Some smarthomes devices are time-consuming to install. But if you choose the right gadgets, you can have a smarthome up in no time at all. Here are smarthome devices you can install in ten minutes or less.
One of the more common reasons to avoid setting up smarthome is fear of the difficulty involved. The concept of working with electrical wiring or complex installations can be intimidating. So this list we’re sticking that don’t require wiring or taking anything apart. Other than creating an account (which you may already have), you should be up and running in ten minutes or less.
Smart Bulbs Are the Easiest to Install
You can’t ask for an easier to install device than a smart bulb. Have you ever installed a standard light bulb? Well, you’re already most of the way there. Screw in the light bulb, and then use the bulb’s app to pair it with your smarthome. Wi-Fi bulbs are the easiest to install, but some bulbs require pairing with a hub which is only a half-step harder.
- Wyze Bulbs: Wyze makes the cheapest smart bulbs you will find. Surprisingly, that doesn’t come at the cost of quality. We think Wyze bulbs are nearly perfect, so long as you don’t need color options.
- LIFX Bulbs: If you prefer a Wi-Fi connection or your smart bulbs but want color options, then take a look at LIFX. While more expensive than Wyze, LIFX bulbs offer a range of colors and superior brightness.
- Philips Hue Bulbs: If you want a premium smart bulb option and prefer local controls afforded by a hub, Philips Hue is a great option. While more expensive than other options up front, Philips Hue bulbs look great and offer robust scene support.
Smart Plugs Are Nearly as Easy to Install as Bulbs
When it comes to an easy install, smart plugs are second smart bulbs (and even then only by a hair). To install a smart plug, you simply plug it into an outlet and plug an appliance, like a lamp, into it. Then, like a smart bulb, open the appropriate app, and pair the plug. You’ll be set up in no time.
- iClever Smart Plugs: These are among cheapest smart plugs around, but they can be a bit tricky to set up. But once you get past that, they work as well as any other smart plugs for sometimes half the price.
- Amazon Smart Plug: If you use Alexa, the Amazon Smart Plug is the easiest plug to set up. It provides the usual on/off and scheduling features that you’ll find in other smart plugs, but not much more. But if you don’t own an Echo then you should look for a different plug.
- Sonoff S31: If you’re looking for a smart plug with more features than the average smart plug, this is the one for you. It’s compatible with both Amazon and Google, has built-in scheduling support, and monitors energy usage. Other smart plugs don’t feature energy usage reports. You’ll spend more than you would on other plugs, but you do get something for it.
Voice Assistant Speakers Are the Easy Heart of Your Smarthome
Voice Assistant speakers are the heart of the smarthome, and may even provide the single app you should use to control your smarthome. Luckily, setting up a voice assistant speaker like Echo or Google Home is incredibly easy. Plug one in, open an app, then follow the prompts. Even better, once you have one set up, some of your settings will transfer to new speakers as you add more.
- Amazon Echo: Amazon offers a variety of Echo speakers, ranging from the tiny Dots to the Echo Plus. Echo Dots are inexpensive and perfect for adding an Echo to every room. On the other end, the Echo Plus sounds better than the Dot and has a ZigBee radio for pairing smart home devices.
- Google Home: Released as an answer to Amazon’s Echo, Google Home devices have come a long way. If you plan to add smart doorbells or cameras, Google’s smart speakers integrate better with Nest products than other smart speakers. While Amazon still offers more hardware selection, Google’s Home options range from the Mini for a cheap option to the Max for room-fill audio.
- Sonos: If you want the absolute best sound and money is no object, then you’ll be hard-pressed to beat Sonos speakers. Though Sonos is by far the most expensive option, that extra cost comes with better controls, premium sound, whole-home audio, and single-app source control across your music services. Some Sonos speakers can act as a Google Home or Alexa device while others can be controlled by Google or Alexa. IKEA recently released SONOS speakers that are less expensive as well, albeit without a voice assistant.
Add WI-Fi Cameras for Fast Security
While video doorbells and smart locks make for excellent security, they do require effort to install. Wi-Fi cameras, on the other hand, provide good security and are much easier to install. Typically you’ll just need to plug them in and pair to an app. For local recording, you will take an extra step of adding a microSD card.
- Wyze Cam: That Wyze ended up on this list twice shows how good its products are. We like both the Wyze Cam and the Wyze Cam Pan. Considering how little you’ll spend, you get a surprising amount of quality. That you can choose to record locally only is a good bonus.
- Blink XT2 Camera: The major downsize to Wyze Cams is they are indoor only cameras. The Blink XT2, on the other hand, works indoors or outdoors. Boasting a two-year battery life and easy setup, you can outfit your house for security pretty quickly with Blink.
- Google Nest Cam: Available in both indoor and outdoor options, Google’s Nest cameras are simultaneously among the smartest and most expensive options. With a Nest Aware subscription, you’ll gain people recognition, motion detection, and more. But without the Nest Aware subscription, the camera won’t do much beyond show live video.
Just because something is easy to install, doesn’t mean it can’t do a lot down the road. You may want to look into setting up Alexa or Google routines and grouping your devices for better voice controls. But with these gadgets, you will be well on the way to creating your smarthome, and you may find yourself moving on to more complicated installs in the future.
And it might be helpful to roll out your smarthome in phases. Consider starting in one room, like the living room, then eventually moving to your kitchen and bedrooms. That will spread out the cost and the time invested. You may find it easier to spend ten minutes here and there setting up a device or two than trying to get it all done at once.