Smart home technology has seemingly exploded over the last few years, with countless Americans embracing the idea of AI, IoT, and automation in their personal lives. In fact, research shows that the value of the smart home device market is predicted to grow to $174 billion by 2025; considering that the market was worth only $55 billion just four years ago, it’s clear that there’s considerable demand for these connected gadgets.
That said, every household will have different smart tech needs. If you live alone, rent your home, or have age-related considerations, you might need to tweak which gadgets you buy and install to improve your safety and overall quality of life. To that end, we’ve compiled some smart home technology ideas for seniors citizens, singles, and renters to consider in 2020.
Smart Security and Lock Systems
The residential real estate asset class is considered to be a $29 trillion market — but whether you live in a million-dollar mansion or just bought a starter home by yourself, you’ll want to protect your investment (and all of your belongings). Smart home security systems can protect your house from unwanted intruders and provide your loved ones with peace of mind. Since homes that lack security systems are 300% more likely to be burglarized, you can do your part to minimize that risk by installing these kinds of safeguards. Video doorbells are another option that can make your property safer (and provide you with greater insight as to who might be stealing your packages!).
There are even smart door locks that allow you to lock (or unlock) your door remotely. Whether you want to double-check your home is secure after leaving for work or you’ve experienced an injury at home and need to let a loved one inside to help, you’ll be able to have greater control over your front door. You can also give out special codes to people you trust to alleviate the need to make a spare key, as well. Some smart locks can actually be installed with no tools required, which is ideal for renters.
Having ample home lighting can ensure your own safety and even dissuade criminal activity. In the past, having certain lights on a timer provided a solution — but it’s virtually impossible to have every room in your home connected to a timer. But smart lighting is now a more efficient way to ensure you can see and that your home is properly protected.
Since the world’s population of people aged 60 and above is expected to increase from 12% to 22% between 2015 and 2050, it’s no surprise that many homeowners need a little extra help making sure their domiciles are easily navigatable. Smart light switches can be controlled via app or voice command — so you don’t even have to hunt for them in the dark. Since you can control these switches remotely, you can easily turn your lights on before you get home in the evening. If you live alone, this can make your home a bit nicer upon your arrival (and can also make criminals think twice before attempting to break in).
Keep in mind that you don’t have to install a lot of fancy fixtures in order to benefit from smart lighting. Smart bulbs can be used with any existing lamps you own and can be controlled via app, voice, or remote. There are also smart lighting kits that can stick onto walls and be controlled through a remote; as long as you’re careful when removing these kits, they’re a great option for renters. There are actually a number of smart lighting options on the market that won’t require you to make changes to the wiring within your home, which can increase accessibility for all.
If you aren’t into the idea of connecting your entire home to IoT (or you’re not able to do so because you don’t own the property), smart plugs or outlets can be a great compromise. Essentially, you can plug any device or appliance into these outlets — which, in turn, are plugged into your wall outlets and act as the electricity “middle man.” They’re WiFi-controlled and incredibly easy to use; like other smart devices, they can be controlled via app or voice command.
With smart plugs, you can remotely control the power being sent to an appliance, even when it isn’t in use. In this way, you can reduce energy waste or even prevent an accident. Alternatively, you could turn on a given appliance when you aren’t in the room (or even at home) and have it ready for you upon your return. There are smart plugs that won’t block the other part of the outlet, allowing you to have full access to what you need. Whether you want to turn on your essential oil diffuser or you need to shut off a hair straightener, smart plugs can make it easy.
Ultimately, consumers of all ages and backgrounds can benefit from smart home technology. But if you live alone, rent your home, or want to improve your safety, these devices can make things a lot simpler.