Building a smart home had always been an expensive endeavour, with many home owners spending tens of thousands just to automate their household.
However, nowadays smart home appliances are more modular, presenting an incremental upgrade path for new home owners who want to slowly upgrade their homes without spending a lot of money.
In this article, we have curated the essential items you need to lay a solid foundation for your smart home.
Smart Speakers: The Central Command
The first item that should be in your shopping list is a smart speaker. Your priority should be getting a smart speaker that supports the most common virtual assistants, such as Google Assistant.
Audio quality is important as well, as the smart speaker doubles as an audio player for your room. Our pick for an entry level system would be the Xiaomi Mi Smart Speaker, which not only supports Google Assistant, but also has decent sound quality that can play distortion free audio at reasonable volumes.
If you have a few ‘non-smart’ appliances at home, you can control them using the built-in IR blaster as well. Just make sure that you get the Global version, as the Chinese market version only supports Xiao AI.
Smart Bulbs: Light Up Your Home The Way You Like It
Another staple for smart homes is an LED smart light bulb. Smart bulbs allows you to reduce unnecessary light and energy usage in your home, and lets you control lighting by a remote or voice, and schedule lights to turn on or off.
Our choice for affordable smart LED light bulbs are from Prolink, which supports a variety of virtual assistants and apps. You can even change the colour of each bulb with the companion app.
Smart Surveillance Cameras: Keep Your Home Safe
Thanks for smart surveillance cameras, building your home security system is easier and cheaper than ever. All you have to do is to hook them up to your WiFi and connect to your app.
Surveillance cameras from TP-Link Tapo series are popular among new homeowners for their accessibility and ease of setup. The entry level model, the TP-Link Tapo C200 supports 360 degrees rotation and 114 degrees of tilt, allowing you to monitor the camera’s surroundings when you are away. It also has two way audio, so that you can communicate with your family and pets via the camera.
The TP-Link Tapo C200 is available on Shopee and Lazada.
Smart Pet Feeders: Never Miss A Meal Time Again
Pet feeders have also become smarter than ever before. Modern automatic feeders can perform auto scheduling, detect leftovers on the food bowl and more.
The Xiaomi Smart Pet feeder takes this up a notch with smart features such as custom portioning, feeding intervals, desiccant cartridges, and battery powered operation in case of network or power failure. It even has a large 1.8l capacity, which could hold up to 20 days of pet food supply (subject to pet size and food portion).
You can learn more about the Xiaomi Smart Pet Feeder via our in-depth review here.
Smart Plugs: Make Dumb Appliances Smarter
Since most home appliances can be controlled with an on/off switch, smart plugs are a great option to turn dumb appliances into an integral piece of your smart home setup.
The TP-Link Tapo P100 smart plug can be controlled using Google Assistant, Alexa, and the companion app. While limited to turning things on/off, it is a great option if you have some dumb appliances lying around and do not want to spend a lot of money to upgrade them.
As smart home appliances become cheaper and easily available, building your own smart home is easier than ever. With the aforementioned smart home appliances to get, you no longer need to spend huge amounts of money upfront, or turning your existing appliances into e-waste in an effort to make your home smarter.
If you are looking for more buyer’s guides, check out our full list here.