Live more comfortably, feel more secure and save money: you can easily make your home more comfortable. For most of our smart home ideas, you don't need a lot of equipment.
From Claudia Frickel
Smart home idea 1: find your way to the bathroom at night
LED light strips from Philips Hue Image: © Philips 2017
You have to go to the bathroom every now and then at night. You don't want to bump your toes in the dark or run into the closet. When you turn on the lights, however, your roommates wake up and complain. You can solve the problem very easily – with an LED light strip. You network it with a motion detector located on the bed. The strip runs down the wall from the bedside table to the bathroom door. As soon as the motion detector registers that you are getting up, it switches on the soft LED light. It burns for a while and then goes out again.
What you need for this: an LED strip and a motion sensor with WiFi connection. Both are available from Philips Hue, for example. You can then make the strip light up in a warm light when moved and go off again after 20 seconds. With many models, you can also control this via Alexa.
Philips Hue Lightstrip Buy now at
Smart home idea 2: The right temperature when you come home
tado Smart Thermostat Image: © Tado 2018
It's cold outside and you're looking forward to a cozy evening at home. Fortunately, it is already pleasantly warm in the apartment when you come home. The heating there wasn't on all day – it turned on when you approached the house. When nobody is at home, the radiators are automatically switched off.
What you need for this: a smart thermostat with geofencing, for example tado Smart Thermostat – Starter Kit V3 +. The corresponding app on the smartphone recognizes where you are and reminds you to switch on the heating. If you wish, she can also tackle it yourself when you get closer. You can connect many of these thermostats to Alexa, Apple HomeKit or Google Assistant.
Smart thermostats Buy now at
Smart home idea 3: heating off when the window is open
Netatmo Radiator Thermostat detects open windows Image: © Netatmo 2020
When ventilating, you don't always want to have to remember that you are turning off the heating. But if you forget that, you are wasting energy. You can prevent that with an intelligent heating control and window contacts. You attach the latter directly to the frame. You can tell whether the window is closed or open. At the same time, they can communicate with the heating system. Register an open window, turn down the heating – and vice versa.
What you need for this: smart radiator thermostats, for example from tado, Bosch or the Magenta SmartHome. There are also window and door contacts for each window that you want to network. They are available from Bosch, Eve or Magenta SmartHome, among others. Make sure that the devices are compatible with each other.
Smart window contacts Buy now at
Smart home idea 4: monitor the chocolate cabinet or mailbox
Amazon Echo Show 8 Image: © Amazon 2019
The post comes to you at irregular times. You don't want to set off in vain if the postman hasn't even arrived. This cannot happen to you with a window contact: You mount it on the mailbox and it monitors whether the flap has been opened. If you network the contact with Alexa or another voice control, you will receive a message in this case. You can also secure the chocolate cabinet if you don't want your child to snack too much: the sensor detects when the door opens.
What you need for this : a window and door contact as in Smart Home Idea 3. In addition, there is either a system such as Amazon Echo with Alexa or a smart home center that is compatible with the contact.
Amazon Echo Buy Now at
Smart home idea 5: Effortless gardening from a distance
GARDENA SILENO Minimo robotic lawnmower Image: © Gardena 2020
It's pretty warm today and the flowers in the garden desperately need watering. In addition, the lawn is quite long. But you are currently sitting by the lake and do not feel like taking care of the chore. The solution: smart gardening. A robotic lawnmower then drives over the meadow by itself at the predetermined time.
Alternatively, you can start it via an app. When it is done, it returns to its charging station. You can also control intelligent irrigation systems using your smartphone or voice commands. You then also decide how long they should work. Some variants can use sensors to detect whether it is currently hot or raining, and they activate or deactivate themselves as required.
What you need for this: a smart robotic lawnmower, for example the Gardena smart SILENO city 250 m², as well as an irrigation system such as Elgato Eve Aqua or Gardena smart Water Control. If the devices come from the same manufacturer, you can coordinate them even better.
Robotic lawnmower buy now at
Smart home idea 6: Talk to visitors from a distance
Ring Video Doorbell Pro 2 Image: © YouTube / Ring 2021
While you are in the office, the doorbell rings at your home. You can see who the visitor is on your smartphone display and can talk to them. In this way, you can tell the neighbor who is about to borrow something that you will come over later. The dubious passer-by, who might just want to check out whether someone is at home, quickly moves on when you talk to him – he thinks you are in the house.
What you need for this: a smart video doorbell, such as the Ring Video Doorbell from Amazon or the video doorbell with camera from Ctronics. These devices are equipped with a loudspeaker and microphone. You connect it to the WiFi and then communicate with visitors via the smartphone app.
Ring Video Doorbell Buy now at
Smart home idea 7: Switch on lights and other electrical devices via the app
Smart socket from Devolo Image: © Devolo 2018
You're going away for the weekend. But it should still look like someone is at home. In the past, you laboriously programmed a timer in such a case and then plugged in the floor lamp. Today it's easier: with an intelligent WLAN socket. You can not only switch them on and off via the app – and thus the connected device, such as a lamp. Many models are easy to program so that they work automatically. You can also connect other devices such as radios or kettles to the smart sockets.
What you need for this: an intelligent socket, for example from TP Link or Teckin, that connects to the WLAN. You can connect many of these models to Alexa and control them by voice.
Smart sockets Buy now at