Outfitting your home with all sorts of smart home products can quickly get expensive, depending on what you want. Here’s how much you can expect to spend on devices when you’re just starting out.
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Let’s put that aside right away: Smarthome devices aren’t cheap, even if you only buy a few things. Moreover, it is very easy to spend thousands of dollars if you plan to equip your whole house with smart gadgets. If you’re a frugal consumer, you’ll want to be careful. Here’s what you need to know.
The cost of (smart) ownership
Let’s say you’re new to smarthome and you’re making a list for your first devices. By the way, we have a great guide on this you should check out.
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It depends on what you want to do with your smarthome, but I always recommend getting some smart lights, a voice assistant and a few smart plugs to get your feet wet. With these products, you’ll be able to control your lights with your voice, as well as add intelligence to the ordinary devices you plug in.
With that in mind, here’s a quick breakdown of the cost of these devices:
- Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini: $50
- Philips Hue White 2-bulb starter kit: $55
- Three TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs: $66
In total, it’s $171, which isn’t too bad. However, this is a very basic “starter pack”. There are only two smart bulbs in the Hue kit (not color-changing bulbs), which might be enough for a bedroom or small living room. It also includes a single voice assistant, which may not work for you if you want to issue commands from different rooms.
Now let’s say you want to step up a gear and not only outfit most rooms with smart lights and smart plugs, but you also want a smart thermostat, a few Wi-Fi cameras, a video doorbell and a little more. voice assistants so you can have one in most rooms in your home. Here’s what you’re looking at:
- Three Amazon Echo Dots or Google Home Mini: $150
- Philips Hue White 4-bulb starter kit: $100
- four additional Philips Hue White bulbs: $50
- Five TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs: $110
- Nest Thermostat E: $170
- Ring Video Doorbell: $100
- Arlo Pro 3-camera system: $492
The total cost? $1,172. And that’s with the latest generation or economy models of some fixtures (and again, white bulbs only). Sure, you might not be interested in some of these devices, but you might be even more interested in others. So the cost can still quickly reach the high end.
If you are on a tight budget
“Smarthome” and “tight budget” don’t really mix well, but all hope is not lost. With a little patience and maybe a little compromise, you can build a smart home for a lot less than the figures discussed above.
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We’ve mentioned several ways to save money on smarthome products in the past. Perhaps the best way is to wait for the offers to appear. This is where you have to be a little patient. You can find Amazon’s Echo products on sale fairly regularly, and it’s not uncommon for various retailers to mark up a few bucks on certain smart devices from time to time.
Second, you can check to see if your local utility company offers discounts on things like smart thermostats and smart smoke detectors. Some home insurance companies also offer a discount if you have installed a security system or cameras.
As mentioned earlier, buying older, latest generation smart devices is a good option if you don’t care about all the fancy new features of the latest model. The Ring Video Doorbell, for example, costs half the price of its successor at just $100.
And don’t forget the “dumbhome” products. These are devices that aren’t necessarily ‘smart’, but they let you do things the same way, kinda silly, but path cheaper. These include products such as outlet timers, basic motion sensors, and remote-controlled switches.