How To Build a Smart Apartment
Home owners that start their smart home from scratch have the ability to choose where all the wires go and install anything they liked since they own the home. For the rest us who are renting it doesn’t quite work like that. We can't wire up a smart doorbell or a fancy smart thermostat without permission and it'd be a waste to leave it behind when we move. And smart fridges, locks and connected garden cams don't always make sense (or just aren't allowed) when you live in an apartment building.
Fortunately, it is still possible to smarten up the place in others ways
Find out exactly what you can change
Before spending any money on smart home devices, it is worth discussing with your landlord to get the approval of what you can and cannot change. Basic gadgets such as smart speakers, streaming boxes and light bulks should almost certainly be fine, but other more intricate gadgets may not be. For example, Smart Locks and thermostats are a bit more tricky, and any gadget that requires a hole in your wall is most definitely not going to fly. It is crucial to have this conversation with your landlord before losing your security deposit.
Keep it streamlined
Moving can be a real pain, so limit the number of unnecessary gadgets to take with you. Thinking about what will actually save you time, money and brain energy when choosing new gadgets can help you decide if the new devices are necessary or not. If you're living with friends, we suggest buying devices individually based on your priorities, then you can take them away when you go your separate ways
As we mentioned earlier, you might not be able to take advantage of every smart home gadget, it depends on your new setup, and whoever owns the building. Here are some basics smart home devices we would suggest for getting started.
Our Pick: Phillips Hue Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is a lighting technology designed for energy efficiency. This may include high efficiency fixtures and automated controls that make adjustments based on conditions such as occupancy or daylight availability. Smart bulbs are fairly easy to setup up, pack up and re-install.
Most smart lighting you can control from an app, usually on your Apple or Android phone. The app enables you to change the brightness of the bulbs, and if the bulbs have colored LEDs you can change their colors too. That opens up a whole world of possibilities, which you might call light recipes: you might have one light recipe for watching movies, another for dinnertime, and yet another for reading. Switching from one recipe to another is as simple as tapping a smartphone or yelling at your favorite voice-activated personal assistant.
The Smart Speaker
Our Pick: Amazon Echo
Amazon’s Alexa-controlled Echo speaker, now in its second generation and with several derivative versions available, continues to expand its music, smart-home, and digital-assistant abilities. It’s a wireless speaker first, but capable of much more. Using nothing but the sound of your voice, you can play music, search the Web, create to-do and shopping lists, shop online, get instant weather reports, and control popular smart-home products, all while your smartphone stays in your pocket.
Mini Smart Plug
Our Pick: Wemo
If you want to control power to your gadgets or want an easy way to shut things down if a storm is coming, Wemo’s Smart Plug line is right for you! You get a single passthrough plug that connects to your Wi-Fi network and lets you control power through Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, or Apple’s HomeKit. You can also set a schedule for the plug, so your cool home feather gadgets are all powered on by the time you arrive home from work.
With this smart plug you also have the unique ability to set your lights to randomly turn on to deter intruders when you are away from your home. These plugs are easy to use, and if you move, you can just plug them in at your new place.
The Smart TV Stick
Our Pick: Google Chromecast Ultra
Starting at just $69, Google Chromecast Ultra is a great smart TV streaming stick wise. It provides fast, reliable 4k video with minimal buffering and smooth streaming. Chromecast's appeal lies in its portability and ease of use. A renter just has to plug it in, connect to Wi-Fi, and you'll be streaming Netflix, Spotify, HBO, Hulu, and more from your mobile device or PC to the TV in no time. Not to mention apps for music, working out, and catching up on sports.
Robotic Vacuum Cleaner
Our Pick: iRobot Roomba
A robotic vacuum cleaner, often called a robovac, is an autonomous robotic vacuum cleaner which has intelligent programming and a limited vacuum cleaning system. In the spirit of the best smart devices, you’ll also be able to issue voice commands with either Alexa or Google Assistant.
Smart Shower Head:
Our Pick: PowerSpa 7
Liven up your apartment with the PowerSpa LED Shower head. Simply hook up this shower head to any regular overhead shower arm in minutes flat and tool-free. Added smarts come in the form of oxygen blasted into the water flow to optimize water pressure. You’ll get multiple jets so choose from rain, massage, a rain/massage mix or a water-conservation mode. There’s even a handheld add-on thrown in, amazing at this price-point.
Limitless Security Solutions Smart Home Services
Our technology experts and Limitless Security Solutions can help get your Smart Home or Smart Apartment up and running in no time! We offer free installation and repairs. Contact us today to learn more about our smart home technology and devices.