In a time of increasing temperatures and decreasing regulation, we can each do our bit to protect our shared Earth.
For the owner of a smart home, this is a simple task. The raison d’etre for a great many smart home products, including some of the oldest and most popular, is to save consumers energy.
It’s a practice that is both environmentally and fiscally friendly, as energy conservation quickly translates into wealth preservation.
Below we showcase a few clever, environmentally focused devices that will easily make even your high-end home smarter and greener.
Nest, perhaps the most famous and longest tenured of all smart home products, remains at the top of the game for the most essential of energy saving services—thermostat management.
The 3rd Generation Nest Learning Thermostat is the latest critical darling of the Nest line of products.
Easy to install, the Nest Learning Thermostat will “learn” your custom temperature schedule—when you want your home warmer or cooler—and adjust the degrees without any necessary input from you, after only a few days of use.
Better yet, the Nest can be programmed to send itself into hibernation whenever the home is empty.
Because of its impressive longevity, Nest plays nicely with a wide-range of smart home products and services. Users can pair their Learning Thermostat with weather services, and have their home temperature automatically rise or fall based on the local climate. Additionally, your Nest can operate like something of a smart home hub, and when you tell your Nest you’re leaving the house, the handy heat miser can go ahead and shut off your lights (or TV) along with the furnace.
The actual Nest thermostat has a lovely user interface, but can be completely controlled by the smart device of your choosing, and will provide metrics via the Nest app of exactly how much energy you’ve been saving.
The Nest Learning Thermostat costs $249, but the clever climate controller’s manufacturer proudly proclaims that the product “programs itself, then pays for itself.”
Temperature control and unwanted wastefulness is restricted to the domain of the dry.
The EvaDrop tackles the environmental and energy issues that have plagued anyone who needs a shower to start the day.
As you prep for the day ahead, EvaDrop will heat your bathing water to your preferred temperature, then switch off the flow, signaling you that your shower is ready to use. When you’re ready to wash, the flow will return, at the pre-programmed temperature, with a single button push.
The EvaDrop also utilizes a sensor system to judge how close you are to the shower head and adjusts the strength of the stream accordingly, eschewing the deeply unsatisfying “one-size-fits-all” solution of low-flow shower heads.
Like the Nest, EvaDrop comes with an accompanying app that will let you gauge exactly how much water (and time) you are saving and will help you set goals to boost those numbers.
But the best part of the EvaDrop, which is currently available for pre-order for $199, is its physical compatibility. The device simply slides between wall and shower head, allowing you to use the existing shower head you know and love.
It’s no secret that we’re fans of the Philips Hue series of smart bulbs around these parts.
Given their ability to pair with a plethora of other smart home products and services, the instruments of illumination are not only fun (you can have your Hue bulbs change colors when the International Space Station passes over your home, for example) but highly functional.
It is this extreme degree of functionality that make the Hue bulbs a solid smart home solution for the environmentally conscious.
Hue’s compatibility with home hubs (like Amazon’s Alexa), apps (like Apple’s Home) as well as motion detectors, thermostats, TVs or even automobiles, means you can turn your lights on or off at a moment’s notice, or simply automate the process, and fight the money-losing scourge of lights that linger on past their use.
A starter kit of Philips Hue Bulbs can be purchased for $199.
When it comes to constructing an energy-saving, environmentally conscious kitchen, the name of the game is “keep the door closed.” And no, we’re not talking about the oven.
The Energy Star rated Samsung Family Hub fridge is not just a top of the line cold storage system, but it ensures that you never have to open the door unless absolutely necessary.
Complete with built-in cameras, the Family Hub lets you take a live look at what’s in your fridge with just a tap on the touchscreen. The Hub snaps a pic every time you close the refrigerator door, which means you can check what is available, whether you’re upstairs or out on the town, and can plan your meal accordingly before ever releasing refrigerated frostiness upon the kitchen at large.
The Family Hub can keep an eye on your food for $5,599 or $5,799, depending on size.
The peak of environmentally conscious, smart home living? When resource conservation meets green cultivation.
Enter the Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller.
The Rachio lets you control every aspect of your lawn-watering plan, tailoring it to your specific property layout and flora type. Better yet, the Rachio is in constant communication with weather forecast systems and automatically adjusts scheduled waterings to work in conjunction with Mother Nature.
The end result is a resource-saving sprinkler that will not only work wonders for your water bill but should give you a lawn lush enough to win Greenest Home in the Neighborhood.
The Rachio can become your personal gardener for $199-$249 depending on the amount of coverage you need.