It goes without saying that the cost of living has had the biggest impact on energy and water bills. To keep these monthly outgoings down, we’re all cutting back on the energy we use by turning off lights, not having the heating on and avoiding keeping the TV on standby.
All these hacks will definitely help in the long run but there are also smart home (opens in new tab) devices you can invest in that will power and care for your home and reduce your monthly bills.
Whether it's a smart speaker, smart display or smart security camera, almost every home in the world has some kind of smart home device. In addition to helping you stay connected, protected and communicating, smart home gadgets can also help you save money and energy around the home.
It took me a while to come around to smart home devices as I didn’t like the idea of them listening in to all my conversations! However, when I found out that they could help me save money, I decided to give them a try and I was impressed by the results. Here are 3 smart home gadgets I use that can help you keep your home powered and keep costs down.
1. Smart bulbs
The first smart home device on my list is smart bulbs. Smart bulbs are internet-enabled LED light bulbs that allow you to control, schedule and customise your lighting remotely. The best smart bulbs (opens in new tab) are controlled by an app on your smartphone or tablet so you can turn your lights on and off when you’re home or when you’re away. This is especially handy if you live with someone who has a bad habit of leaving lights on (like me).
Alongside turning lights on and off, you can also control the brightness and colour of the bulb which helps you set the mood of each room. This is incredibly energy efficient as smart bulbs don’t generate as much heat as traditional bulbs so they use less energy. While smart bulbs do cost more than standard bulbs, they help you save money in the long run and reduce your monthly and annual energy bills. My personal favourite smart bulb brand is the 5-star rated Philips Hue (opens in new tab) which are incredibly comprehensive, easy to set up and there are multiple options available including bulbs, lamps and strips.
2. Smart thermostats
The best smart thermostats (opens in new tab) keep your home at the right temperature regardless of the weather outside and help save energy and money at the same time. Now that it’s spring, we’re less likely to be thinking about heating which in of itself keeps costs down as you’re not using it as much as you would in the colder months. However, it’s always handy to be prepared and invest in a smart thermostat now, ready for autumn and winter.
Smart thermostats control your heating, water and boiler and create schedules, set timers and more so you can save on electricity and fuel. Controlled remotely via an app, you can turn your heating off as you leave the house and turn it on as you’re coming home so it’s at the right temperature when you return. Depending on your needs, there are many top smart thermostat options on the market, with some of the best coming from Nest, Hive and Tado (opens in new tab).
3. Smart plugs
I’m definitely guilty of leaving plugs on when I leave my flat, most often my kettle, coffee machine and TV. If you do too, I recommend looking into the best smart plugs (opens in new tab). A smart plug is an adaptor that plugs into your wall or outlet and connects to WiFi networks. Once connected, you can control your smart plug remotely via an app so you can turn your plugs on and off while you’re away.
Leaving devices on standby is a waste of electricity and can rack up your bills so having a smart plug at hand to switch them off is money-saving and energy efficient. Smart plugs also come in handy if you’ve just gone to bed and realised you’ve left a lamp on or you want to turn something on but you don’t want to move – we’ve all been there! Philips and Hive are good smart plug brands but you can also find some strong and cheap options from TP-Link and Belkin.