11 Types of Smart Devices You Need to Know

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Struggling to keep up with the world of smart home technology? Maybe you’re trying to find the best smart home device to enhance your home’s security, energy efficiency, or convenience. This article will take you through the most common smart home devices and explain what they do.

Smart Device Types At-a-glance

Device TypePrimary FunctionKey FeaturesPopular Brands
Smart SpeakersVoice-controlled assistantsAnswer questions, play music, read news, voice control of other devicesGoogle Home, Amazon Echo, Apple’s HomePod
Smart PlugsControl appliances remotelyTurn off/on appliances from anywhereTP-Link, Belkin Wemo, Philips Hue
Smart BulbsRemote lighting controlChange colors, dim/brighten lightsPhilips Hue, LIFX, GE C-Life
Smart ThermostatsAdjust home temperatureLearn temperature preferences, adjust based on scheduleNest Learning Thermostat, ecobee, Honeywell
Smart RefrigeratorsAdvanced fridge featuresSet reminders, view contents remotely, inventory managementSamsung Family Hub, LG InstaView, Whirlpool
Smart HubsCentralized device controlSync and automate multiple devicesSamsung SmartThings, Amazon Echo Plus, Apple HomePod mini
Smart SensorsDetect changes in environmentDetect motion, alert for water leaks, trigger automated tasksBosch, Fibaro, Samsung SmartThings
Smart Cameras & Video DoorbellsHome securityProvide live video feed, detect motion, send alertsRing, Nest Cam, Arlo, Wyze
Smart LocksKeyless entry & exitLock/unlock remotely, assign temporary digital keys, monitor accessAugust Smart Lock, Schlage, Yale
Smart AppliancesAdvanced appliance featuresRemote operation, provide task completion notificationsLG ThinQ, Samsung, Whirlpool
Smart Garage Door OpenersRemote garage door controlMonitor, open, and close garage door from any locationChamberlain MyQ, Genie, LiftMaster
Smart TVsEnhanced television experienceOffer streaming services, allow web browsing, provide access to appsSamsung, LG, Sony, Vizio

Smart Speakers

The 4th-generation Echo Dot with a clock display

Starting off, there’s no denying the popularity of smart speakers. Think Google Home, Amazon Echo, Apple’s HomePod. Just say the magic words, and these devices can answer questions, play music, read the news, even tell jokes.

Connecting them to other smart devices allows for control of your home with your voice. Maybe you’ve said, “Hey Google, turn on the lights.” That’s the handy work of a smart speaker.

Smart Plugs

A TP-Link smart plug, which is compatible with dual-band 5 GHz routers even though it runs on 2.4 GHz Wi-Fi

Next, we have smart plugs. Ever been halfway to work and wondered, “Did I leave my curling iron on?” A smart plug can put an end to such worries. You can control them through an app, turning off any appliances connected to them.

Step 1 is plugging in the device. Step 2 is connecting it to your Wi-Fi. Step 3? Peace of mind, knowing you can control your devices from anywhere.

Smart Bulbs

Philips Hue smart light bulbs showing their color-changing ability

Smart bulbs aren’t your average household light bulbs. They not only offer you the ability to control lights from your phone but can also change colors and dim on command.

Are you in bed and forgot to turn off the living room light? No problem. Turn it off from your mobile device without leaving your warm bed. Talk about convenience!

Smart Thermostats

A thermostat that learns from you- sounds unreal right? Smart thermostats, however, do just that. They learn from your temperature preferences and schedule, adjusting the heating and cooling of your home accordingly.

Once you’ve experienced the comfort and cost savings a smart thermostat provides, you won’t want to go back to traditional thermostats.

Smart Refrigerators

Our next stop is in the kitchen. Imagine a refrigerator that reminds you when you’re low on milk, or sends you a photo of its contents so you know what to buy at the grocery store. That’s what a smart refrigerator does. It could save you from those annoying instances of buying something you already have.

Smart Hubs

To bring all these devices together, you need a smart hub. Like a conductor leading a symphony, a smart hub syncs your devices to create a seamless smart home experience.

Whether it’s dimming lights or adjusting the thermostat, you can automate multiple tasks with a single command to your hub.

Smart Sensors

A smart motion sensor made by Switchbot, still in box

From motion sensors that trigger lights to water sensors that alert you of a leak, smart sensors add another layer of security and convenience to your home.

You can also automate tasks, like your lights turning on when you arrive home. This automation not only adds comfort but is a bonus for energy conservation.

Smart Cameras and Video Doorbells

The Blink Mini, one of Blink's smart cameras

Security is a prime concern for any homeowner. Smart cameras and video doorbells not only provide a video feed you can view remotely but can also notify you of movement.

Ever wondered who makes that early morning delivery you always miss? A smart video doorbell will have you covered. And you’ll finally have video proof that they dropped your fragile package.

Smart Locks

Lost keys are a thing of the past with smart locks. Lock and unlock doors with your smartphone. Assign temporary digital “keys” to friends or service workers.

You can also manually check whether you remembered to lock your front door and get notified each time the door is unlocked. Peace of mind and control with just a few clicks!

Smart Appliances

Smart appliances could be anything from an oven you control with your smartphone to a washing machine that notifies you when your laundry’s done. They’ll enhance your chores routine, making tasks easier and more efficient.

These other appliances aren’t quite as popular as smart refrigerators just yet. But with LG, Samsung, and some of the biggest home appliance and smart home brands behind them, I’m sure we’ll see a whole lot more of them in the coming years.

Smart Garage Door Openers

Smart garage door openers are an oft-forgotten but important part of your home automation setup. They provide security to the biggest entry point in your home.

Have you ever driven off and couldn’t remember if you closed the garage door? A smart garage door opener allows you to check on or close your garage from anywhere, saving you from having to run home or worry all day.

Smart TVs

A Hisense smart TV, showing the Fire TV home screen

Don’t forget about smart TVs offer streaming services, web browsing, apps, and games straight from your television. If you’ve ever experienced Netflix, Hulu, or YouTube from your TV, you’ve dealt with a smart TV. It’s convenience and entertainment wrapped in one unit.

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