Home Automation Ideas: 15 DIY Smart Home Systems You Need

Creating a smart home is super popular right now. Everyone loves to automate everything, but it’s no secret nor surprise that these systems are expensive.

That’s why more people than ever are figuring out how to create a smart home on a budget. All you really need is a DIY attitude and the components you want the most.

I have recently been changing over every electronic system in my home to be smart so I can control it when I’m away from home or with my voice when I enter a room. It has really given me more freedom and accessibility to things that I use the most around my home.

The reality is that most families don’t need a complex configuration; you want what makes sense for your individual family.

So, if you’re interested in making a smart home on a budget, let’s take a look at some of the best home automation ideas.

What Should I Automate in My House?

The purpose of a smart house is to make your life easier. It becomes like your personal assistant. You’re able to optimize your home maintenance and control different systems, often by using your smartphone or a single hub.

One of the most common aspects of a smart home is a security system. You can customize what is alarmed when, and you can schedule it to be set at specific times throughout the day.

That’s just one thing!

Determining what you should automate in your home varies, and remember, you don’t have to do it all at one time. Take this process in steps!

Think about what benefits you the most. That might be a smart vacuum that cleans your house at a set time every day – hello Motherhood hack!

You might also want to control your washer and dryer so it starts a load at set time. If you’re like me, you’ve definitely left clothes in a washer too long.

If your electricity bill is too high, having smart lights that help reduce your electricity bill could be what helps you the most.

Control It All with a Hub

One thing you’ll realize as you spend time researching home automation ideas is that things start with “triggers.” These are events or actions that start a chain of automations contained within your hub.

A hub is like the central brain for your automation system. It controls things throughout your home and lets you know what is happening where.

You can find many different hubs, but the most common one is the Amazon Alexa or Google Home. All devices on this list connect with Alexa; some of the other choices won’t work with all things.

Alexa offers two hub choices: the Echo or the Echo Show. The Echo is a speaker, but it also works for a smart home hub. The Eco Show is a screen that lets you watch shows, make phone calls, or even see who is at your front door!

15 Home Automation Ideas

Each one of these home automation ideas can be done on their own or paired with other systems in your house. Read on to see the most important systems to make your home “smart.”

I have listed quite a few different brands but it’s best to stick to one throughout your whole home. This way you can be sure that everything will connect to each other.

1. Security Systems

The place that most people start when putting together a DIY home automation system. Security systems are a great asset for families; they help you feel more secure with your kids.

More families than ever are switching over to SimpliSafe, which doesn’t require a monthly contract. The SimpliSafe 12 Piece Wireless Security System comes with everything you need, and it’s ready to go right out of the box.

SimpliSafe works with Google Assistant and Alexa for hubs! They have tiny sensors that may your security cameras easy to disguise and can be used whether the power or internet goes out.

You’ll feel much safer having a smart home security system!

You can also opt for single cameras or sensors, like the SoloCam from Eufy. Capture everything that’s happening around your home in crisp 1080p resolution.

SoloCam and its counterpart, the Eufy Cams, are one-time purchases. There are no monthly fees or hidden costs. Everything is done on-device for complete security and transparency.

The device only alerts you when people walk into view, reducing false alerts triggered by passing animals or swaying tree branches.

SoloCam is also completely standalone. There’s no need for aHomeBase. Simply set it up and you’re good to go. And because it’s 100% wire-free, it’s a breeze to install anywhere in your home.

2. Smart Smoke Detectors

Speaking of safety, I highly recommend you grab some smart smoke detectors for your home. All homes NEED to have smoke doctors; they save lives every year.

The Google Nest Protect Smoke Detector and Carbon Monoxide Detector lets you know if either are detected in your home. It sends alerts to your phone, so you always know if something is wrong if you aren’t home.

The app lets you silence the alarm – sometimes, you might burn dinner – and it never chirps to let you know the batteries are low. Instead, you receive an alert.

3. Doorbells and Cameras

Do you want to see who is at your front door before you answer? Are surveillance cameras on your must-have list?

Both of these things can be added to your home automation system!

The most popular smart doorbell is the Ring Video Doorbell that lets you see whoever is at your front door with 1080p HD video.

Ring Doorbell sends updates to your smartphone to let you know if someone rings your doorbell or if any triggers are detected. For example, if it detects movement, it might send you a notification.

Ring pairs with Alexa-enabled devices as well!

If you want indoor surveillance, consider adding the Blink Mini to your home. It works with Alexa and detects movement, and it offers two-way audio and night vision!

If you want outdoor surveillance, one of the most popular choices is the Google Nest Cam. These cameras are weatherproof, perfect for home security, and they pair with your phone. You also can pair them with Alexa!

4. Smart Garage Doors

Creating a smart garage door is easier and fairly cheap when compared to smart lighting or security systems. These automation systems allow your garage door to open and close from anywhere through the use of an app.

The most popular choice is the Chamberlain MyQ Smart Garage Hub. It’s budget-friendly and works from anywhere with the MyQ app.

5. Smart Lighting

Smart LED bulbs use less energy and require less upkeep than traditional light bulbs, but that’s not the only reason to use them.

These bulbs let you regulate the tone of light in different spaces or places.

One of the leading brands of smart lights is the Bulbrite Solana. Set a schedule for your lights to turn on or off, brighten or dim, or be set at just the right scene for specific times in your day.

Add color to your life with a color changing bulb that can change the mood of any room. Get total versatility by controlling shades of white light, from warm white to cool, plus a wide spectrum of colors.  

These smart bulbs work with Alexa and Google Assistant, along with their own apps.

6. Smart Thermostats

Are you tired of your kids (or your spouse) messing with the thermostat? Do you prefer a different temperature at night than during the day?

You need a smart thermostat!

Check out the Google Nest Learning Thermostat. This programmable smart thermostat that works with Alexa. It comes with an auto-schedule that it learns from you.

Another nice feature is the home and away assist, so if you are gone, you don’t have to heat or cool your house. You can also control your thermostat from anywhere with the Nest app.

7. Smart Locks

You probably don’t need to use your car key to start your car anymore, so why need a key to unlock your door? Wirelessly lock and unlock your home with your fingerprint, through bluetooth, or even your phone.

That’s super handy when you’re in bed, wondering if you locked the front door or not!

Eufy SmartLock Touch can be open using your fingerprint, with your phone via the eufy Security app, or by using the keypad or key. It recognizes your fingerprint in just 0.3 seconds and unlocks your door in 1 second—it’s faster than fumbling for your keys.

With its Wi-Fi connectivity, you can control the Smart Lock from absolutely anywhere via the eufy Security app. The coolest thing: A built-in sensor detects when your door is closed and locks it automatically behind you, every single time!

Use on both your garage door or front door- the Eufy SmartLock works magic!

8. Smart Speakers for Streaming Music

If you want to listen to music or immerse yourself into a movie, smart speakers are a great idea.

The Echo by Amazon is the most popular choice with hundreds of thousands of positive reviews. You can use the Echo to stream music from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, and more.

The Echo is a smart home hub that connects to compatible lights, locks, and other sensors. You can buy multiple smaller Echos and place them around your home for multi-room music.

Pretty cool, right?

9. Smart TVs

Many families already have smart TVs without realizing it, since most companies only create these nowadays.

Smart TVs include streaming channels like Hulu, Amazon, and Netflix. They offer on-demand watching and connect with other smart tech in your house.

One of the leading choices for smart TVs is by Toshiba. They offer many different sizes, and if you love Fire TV, this has it built into your TV!

10. Smart Outlets

Smart outlets are a budget-friendly choice for people who are looking for easy home automation ideas.

These outlets work with Alexa or Google Home Assistant. You can control any home electronic appliance with your voice.

Turn off a light or turn on your Keurig using your app, whether you’re home or at work. You also can use timers or schedules to automatically turn on appliances like lamps, fans, Christmas lights, etc!

If you want to give smart outlets a try, grab the Kase Smart Home Wi-Fi Outlets. These work with Alexa, Echo, Google Home, and more!

11. Smart Air Purifiers

Believe it or not, one of the most popular smart devices for homes right now is smart air purifiers. These devices monitor the quality of your indoor area, purifying as needed.

Some families also invest in aromatherapy diffusers with organic essential oils.

The Levoit Smart Wi-Fi Air Purifier works for large rooms and has a HEPA filter, along with eliminating odors and smoke eating. It’s perfect for those with allergies and pets.

Levoit works with Alexa and Google Home Assistant. You can give simple voice commands on the app. You don’t even need to use a smart plug; your smartphone controls the purifier whenever you want.

12. Smart Robot Vacuums

Honestly, as a mother, I can’t think of a smart device I need more than a robot vacuum. After a long day of taking care of your kids, running the vacuum is the last thing you want to do.

A smart vacuum will run for you!

Eufy by Anker is one of the best choices, and it works with Wi-Fi and has an app for it. It’s quiet and returns to the charger when it starts to die. Eufy works for hard floors and medium-pile carpets.

This vacuum works with Alexa and Google Assistant. It comes with boundary strips, so the vacuum won’t go into areas you don’t want it to go.

13. Kitchen Appliances

I bet you spend a lot of time in your kitchen since you have children – that’s what moms do! Your kitchen is more than likely the hub of your home, so smart kitchen appliances are becoming more and more popular.

They also make excellent gifts for moms – just saying!

Smart kitchens connect devices and appliances to the internet, so it might be your refrigerator that knows what it holds – seriously – or a stove that can be set to preheat before you’re home.

That’s so convenient when you’re coming home with hungry kids and frozen pizzas in the backseat!

Here are some smart kitchen appliances.

14. Washer & Dryer

I never knew until recently that smart laundry systems is really a thing. Not only can you program your washer and dryers to complete cycles at a specific time, but some will send you notifications when the cycles are complete.

The apps let you adjust the cycles right from your smartphone!

LG creates one of the most popular smart washers and dryers. If you’re in the market for a new one, try it out.

When creating a budget DIY home automation system, I would wait for this until your washer and dryer are ready to go.

15. Smart Water Sensors

Water sensors are the one of the last things that people consider using home automations for, but these tools are helpful. The goal is that they send you a notification if there is a water leak.

Check out the Govee WiFi Water Sensor. It comes with three sensors, and they can be used for your home or basement.

Govee sends you real-time alerts when connected to WiFi when any water leaks occur, even if you aren’t home.

If the WiFi goes out, Govee sends out a loud alarm for you to hear. Considering the budget-friendly price for this, it’s worth adding to your list for a DIY smart home.

Creating a smart home with these DIY home automation ideas couldn’t be easy. Pick a hub and start picking different parts of your home to automate. Take your time and work with your budget.

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