It’s your home of tomorrow…today!
You always fantasized about all the cool stuff you’d finally get to have when you moved into your new place. And now, that day is finally here. But in an era of robot vacuum cleaners and digital AI assistants, it’s easy to get lost in a sea of options when selecting your apartment gadgets.
Which ones would make your life easier? Which ones would just be fun to have? And how much can you reasonably expect to spend?
The best apartment gadgets for your home
Anyone setting a household budget for the first time will tell you the cost of something isn’t the same as the price. The price is how much you spend on it. The cost is where that money can’t go because you just spent it.
The good news is all of these items will save you time and money in the long run. There are budget-friendly options and more deluxe versions of each, so shop around and see what you like. After all, it’s your apartment. You get to make the decisions.
These are the five apartment gadgets we recommend for your home.
1. Digital thermostat
These gadgets will automatically learn your daily routine and automatically adjust to your preferred temperature based on the time of day. They come in different options from different manufacturers. They can be programmed and adjusted from your phone. Turn off the air conditioner when you’re out of town and turn it back on when you’re on your way home from the airport.
They come in a range of different options and price points, but some electricity and utility companies will give these away to customers for free. And it’s easy to see why. A smart thermostat will not only help you get smarter about the electricity you use, but it’ll help you consume less. And if everyone uses less power, that’s less of a strain on the power grid, especially at a time when air conditions are running 24/7.
They’re super easy to install and connect to your Wi-Fi and cell phone. Just remember to save the old thermostat so you can reconnect it when you move out.
2. Smart appliances
Smart plugs are the perfect way to make your home a smart home on the cheap. Plug your coffee maker into one and boom — instant smart appliance. Do you forget to unplug your curling iron when you’re getting ready in the morning? Turn it off from your phone. Connect one to your crockpot so you can program it while you’re at work. Coming home late and don’t want your beef stew to overcook? Turn it off and then back on again so you have a piping hot meal ready when you walk in the door.
These are also a great solution if you want programmable smart lights but you’re on a budget. Set any lamp to an automatic timer so you never have to walk into a dark apartment again. Set them to turn on at night while you’re out so your pets aren’t stumbling around in the dark.
3. Lights so smart, they can mimic the sun
But if you’re looking for a full upgrade to your lighting in your apartment, smart bulbs are the way to go. They come in a variety of different styles, features, connectivity and sizes for any room, even the kitchen. Bulbs like these from IKEA are inexpensive options that can be linked up with more expensive hub options like these from Philips.
And, as fun as it is to turn your living room into a disco, the best feature of many of these bulbs is the ability to mimic sunlight. Look for bulbs that burn at 5,400 Kelvin or 6,500K. Those lights can produce light the same wavelength of natural sunlight in the morning or at noon, depending on the bulb. These can be especially useful during those long stretches of gray skies and cold weather during the winter months. Lights that can recreate sunlight are often recommended as a way of helping alleviate the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder.
Another benefit of investing in some smart lighting is that will make your Zoom calls look better. You could invest in one of those trendy ring lights everyone is using, or you can improve the quality of your video calls by screwing a $5 smart bulb into your desk lamp and setting it up right behind your computer. The result is an inexpensive, customizable and programmable solution that will make your video chat look studio-quality.
4. Virtual white noise
OK, this one isn’t quite as smart as the other gadgets, but it’s still a lifesaver. White noise will help you get to sleep at night. It’s science. And the best part is that you can do this one for free! There are dozens of apps that recreate white noise, rainforest sounds, thunderstorms, anything you want. If you have a small box fan, you can leave that in your room. Or, if you’re serious about silence, you can invest in this model.
And white noise isn’t just helpful for sleeping. Do you have loud neighbors and thin walls? What about a roommate that’s up all night playing video games? Drown out the sounds of blasting armies of zombies with something more relaxing, like ocean waves or the rain.
5. Charging while chilling
Odds are right now, you’re in arm’s reach of two or three devices that need to be plugged in or charged up. And at the risk of sounding like an infomercial, carrying all of the necessary cables and cords and adapters is a hassle. Simplify your charging time with a wireless charging pad.
Many newer model cell phones already have this feature, along with the Bluetooth earbuds you love so much. Just put your compatible phone on the induction charging pad and it’ll juice up. No cables required. Invest in a larger model like this, and charge your phone and earbuds at the same time.
You want to be able to power up your devices no matter where you are, but leaving cables sticking out of walls is an ugly and unsafe solution. Pads like these are sleeker and disappear into your décor when not in use.
Welcome to the future with smart apartment gadgets
There are hundreds of web-enabled smart apartment gadgets aimed at making our lives easier. So, shop around and see what’s out there. Not everything out there might be perfect for your new home, but you’re bound to find something.
If you know what you’re looking for, you’re bound to find something that can save you time, hassle and if you’re lucky, a little bit of money.