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5 Best Smart Home Products on Amazon for under $200



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One of the great benefits of staying organized that I always promote to my clients is the time saved by keeping your home, office and vehicle organized. This usually involves purging, decluttering, and purchasing products to enhance your organization system, and then sticking to the “one in, one out rule” to keep your spaces from once again devolving into chaos. 


Of course, staying organized isn’t just about getting rid of the stuff you have, but replacing old items with high tech gizmos that make your life easier. We are living in a golden age of wi-fi connected wonder, where apps can connect you to anything with a battery or electrical connection. Not only do products like these enhance your ability to organize, they often allow for downsizing your possessions in a way that makes everyday life so much easier.  I’m going to highlight five of my favorite tech products for the home in this article, all of them available on Amazon for under $200. 


SMART PLUG

As I mentioned before, it seems like everything electrical these days connects directly with your phone, but that doesn’t mean that your existing lights, appliances and other devices have to be designed this way in order for you to control them. The WeMo Mini Smart Plug allows you to control any plug-in device from anywhere. Just Plug it in an available electrical outlet, download the free app, and control your lights, appliances and more from your phone and your voice through Alexa, Google Assistant and Apple Home Kit. A wi-fi connection in your home is the only additional requirement for operation. You can even schedule what time you want to turn something on or off, or set to vacation mode to randomly turn lights on or off to give the appearance of someone being home. 


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SECURITY CAMERA


Security and doorbell cameras have become commonplace in most modern homes as this technology has dramatically dropped in price in recent years. My top choice for keeping tabs on your home from your phone is the Arlo Pro 4 Spotlight Camera. This camera offers high-resolution capturing motion-triggered video, and the camera goes a step further by castiing a bright light on anything that is moving on your property. It is wireless and installs in minutes, delivers detailed 2K video with color night vision, provides accurate and intelligent motion detection, and can be integrated with multiple cameras for a complete security solution for your home. 


HOME MEDIA HUB


If you’re going to make your home the genius you always knew it could be, you should start with a “home hub” like the Google Nest Hub Max Smart Display. The capabilities of this device are astounding and a real window into the technologies will come built into new homes in the future. With the Google Home app, you can set up, manage, and control all Google Home and Chromecast devices. It also allows control of thousands of connected home devices like lights, cameras, and thermostats all from one app. 


You can use the hub to make video calls to friends and family or leave video messages for one another on Nest Hub Max. You can even Multitask while you make video calls with auto-framing, a feature where the camera keeps you in view as you move around the room. The hub can see as a high resolution 10” digital picture frameand allows you to keep an eye on things at home with the Nest Cam. Just check in from the app on your phone to get motion and sound alerts. The jump to app controlled devices was pretty cool innovation, but the nest takes this to another level with voice control of your Nest thermostat, Nest x Yale lock, lights, TVs, and many other compatible smart home devices. With the Nest hub max, you can see and control all of these with your voice, all on one screen.


The Nest Hub is also your universal entertainment control center. With Chromecast built in, you can stream movies and TV shows from services, such as Google Play Movies, HBO NOW, Hulu as well as controlling all of your music with Google play. The new built-in Google Assistant shows you all you need to know for your daily activities, from your Google Calendar to weather, commute, and appointment reminders.


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LIGHT DIMMER


Another amazing catch-all tech device is the Philips Hue Smart Button. Just install Phillips smart bulbs in every light in the room and use this single wall-mounted button to dim or brighten the light in the room. It can also adjust the light based on time of day. The device works with every smart home platform and can be controlled by voice commands or an iPhone or Android app. 


DIGITAL MEASURING TAPE

Finally, if you find yourself reaching for a tape measure frequently, you can throw out every tape measure you currently own (seriously) and order a Smart Long Distance Digital Tape with LCD Display. This unbelievably accurate device is the best $12 you’ll ever spend.  It offers a wide range of measurement capabilities that include linear, circular, random curves, irregular surfaces, and cylindrical diameter measurements. The device uses a measurement prompt sound and unit switching, for all of your daily measurement needs. 


It features a unique advanced microprocessor technology and precision encoders that ensure a level of accuracy of ± 0.5%. That’s WAY better than you can detect with your own eyeball using a standard measuring tape on just about any object. The tape has a maximum measurement distance of 99 meters and includes 10 sets of historical records, so you can return to a previous measurement on the same project at any time, simplifying and improving the efficiency of your measurement work. It supports three measurement units: cm, in, and ft. and weighs just over an ounce, so you’ll barely feel it in your pocket. 


The beauty of all of these new tech devices is you don’t need to be a gear-head or computer hacker to use them. If you can download an app on your phone and follow some simple directions, you can set up any of these products in a few minutes and enjoy your new and improved smart home at a whole other level. 






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