You use smartphone apps to post pictures, pay bills, research restaurants and reconnect with high school friends. But what about controlling appliances, monitoring energy usage and keeping an eye on the security of your home? These are just some of the ways you can use a smartphone to help make your home smart.

Where do you start? Automating your home can be intimidating. Here are a few suggestions on where to begin.

  • Smart Lighting Solutions. Smart LED bulbs take automatic lights to a whole new level. From a smartphone app, you can control a single lamp to all the lighting in your entire house, including color, shade and brightness. You can also use the app to sync your bedside lamp with your alarm, so as you slowly wake up the light gradually turns on. And say goodbye to flipping light switches when you enter or leave a room. Your lights can sense where you are in your house and light your path. Best of all, the bulbs are LED, so they last much longer and use less energy than traditional light bulbs, saving you money in the long run.
  • Smart Security Automation. You may be tempted to take home security for granted until your circumstances change, like you are leaving town for an extended trip or just adopted a puppy with an appetite for everything. Before you become the victim of a home break-in, or even a rambunctious pet, consider smart home security solutions. From Wi-Fi enabled cameras to keep watch on the inside or perimeter of your home, to motion detectors, smoke warnings and smart locks—smart security systems are a simple way to protect your most valuable asset, your home. Even better, since alerts come directly to your smartphone or tablet, you may be able to save money by cancelling alarm monitoring services.
  • Smart Energy Monitoring and Controls. Manage energy usage and save money with a wide variety of smart devices in your connected home. You can monitor and control AC units, electric outlets, smart thermostats and sprinklers, cutting down on how much energy and water you consume. Plus you’ll appreciate the convenience of turning down the temperature, starting the oven to preheat and even running your sprinklers before you get home. All of which can be controlled remotely or automated using apps on your smartphone or tablet.

Now that you know having a smart home can bring substantial benefits, you may want to explore your options more and shop around. You may want to start at your favorite home improvement or hardware store. You can compare options using online review sites, like CNET or PC Magazine. Reach out directly to the inventers and manufacturers for the inside scoop, like iLumi for smart bulbs or Nest for learning thermostats.

Making your home smarter doesn’t have to be a big undertaking.  The smart way to get started is simply one app at a time.


From the PrimeLending blog, written by