“Building a Budget-Friendly Smart Home: A Practical Guide”

Jul 15, 2023 | Nexa DIY Initiative

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While it may initially seem like a daunting and expensive endeavor, creating a smart home is no longer an exclusive privilege for those willing to break the bank. The era of spending huge sums on professionals to establish an intricate smart home system, followed by maintaining steep subscription services, is a relic of the past.

Revolutionizing Your Living Space: Crafting a Budget-Friendly Smart Home

First I like to point out that we kept his article easy to read simple and straight to the point you won’t be bogged down with tech jargon. Flow this simple instruction to upgrade your home to a budget-friendly smart house. 

Today’s market offers a staggering number of smart devices, which means no matter how constrained your budget may be, you’re bound to stumble upon options that won’t cause a major dent in your wallet.

Recently, my family embarked on a journey to transform our modest abode, precariously teetering between being a ‘fixer-upper’ and a ‘money sink,’ into an intelligent living space. The process began by drafting a comprehensive list of our desired smart home features. This step is crucial to avoid overspending and helped keep our renovation expenses under control.

Construct a Smart Home Blueprint Developing a mental image of your future smart home aids in effective execution. As you visualize, contemplate the necessities, your usage habits, any potential automation, and your affinity for particular brands or systems.

Deciphering your Needs and Usage Not every gadget in the market should make its way into your home. Prioritize your needs. Is a security system integral, or can a video doorbell be sidelined? Additionally, mull over your preferred home automation system—HomeKit, Alexa, Google Home, Home Assistant, etc., as this choice will subsequently dictate the product brands you opt for.

A beginner’s selection of smart devices could include:

  1. A hub (the brain of your smart home). 
  2. A handful of smart light bulbs. 
  3. A few smart plugs and outlets. 
  4. A video doorbell.
  5. Indoor and outdoor cameras. 
  6. Several motion sensors. 
  7. A smart lock.
  8. A smart thermostat.

Evaluate the Necessity of Subscription Services Monthly subscriptions for smart home devices may add unwanted pressure to your budget. So before buying any device, read the specifications thoroughly. Many brands, such as Ring, Wyze, Blink, etc., offer subscriptions for advanced features. Weigh the features available without a subscription against those that require monthly payments. If you find the free features adequate or are averse to monthly charges, consider alternative brands that don’t demand a subscription, like Eufy.

budget smart home gadgets

Several smart home brands offer devices without mandatory subscriptions or present subscription-free alternatives, including:

  • Eufy Security: Known for smart locks, cameras, motion sensors, and video doorbells.
  •  Wyze: Famed for indoor and outdoor cameras, smart plugs and lights, switches, and thermostats. 
  • Meross: Offers a variety of smart plugs, lights, switches, and garage door openers.
  •  Kasa Smart by TP-Link: Provides smart plugs and lights, baby monitoring cameras, pet cameras, indoor and outdoor cameras, and switches.
  •  Blink: Affordable cameras and video doorbells.

Seek Discounts, but Steer Clear of Irrelevant Bundles A little hunting for deals can save significant sums on your smart home project. It’s beneficial to keep track of potential discounts during Prime Day, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and holiday sales. However, be discerning about the deals that truly add value to your smart home.

If a bundle deal includes devices that demand an added monthly subscription, it may not be cost-effective in the long run. Opt for bundles that only include necessities and align with your usage preferences.

Revamping my Current Living Space within a Budget When we embarked on our smart home journey, we prioritized security, coupled with the ease of device control from our iPhones or Apple Watches. This required stringent budgeting. Below is a list of devices we began with to transform our 1999-built home into a smart one:

  • HomePod mini: This acts as the central hub for all our smart devices, making them controllable through Apple’s Home app. Given Apple’s reputation for data privacy and security, it was a logical choice for us. The HomePod mini also functions as a quality speaker, primarily for my kids’ favorite animated movie soundtracks.
  • Video Doorbell: We opted for the Eufy wireless doorbell as it doesn’t require a monthly subscription fee and it is battery-powered, negating the need for complicated wiring.
  • Smart Lock: The Yale Assure Lock SL with a HomeKit module allowed us to go keyless while keeping track of locking/unlocking events. It also facilitates the generation of up to 25 different entry codes for various household members and guests.
  • Security System: We selected the Eufy Security system for its lack of mandatory monthly fees or subscriptions. We included motion sensors strategically around the house for enhanced security.
  • Cameras: We prioritized having cameras both inside and outside the house for comprehensive security. We opted for the affordable Wyze cams, which are compatible with Alexa, Google Assistant, and IFTTT.
  • Smart Garage Opener: Since our home needed a new garage door and opener, we chose the Chamberlain smart garage door opener, controllable via the myQ app.

Budget-friendly Alternatives: We installed a Hugolog door lock for our kitchen-garage door and used a Blink camera as a pet cam. They’re affordable and do not demand subscriptions.

Crafting a smart home within a budget requires careful planning and thoughtful purchasing. However, with a strategic approach, a budget-friendly smart home is within everyone’s reach.

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