Equipping your home with all sorts of smarthome products can get expensive quickly, depending on what you want. Here’s how much you can expect to spend on devices when you’re just starting out.
Let’s get this out of the way right now: Smarthome devices are not cheap, even if you’re only buying a few things. Furthermore, it’s very easy to spend thousands of dollars if you plan to equip your entire home with smarthome gadgetry. If you’re a frugal-minded consumer, you’ll want to be careful. Here’s what you should know.
The Cost of (Smart)Home Ownership
Let’s say you’re just starting out with smarthome and are putting together a list for your first few devices. By the way, we have an excellent guide on this that you should check out.
It depends what you want to do with your smarthome, but I always recommend getting some smart lights, a voice assistant, and a couple of smart plugs to get your feet wet. With these products, you’ll be able to control your lights with your voice, as well as add some smarts to regular appliances that you plug in.
With this in mind, here’s a quick breakdown of the cost for this devices:
- Amazon Echo Dot or Google Home Mini: $50
- Philips Hue White 2-Bulb Starter Kit: $55
- Three TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs: $66
In total, that’s $171, which isn’t that bad. However, this is a very basic “starter pack.” There are only two smart bulbs in the Hue kit (and not color-changing bulbs), which might be enough for a bedroom or a small living room. It also includes only one voice assistant, which might not work for you if you want to issue commands from different rooms.
Now, let’s say you want to take things up a notch and not only equip most rooms with smart lights and smart plugs, but you also want a smart thermostat, a couple of Wi-Fi cams, a video doorbell, and a few more voice assistants so that you can have one in most of the rooms in your home. Here’s what you’re looking at:
- Three Amazon Echo Dots or Google Home Minis: $150
- Philips Hue White 4-Bulb Starter Kit: $100
- Four Extra Philips Hue White Bulbs: $50
- Five TP-Link Kasa Smart Plugs: $110
- Nest Thermostat E: $170
- Ring Video Doorbell: $100
- Arlo Pro 3-Camera System: $492
The total cost? $1,172. And this is with either last-generation or budget models of some devices (and again, white bulbs only). Of course, you might not be interested in some of those devices, but you might be even more interested in others. So the cost still can quickly reach the high end.
If You’re on a Tight Budget
“Smarthome” and “tight budget” don’t really go well together, but not all hope is lost. With some patience and maybe a bit of compromise, you can put together a smarthome for much less than the figures discussed above.
We’ve mentioned several ways that you can save money on smarthome products in the past. Perhaps the best way is to wait for deals to pop up. This is where you have to be a little patient. You can find Amazon’s Echo products on sale pretty regularly, and it’s not uncommon for various retailers to mark a few bucks off of some smarthome devices now and then.
Secondly, you can check to see if your local utility company offers rebates on things like smart thermostats and smart smoke alarms. Some home insurance companies also offer a discount if you have some kind of security system or cameras set up.
As mentioned earlier, buying older, last-generation smarthome devices is a good way to go if you don’t care about all of the fancy new features in the latest model. The Ring Video Doorbell, for instance, is half the cost of its successor at just $100.
And don’t forget the “dumbhome” products. These are devices that aren’t necessarily “smart,” but they do let you do things in a similar fashion—dumbed down a bit, but way cheaper. These include products like outlet timers, basic motion sensors, and remote-controlled switches.