This smart home gadgets post is sponsored by Samsung. Thank you so much for supporting the brands that I love and I hope this inspires you to check out the latest in smart technology out there!
As a busy mom trying to balance a full time job, taking care of 2 little ones, and managing a household, you can bet that I’m always looking for ways to make my life easier! I had heard about home automation and smart home gadgets years ago but at the time it seemed like too much work to set up and honestly something that seemed a bit too futuristic for me (it sounded like a Jetson’s house!). But early last year, I decided to purchase an Amazon Echo as I actually just wanted a music speaker for my kitchen that I could activate using my voice! I slowly started dabbling with various skills that the “Alexa” voice assistant offered and before I knew it, I was researching everything else that I could do in regards to setting up a “smart home!”
Fast forward to now and I’m actually pretty happy to say that we have a pretty extensive smart home gadgets setup when it comes to home automation! I had no idea how much it would streamline my day-to-day life and I have to say that I actually get such a thrill when I can automate one more part of my life so that I don’t have to worry about it anymore. Since becoming a mom, I feel like I constantly have “mom brain” and have entered a whole new world where I’m trying to juggle my own responsibilities along with that of my kids and whatever else my husband or the house might need. It can be overwhelming! Give me a smart device and I will gladly let it take care of anything so that I don’t have to. Thankfully the latest products out there don’t require any sort of tech savviness, and the process often takes just a few easy steps after plugging it in! I’m sharing the details of our smart home, how easy it is to set up, and a breakdown of how it makes parts of my daily life so much easier (like, serious lifesaver and all the praise hands emojis!)
Our Smart Home Gadgets / Set Up
Smart home gadgets, left to right, top to bottom:
Amazon Echo |Ecobee Thermostat | Nest Security Alarm System | Samsung Connect Home
other smart home gadgets not pictured that we own:
Philips Smart Light Bulbs | WeMo Smart Plugs | Roomba 980 | Ring Doorbell | Canary Home Monitoring System | Chamberlain MyQ Garage Opener
An internet connection is a must for all smart home gadgets, but our home is laid out in such a way that that we were unable to get a strong wireless signal to every part of the house. When we researched our options, we found the Samsung Connect Home and it was perfect for not only providing an easy expandable mesh Wi-Fi network, but it also acts as a hub for smart devices! Our system comes with a 3-pack of hubs which made it so easy to add fast, reliable connectivity to dead zones in our home — a single hub is good for apartments / small homes up to 1,500 sq. ft. while the 3-pack can connect a home up to 4,500 sq. ft. with corner-to-corner coverage! Each Samsung Connect Home doubles as a SmartThings hub for all our smart devices so I can control it all from a single app.
6:30am Wake Up
Our master bedroom is located in the very farthest end of the house and Wi-Fi signal was always spotty at best! I plugged the Samsung Connect Home into the side of my nightstand and not only is the signal stronger than ever, but I also can integrate all my smart hoe gadgets in! I have it set such that when I wake up in the morning, I can have the lights dim up slowly (we use a combination of Philips Hue light bulbs and WeMo light switches), turn up the thermostat (we use the Ecobee — you can see the sensor on my nightstand above!), as well as turn on the Amazon Echo to play my morning news radio station.
7:30am Leaving Home
An hour later and I am out of the house with the kids! I manage morning drop-off and it’s a scramble getting everyone mobilized and out the door on time. Before I would have to run through the house before we left turning off all the lights before scrambling out the door after activating the alarm. Now with our smart home gadgets, I can have it all done automatically! Since the Samsung Connect App can tell that my phone has left the house, it goes into an “Away” mode that automatically turns off all the lights and music, turns down the thermostat, and activates our alarm system (we just switched to using the Nest Secure Alarm System)! Smart locks are next on our list to install and I can’t wait to have the doors automatically lock behind us as well. And while we don’t have a smart TV yet, I love the idea that I can have that set to automatically turn off as well! Seriously though, I would say that the “leaving house” smart home setup is probably my most favorite as it saves me so much time and stress every morning! And anything I forget to do, I can do from the app even after I’ve left the house!
While I’m Away
While I’m away, my home is set to a “Cleaning / Monitoring” mode in my Samsung Connect Home. I recently added our Roomba to our list of controlled smart home gadgets and it starts up shortly after we leave the house. Previously when we had a nanny in our home during the day I loved that I could use our Canary video monitoring system to check up on the baby but now we use it as a video monitoring system to alert us on any unexpected motion detection. Our Ring smart doorbell is also one of my favorite smart home gadgets that alerts me whenever there is motion at our front door and I’ve even used it to verbally sign for packages while I’m away! Other smart home options that we can add and integrate into the Samsung Connect Home set-up include a smart washer / dryer (how convenient would it be to have the laundry done while I’m away??) as well as sensors that can alert us in the case of smoke, water leak, etc.
6pm Coming Home
The Samsung Connect Home app can automatically detect when I’ve come home and automatically open our garage door (we just added this in using the Chamberlain MyQ Opener!), deactivate the alarm system, turn up the thermostat, and turn on the lights / music. It’s such a time saver when the kids are hungry and I need to get dinner on the table!
7pm Family Time
The kids love snuggling up in our bed before their bedtime and one of our favorite things to do is go through pictures that the teachers / parent volunteers may have taken throughout the day at school! I love that we can be anywhere in the house now and not have to worry about our internet connection anymore thanks to the Wi-Fi mesh coverage that the Samsung Connect Home hubs provide. We snuggle under the covers and the kids tell me all about what they’ve been working on and it’s the best feeling to be able to catch up with them at the end of the day!
9pm Blogging / Catching Up On Work
Once the kids are asleep, I spend the rest of the night working on the blog or catching up on work commitments. Adrian and I recently traded out office areas at home as he moved to an area off of the guest bedroom while I took the larger office space to give me more storage room. Previously we didn’t even have this option as the internet connection wasn’t strong enough but after installing the Samsung Connect Home, it’s given us the freedom to work anywhere as there’s not a corner in the house without blazing fast internet now. I can upload pictures while Adrian streams movies or plays his online video games and there’s never an issue anymore!
I don’t always meet my midnight bedtime deadline (lately it’s been more like 1am… yikes!) but by the time I am ready to call it a night, I pretty much want to be in bed instantly! Thankfully it’s super easy with the Samsung Connect Home as I just set up a “Good Night” mode that automatically turns off all the lights and any music I might have playing, turns down the thermostat, and activates the alarm. And for me, given that there have also been times when I’ve fallen asleep on the couch watching a movie or even just on my computer, I have it automatically just run my Good Night routine at 2 am just so I don’t end up leaving my lights on all night long in those cases!
Setting up our home to be a smart home over this past year has seriously been a game changer in simplifying my life! The Samsung Connect Home was integral in providing the mesh Wi-Fi connectivity that we needed for all our smart home gadgets as well as providing an easy way to manage it all through the Connect app (plus I love that it doesn’t look like a giant router with antennas!). The custom modes allow me to personalize it to my needs and controlling multiple devices could not be easier — the app itself is even smart enough to auto-detect when we’re home or away to automatically run our smart devices as needed! It’s been a savior for me given my mom brain (I’d be a hot mess otherwise!) and it was all so much easier than I expected!
These days it seems like I take a powerful Wi-Fi connection for granted but seriously, it’s a game changer! I can check emails, upload pictures, download music, and even write up blog posts from anywhere in the house without even giving my internet connectivity a second thought! There have even been times when Adrian is streaming Netflix or playing a real-time video game and I’m not the least bit impacted. The Samsung Connect Home is honestly the technology that has completely changed the way we go about our day-to-day lives at home!
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