8 Smart Home Upgrades to Improve Your Home [2024]

February 2, 2022 • Zachary Amos

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Creating the smart home of the future is easier and more affordable than ever before, especially with the great variety of smart tech available today. Smart home technology is no longer confined to sci-fi movies and million-dollar houses. You can transform your own home or apartment into a smart house with easy upgrades customized to fit your needs and lifestyle.

Smart home technology has come a long way over recent years, with prices steadily decreasing as the variety of tech increases. It is no wonder why the market for smart home technology is valued at almost $100 billion worldwide, with over 1 million Bluetooth-enabled smart home devices in use. Whether you are new to smart homes or just looking for a new smart upgrade for your home’s setup, these top smart home devices are worth getting excited about.

1. Stay Connected With Smart Displays

Smart displays are capable of so much today that they are like a smart TV, tablet, and personal assistant rolled in one. Many modern smart displays have a built-in camera and microphone, making it easy to call family and friends hands-free. Smart displays are especially popular for families, allowing faraway relatives to stay in touch effortlessly. Calling people on a smart display is almost like having them there in the room because there is no need to hold the display. Video calls are so easy on smart displays that people refer to them as “dropping in.”

Smart displays are great for everything from streaming to cooking to checking the weather. You can have a recipe on the display while making dinner, with no need to flip through a cookbook or scroll through your phone. Some smart displays, like Nest Hub Max, even feature advanced motion tracking and recognition software that will offer personalized info whenever it recognizes you entering the room.

2. Save Power With Smart Lightbulbs and Switches

Smart lightbulbs were among the first smart home technologies to become truly popular. They are less expensive than some other devices, easy to install, and offer unique and immediate benefits, making them one of the top smart upgrades for your home. Smart lightbulbs are all LED, which means they last longer and use less power, which will save you money in the long run compared to traditional lightbulbs. Smart bulbs allow you to completely customize the lighting in your home, dimming lights with simple voice commands and even changing the color of the lights.

For even more control, you can use a compatible app or dimmer hub to add physical controls to your home’s lighting. Just remember to leave the light switch turned on, since the smart bulbs can’t actually flip the switch, although you can turn them off by voice or app commands.

3. Cut the Cable Bill With a Smart Streaming Stick

The popularity of streaming media content has made it possible for many people to get rid of cable entirely. Even if the total cost of several subscription streaming services adds up to the same amount you pay for cable every month, streaming offers much more flexibility and even some exclusive content that isn’t viewable on any cable networks. Plus, with a streaming stick, you won’t have to worry about paying for a cable box rental every month or the maintenance that goes along with it.

Streaming sticks are widely available, compatible with virtually all modern TVs, and highly affordable, with all of the top models priced at $40 or less. Simply plug the stick into your TV, connect your streaming accounts, and watch from the comfort of your TV. Many streaming sticks even feature voice controls with their smart remotes!

4. Keep Your Home Safe With a Smart Security Camera

Home security is becoming more refined, flexible, and affordable than ever thanks to smart home technology. Whether you live in a studio apartment or an eight-bedroom house, there are smart home security devices that can offer comprehensive protection around the clock. Smart home security systems usually come in two varieties: contract or DIY.

Contract systems are similar to traditional home security systems, where homeowners contract out their security with a third-party monitoring service. DIY systems, on the other hand, are more flexible, using a combination of smart security devices you install yourself. Some DIY kits have an option for subscription monitoring services, but there is no contractual obligation and you can mix and match your security devices however you like.

Regardless of which style you choose, smart security systems have a slew of amazing features, from smart doorbells with built-in security cameras to motion sensors and window monitors. Many kits even have an option to monitor and control your home from a smartphone app!

5. Create a Kitchen Hub With a Smart Fridge

While it might be a more costly upgrade than some of the other devices on this list, a smart fridge can be a valuable addition to a smart home. Smart fridges can act as the kitchen hub of your smart home, connected to Alexa or Google Assistant and the rest of your smart home devices.

You could turn off the lights in another room from the fridge’s display or order groceries on Amazon with a voice command. Some smart fridges can even display and keep track of what groceries are inside. Others feature smart, customizable climate controls that keep food fresh longer.

6. Clean Up With a Smart Robot Vacuum

Robot vacuum cleaners might not be new technology, but what about one that can avoid your pets, empty its own bin, and be controlled with Alexa? Today’s smart robot vacuums are among the best smart home upgrades you can buy, with some impressive features that can create a fully automated vacuum cleaner setup.

With the top models, all you will need to do is set up the vacuum and sit back while it cleans up and empties itself out afterward. You can set up some smart robot vacuum cleaners to only clean certain parts of the house, as well. By connecting them to Alexa or Google Assistant, you can have a bowl of spilled Cheerios or scattered kitty litter cleaned up with a simple voice command.

7. Sing Along to a Water-Powered Shower Speaker

Many people enjoy listening to music when they are in the shower or just getting ready in the bathroom in the morning. Waterproof Bluetooth speakers are great for this, but it can be a fuss to recharge them regularly. Luckily, a new smart speaker has been developed that will never need to be charged. Instead, the water from your shower powers the speaker.

The Shower Power speaker uses hydroelectric power from the water surging through your showerhead, making it completely cordless and never in need of recharging. At only $100, it is comparable in price to many traditional waterproof speakers, with the option to add a waterproof remote, as well.

8. Stay Prepared With Smart CO and Smoke Detectors

Smoke detectors are crucial in any home, but it is not uncommon to forget to maintain them and change the batteries regularly. Additionally, regular smoke detectors and carbon monoxide (CO) detectors won’t alert you of an emergency unless you’re actually home. Smart smoke and CO detectors can do this, alerting you on your phone as well as through built-in speakers on the detector itself. So, you will know if the smoke alarm goes off even if you are out of town or on a run to the grocery store.

Many smart smoke and CO detectors also have helpful audio alerts. Rather than the standard emergency siren, these detectors often feature instructions about how to respond to the emergency. This is especially useful for those who have kids who might need to know what to do if they are home alone when an emergency occurs. For complete convenience, the detector will notify you via its appropriate app when its batteries are getting low so you always know the detector is powered and ready to go.

Smart Homes Made Easy

Smart upgrades for your home don’t need to be complicated or costly. The best smart home technology is all about simplifying your day-to-day life and giving you complete control over your home, from lighting to security. With these top upgrades for your smart home setup, you can keep pets and family members safe, stay connected with loved ones, and live more comfortably in your own home of the future!