CNET Smart Home
Your smart apartment doesn't need to piss off your landlordThere are plenty of ways to smarten your apartment up without losing your security deposit. We'll show you how to get started.
Smart-home tech has gotten really interesting over the past couple years, but what if you don't actually own your home? If you rented an apartment like this one, you don't want to piss your landlord off, you don't want to lose your security deposit, and that means switching out your light switches, your thermostats, your door locks might not be an option. fortunately there are still a ton of ways for renters to take advantage of smart-home tech You just have to know what gadgets to get, and I'm here in the CNET smart department to show you how to do it. [MUSIC] It used to be that home automation meant wiring things like lights and HVAC systems to a central computer interface. But these days you can just control everything from your phone. That's paved the way for all sorts of plug and play smart home gadgets that you can use right out of the box. One of my favorites for beginners is this Belkin Wemo switch. Just plug it in and plug something else in behind it, a lamp for instance, and then you can use the Wemo app to automate when you want it to turn on and off. The cost? Just 35 bucks. Automating something like this cheap space heater could be a good solution if your landlord won't let you upgrade to a Smart thermostat. Just make sure you get one that has physical controls like this. You want to be able to have the thing come on right to the settings you want without any extra input from you because a smart switch is basically just like unplugging it and plugging it back in. These controls can help. The plug and play approach isn't just for plugs. Smart bulbs are also an easy renter friendly upgrade. Just keep in mind that some of them will require you to plug a hub into your router to translate their signal for your home network. And be sure to shop around because your options are more diverse than ever at this point. Everything from lights that work with Siri and Alexa to color-changing bulbs like this one. And even bulbs with built-in battery packs like this Beon bulb that'll keep shining even in the event of a power outage. One last thing, I'm a big, big fan of how smart home tech can help you keep your living space secure. It used to be that your only home security options were expensive systems that required lengthy contracts and professional installation. But, nowadays you'll find ton of DIY options that you can install yourself, including cameras like Canary, and the Piper NV here. Thanks to Smart Home Tech more people than ever have access to home security that makes sense for their living space and for their budget. That includes renters. For more tips, tricks, and retro-friendly smart home tech, check out our full guide on CNET. Along with in-depth product reviews from right here in the CNET smart apartment. [MUSIC]