Smart Home Buying Guide: Home AutomationAutomation promises to make your life easier -- let us make it a little easier for you to get started.
Hey I'm CNet's Ryan Chris, here to help you make sense of home automation. There's a whole bunch of stuff you can automate: lights, locks, switches, cameras, there's even a connected piggy bank that you can automate these days. But in general, home automation products are going to do one of three things. They're either going to sense information about your home to provide context. Decisions that your smarthome set up gonna make. They're gonna do things. The lock is going to turn, the coffee maker is going to turn on. Or they're going to serve as a brain and kind of organize all that info. That's what all these hubs over here do. The wink hub, the smart things hub, and stay on, all these can wrangle multiple devices and give a single experience, a single app. Everything, that's pretty handy. Now, if you're looking to make your first smart home automation purchase, you'll find a lot of starter kits out there that are pretty tempting. Their offer packages with motion sensors and plugs that can turn things on and off, maybe a leak sensor. Those kits can make fro a good starting point, but if you want to got even simpler, you can start with just one or two devices and do a couple of things that your. That you're specifically interested in. The good, and perhaps, fairly obvious starting point for home automation is a smart switch. Because so much of home automation really comes down to things just turning on and off automatically. I've got a couple of examples sitting right here. One that I like is the Belkin Wemo switch because it has great compatibility with third party devices. You can build off of this thing and also it's got a low price point, below $50. The important thing to remember is that there's no need to go all-in with home automation. You don't need to feel pressured to be George Jetson right out of the gate. You don't have to have an entire home full of devices that work together and do amazing things and create a futuristic smart home experience. You can just start simple. Have one or two devices. Build from there if you want. And have a really cool sort of extra level of functionality around the home that makes your life easier. Saves you time. And maybe even saves you some money. For more information on how to get started, check out the rest of my buying guide, and check out the other buying guides we are going to be doing in the coming weeks, to focus on specific categories, like lighting, cameras, security, all sorts of good stuff. For C-Net appliances, I'm Ry Crist.