Voice-activated smart home assistants can control other smart devices in your living room.
You can control your smart home devices through a smartphone app or a voice-activated assistant.
You can schedule some smart home devices, like vacuums and window treatments, to run on a daily or weekly timer.
The living room is meant for, well, living, but it can be frustrating to interrupt your family board game nights or your movie marathon to crank up the heat, close the blinds, or fuss with a stereo.
That’s where smart home technology comes in handy. With the help of a few home automation tools, you can vacuum the rug, dim the lights, and turn on the fireplace from the comfort of your couch. Here are some top smart home devices to make your living room cleaner and more comfortable with the push of a few buttons.
1. Voice-Activated Smart Home Assistants
First thing’s first, if you don’t already have a voice-activated assistant, you should add at least one to the hub of your home: the living room. These devices follow your voice commands to play music, answer your burning questions, or tell the kids a joke. Plus, voice-activated assistants can control the other smart home devices in the room, making it easy to manage all of your living room accessories.
2. Smart Light Bulbs
There’s no need to get up from your favorite chair—and risk having someone steal your spot while you turn your back—to flip on a lamp when the sun goes down. Relish in the victory of sitting in your favorite spot uninterrupted with smart light bulbs, which work for lamps or ceiling lights. Once you install these handy bulbs, you can use your smartphone or voice-activated assistant to turn the lights on or off, dim the lights, or even change the color of your lights.
3. Fan and Fireplace Automation
Particularly in spring and fall, when temperatures vary widely from morning to night, keeping your home at a comfortable temperature can be tricky. Luckily, smart home devices are advanced enough to control your ceiling fans or even electric fireplaces, which are affordable and easy to install. Cool off by telling your voice-activated assistant to turn on the fan, or make your living room cozier by firing up the fireplace with a few taps on your smartphone.
4. Robot Vacuums
While a robot vacuum is an upfront investment of about $200 to $400, it’ll save you from spending hours cleaning your living room floors. Rather than busting out a bulky vacuum and stopping to replug it into a new outlet when you reach a different corner of the room, you can use your smartphone to command the wireless robot vacuum to do your bidding. You can even set a regular cleaning schedule, so the device automatically keeps your floors spotless week after week.
5. Smart Plugs
Smart plugs are a versatile addition to any tech-savvy living room. Want to make your gaming console a smart console or turn a regular lamp into a smart lamp? You can plug regular electrically powered items into smart plugs, which plug into your outlets. Then, you can control the smart plugs and the device through your smartphone or voice-activated assistant.
6. Smart TVs
If you’ve cut cable in favor of streaming services or you want to watch your favorite YouTuber on the big screen, a smart TV is the solution. These TVs typically use your home Wi-Fi network or ethernet to provide you with internet-run apps, like your favorite digital sports channel and seemingly endless streaming channels.
Plus, you don’t have to buy a new smart TV to access these convenient features. You can get smart TV features by purchasing a streaming plug-in device, which costs around $30 to $50. These smaller devices hook up to your TV and will allow you to watch your favorite streaming services or entertainment apps on the big screen.
7. Smart Sound Systems
Once you’ve upgraded to smart TV features, it’s time to make that investment go the distance with a smart sound system. Take your TV and movie-watching experience to the next level by installing a smart sound system that works in tandem with your smart TV or plug-in device.
You can control smart sound systems using a voice-activated assistant or a smartphone, so you can turn up the volume when you walk to the kitchen or ask the system to rewind the TV show if you missed a crucial moment.
8. Wi-Fi Essential Oil Diffuser
Candles are nice and all, but what if you could skip the hassle of trimming the wicks and fussing with a lighter? Essential oil diffusers can provide calming light displays with customizable scents, much like a candle, while looking like a piece of home decor. Even better, there are now Wi-Fi-enabled diffusers that you can control from your voice-activated assistant or smartphone.
So if you want a different light display, simply change it via smartphone app. If you rush off to work and forget to shut the diffuser off, you can turn it off with a few taps on your phone screen. However, pet parents should be aware that some essential oils can negatively impact pet health, so research your diffuser and its oils before displaying it in the living room.
9. Pet Camera
While the family is away, the pets will play. If you have a particularly rambunctious furry friend, you can keep an eye on them with a smart pet camera. These pet cameras will let you watch your pet through an app on your smartphone, and many options also allow you to talk to your pet through the camera, meaning you can tell Fido to stop scratching the sofa. Certain models even offer a treat dispenser, so you can reward your pet for good behavior while you’re away.
10. Automated Window Treatments
When the afternoon sunlight creates a glare on your TV, you might get annoyed, let out a heavy sigh, pause your movie, and stretch to close the curtains. Now, you can install automated shades, blinds, or curtains that will close or open via a smartphone app or a command from your voice-activated assistant. These motorized devices are ideal for tall or hard-to-reach windows, plus some models allow you to schedule when the window treatments should open or close.