Every year, major tech companies announce new devices intended to make our daily lives easier than ever before. These “smart” devices can do everything from play music in your home to controlling the temperature, and even work to keep you safe. With so many options available, it can be hard to decide what’s worth investing in when it comes to making your home a “smart home.” Here are five innovations in smart home technology to consider:

  1. Smart Speakers: Smart speakers are small devices placed throughout your home that have many different functions, including connecting to and controlling other devices, playing music, or even ordering food to be delivered right to your front door. With many companies offering different models at varying costs, such as Amazon’s Echo powered by Alexa, there is certainly one to fit your home and lifestyle.
  2. Smart Light Bulbs: With smart light bulbs, never again will you have to stumble around in the dark to find a light switch. Now, lights can be turned on by voice command or on your smartphone. There are many different models, such as the Philips Hue line, offering such functions as Wi-Fi connection and compatibility with other smart home products.
  3. Smart Home Security: There’s nothing more important than keeping your home and family safe, and now that’s easier than ever with new smart home security systems. For a relatively low cost and easy installation, there are many options to choose from when it comes to smart home security. Systems like SimpliSafe, which includes various sensors and cameras placed in and around your home, can be controlled with ease from your smartphone.
  4. Smart Thermostats: Various smart thermostats like the Nest Learning Thermostat offer a wide variety of functionality, including voice control detailed information about your home’s heating system and the ability to control the temperature in specific rooms. If you’ve got a spouse who likes the living room warm while watching TV, but a child who likes to keep his or her bedroom cold, a smart thermostat may be the home device for you.
  5. Smart Kitchen Appliances: The smart home device trend has also introduced many new inventions for the kitchen. Smart appliances include coffee makers that can be turned on from your phone and microwaves that can be controlled through voice commands. There are even hands-free automated soap dispensers!

As the New Year gets into swing, advanced digital appliances are being announced that will not only make your home smarter, but will do it without breaking the bank. Customize your home with smart technology and watch everything get easier—from turning on the lights to making your morning coffee.