Glance at the smart home market, and you’ll see a whole lot of brands offering the same kinds of devices – smart bulbs, smart plugs, smart thermostats, smart security, smart displays and speakers, and certain kinds of smart appliances like ovens and washers.
Those options are great, especially when first getting started with home automation, but the market is actually much more diverse than that. Hiding on the fringe are all sorts of interesting, unique smart devices that could offer the exact solutions you need. Continue reading to browse eight of our favorites.
The Shine Bathroom Assistant has your toilet covered in a way you’ve never seen before. It looks like a filtration system that perches on top of your toilet, but it actually creates electrolyzed water via a saline solution and swirls it around your toilet every time you flush (plus, it’s very environmentally friendly).
The accompanying app also allows the Bathroom Assitant to clean the toilet automatically, without waiting for a manual flush. The app can even help you monitor water usage and detect leaks – oh, and the nightlight function is fantastic for nighttime trips to the bathroom.
The regular faucet at your sink is fine: You turn a handle, water comes out, etc. But this Kohler smart faucet really kicks things into gear with voice commands for activation, which means you don’t have to turn handles when your hands are full. But that’s just the beginning. You can also command the faucet to pour a specific quantity of water or fill a container to a preset level. Even if you don’t want to use these great voice commands, there’s a motion sensor for easy hands-free activation. The app also lets you monitor water usage and get notifications if it looks like there’s a problem.
Every day, your blinds go up to let the sun in, down to offer shade, and close when nighttime arrives. If that gets tedious, know that there’s a better way. There are a wide variety of smart blind systems available to fit different kinds of windows, blinds, and curtain setups. But they all connect to your iPhone and allow you to set schedules for your blinds or move them up or down from the app at any time. We like this AXIS Gear option, but there are a surprising number of choices in this field, including some that are solar-powered.
It’s easy to find basic weather information for your area, but this Ecowitt weather sensor does so much more. On its own, you can measure the temperature, humidity, and atmospheric pressure whenever you want, which is excellent for predicting weather patterns and making plans. However, you can also add multiple sensors to collect information on rain levels, wind levels, soil moisture, air quality and more, all sent to your app for monitoring. Whatever weather factors are important to you, they can be measured!
Did you know that you can connect your garage to your smart home and control it with an app? This allows you to always check if your garage door is closed or open, and get both reminders and records on how it’s being used. It’s also a lot more affordable than you might imagine, as long as your garage door system was made in the last 10 years or so. You just buy a kit and hook it up to your motor easily. the Meross kit is one of the most straightforward and most affordable online, but there are other options you can explore too. Plus, many come with voice commands for when your arms are full.
A diffuser has become a common household item, sending water vapor into the air to add pleasant scents and a little extra humidity for the rooms that need it. But you can do a lot more, too – check out this Sierra smart diffuser, which allows you to control diffuser schedules and the LED light on the vase from an app. You can even use Alexa and Google voice commands any time you want to turn it on.
Okay, this isn’t exactly a smart hose, but it is a smart outdoor faucet system that’s designed to connect to a hose. This is especially useful if you use your hose to drip-feed plants, or connect your hose to a sprinkler for watering sessions. It allows you to set schedules, check weather feeds and adjust your watering choices for the day, and measure your water usage so you can save more. You won’t find anything else like it for managing your yard.
Replacing a working smoke detector can be an expensive project, and a bit of wiring hassle if you’re doing it yourself. This smart battery from Roost offers a surprisingly affordable alternative: You put it in an existing smoke alarm, and it will add excellent smart features to it. That includes getting phone notifications for any alerts the detector might create, and updates on battery life so you can replace it before the smoke alarm starts beeping. Even better yet, one battery can last for up to five years.