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The great thing about home automation is that by nature, it is totally customisable to each individual house or homeowner’s needs.

If you’re wondering where to start, it’s best to pick the easy upgrades. That way, you’re not discouraged by difficult installations or turned away by expensive price tags on the more costly smart devices on the market today. Most people choose smart home devices like lighting and outlets to start, but that’s certainly not the only option.

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The reason that many people choose lights and electrical outlets for their first smart home upgrades is because these two elements are the simplest and most affordable option. You can buy smart bulbs for less than $10 each, and a smart outlet replacement can be purchase for around $25-$35, depending on all of the built-in features you want. Some outlets simply connect your plugged-in devices to an automated system. Others include integrated USB and WiFi for the ultimate in smart technology.

Of course, there are more expensive smart light fixtures and outlet options on the market, but the point of starting here is that it can be an affordable place to start. Plus, you can upgrade one light or outlet at a time if you want, making it ultra-budget-friendly for those who are looking to save.

Smart home hubs

For the organized planner, it might be more important to start with a central hub and work down to the various smaller components and smart devices that can be integrated into the system. If you feel like you’d rather start here, that’s fine. Just remember that you’ll spend a couple hundred dollars on a proper hub system, depending on the brand you choose and the features included in the hub.

If you’re not sure what a “hub” is, think of the Google Nest or the Amazon Echo series of smart speakers and hubs. Samsung also has SmartThings, integrated with its smartphones and tablets for optimal home automation. Aside from these leading brands, there are a number of other reputable home hubs and components that you can add to your system.

Smart thermostats

For the budget-minded and those looking to save money with automation, a thermostat could be the ideal starting point for home automation. These devices are designed to integrate with your home’s heating or cooling system and a remote management hub (or an app on your smart device) so that you can automate the regulation of temperature in your home. Some systems even offer the opportunity to change settings based on the weather.

It’s about you

The bottom line with smart home devices is to start somewhere that matters to you. If you are planning to go on to add additional smart technology in the future, you need to see results and benefits from your first upgrades. Therefore, if you have no interest in a doorbell camera, you wouldn’t consider that as a first choice. As long as you take the time to see what’s out there and which upgrades would make the best sense for your home, you’ll be on the right track to a smarter home in no time at all.

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