Smart home technology isn’t a lofty, far-off dream anymore—it’s part of everyday life for millions of American homeowners. And while the up-front investment in smart home devices can pose a barrier for some users, the long-term benefits (including noticeable energy savings) far outweigh the costs.

If you’ve wandered the aisles of your local home improvement store lately, you’ve probably seen displays of smart thermostats, energy use monitors, water sensors, Wi-Fi-enabled appliances, Z-Wave switches, and video doorbells. These nifty gadgets can simplify your life in plenty of ways, but they really shine when they work together as part of a home automation system.

To ensure that your smart home system works the way you want it to, work with a home automation system installation professional. They’ll help you get your smart home hub up and running and ensure that all of your devices work together seamlessly.

Ready to learn more and find the the best smart home ecosystem for you? We’ve partnered with Redfin, one of the nation’s best-known real estate search and information websites, to bring you all the info you’ll need to smarten up your home and start saving money.

Check out highlights from the article below, and be sure to click over to Redfin Real-Time to read the whole article!

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Find the Best Smart Home Ecosystem

Smart home hub on coffee table with couch in backgroundThe control center of a smart home system is its hub, which is also referred to as a virtual assistant. The most popular smart home hubs are the Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple HomeKit. Read the details of each of these systems over at Redfin Real-Time, and remember to verify that your smart home hub and smart home devices are compatible.

“Each system has its own instructions for pairing devices, as well as the ability to set up an automation “flow” that performs a series of actions. It’s important to note that not all smart hubs support all smart devices and vice versa. To find compatible products, look in the product description for “Works with…” and make sure it works with your virtual assistant of choice.”

Find the Best Smart Home Gadgets

Close-up of a smart speaker with a woman cooking in the backgroundFrom your TV and stereo system to your coffee maker and security system, smart home gadgets and devices can automate almost everything in your house. Smart home devices can typically be controlled by both a smartphone app and voice directions to your smart home hub. Check out Redfin Real-Time to learn more about the best smart home devices to try—you’ll find solutions for entertainment, cooking, security, energy monitoring, and even your furry family members.

“Smart home devices/accessories/gadgets are designed to work with a smartphone app and pair with your home ecosystem of choice. Since most modern TVs, stereos, and entertainment devices are already WiFi-enabled, your living room is a natural place to start building your smart home ecosystem.”

The Bottom Line

Smart home devices and hubs may seem like silly splurges at first glance, but they serve important purposes. A smart thermostat is one of the best ways to reduce your energy consumption and lower your utility bills. Smart lights and switches can make your home a little safer when you’re away by turning lamps on and off at varying intervals.

Check out Redfin Real-Time’s comprehensive review of the best smart home hubs and gadgets on the market, and be sure to call a local Best Pick contractor to get your new home automation system up and running correctly the first time.