to see outside. Which makes it great for an apartment, since you don't need to mount it by drilling holes into a wall or anything like that. You can also sit it on a table in your home and have it facing the front-door or some of the windows in your home. Of course, you can also check out the stream of this camera on your smartphone using the Android or iOS app.

Amtake Smart Surge Protector

Smart plugs are another product that work well in apartments. However, our pick would be an actual surge protector. This way you are able to control more than one product at a time. For instance, you could use this for your entertainment system and be able to turn it all off (or certain outlets) when you're not using it, and really save some energy, which is always good. This particular model here has four AC outlets and four USB outlets, so you can also quickly charge up your smartphone or tablet at the same time.

Sonos One

To bring all of these products together, you'll want an Alexa-enabled speaker to control it all. And the Sonos One is definitely the best option. Since many apartments aren't as large, it's a good idea to have one speaker that has great audio quality, and Alexa included, which means many Echo speakers aren't going to do the trick. The Sonos One is slightly more expensive, but still not too expensive, coming in at under $200. It's going to provide you with some incredibly good sounding audio, that streams over WiFi. And it does also have Alexa built-in, so you can ask it for the weather, to turn off your lights and so much more.

Sony LF-S50G Wireless Speaker

Now if you would rather use the Google Assistant over Amazon Alexa, this is a great option for getting incredible audio and Google Assistant. The Sony LF-S50G does resemble the Apple Homepod (though it was announced before the Homepod), but it does offer up a some great sounding audio. It also has a LED clock on the front, which can really come in handy. Like the Google Home, it does have Google Assistant built-in and you can use it to control your TV, if you have an Android TV set-top box, you can also tell the Google Assistant to play content on your TV.

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