15 Smart Apartment Ideas
SMART apartments are increasingly popular because they make life so much easier. In a SMART apartment, you can change the room's temperature or even open the curtains without getting up from your seat. You love the idea of upgrading your home, but you live in an apartment, and you're not sure if there are any apartment-friendly SMART home technologies. We've found a few SMART Apartment Ideas and listed them below for you.
1) Programmable Learning Thermostat
Thermostats are already SMART, aren't they? You can program them for any temperature, and then they do all the work, but there are even more intelligent thermostats out there. You can get SMART thermostats like this one from Amazon that will learn your preferences and begin to program itself based on them. This should be easy to install, and it's advertised as non-invasive, so you should be able to put it in even a rental apartment.
2) Alexa SMART Plug
SMART plugs are a neat technology for any SMART apartment because they're voice-activated and hands-off. The remarkable thing about SMART plugs like these is that you can use them to turn almost anything into a SMART technology. This set is ALEXA-compatible, so you can just tell ALEXA to turn the plug on whenever you want the light or other electronics to turn on. You can even use it to turn on an electric teapot or kitchen appliances. Since they plug into existing outlets, you don't need your landlord's permission, either.
3) DIY Circuit Board Art
Having a SMART apartment isn't just about the technologies you'll have. They might be the main point, but it can be pretty amazing to include futuristic decorations, too. We found a tutorial for making a table with circuit boards in it, and while most apartments don't have the workshop you'd need for this, you can use the video instructions to learn how to do similar pieces. Try making smaller circuit board art pieces to hang up. If you have a balcony or patio, you could even make a circuit board end table on a nice day.
4) Alexa-Compatible Roomba
Roombas are a popular SMART technology because everybody needs to vacuum or sweep their home, and most people hate doing it. They're perfect for an apartment without stairs since they can't climb stairs and won't get in trouble with the other tenants. If you have an Alexa, we'd suggest getting this one from Amazon since it's Alexa-compatible, and you can add it to your Alexa collection of SMART devices. This makes it convenient since you can control all your devices from one hub.
If you're outfitting an apartment building or a place that somebody else might rent later, you can't focus on only one device. You might have an Apple iPhone with a SMART app, but what if the next person doesn't own a smartphone to install the app on? You can get controller-agnostic devices so that people can use an Echo, Google Home, or another device to control it without having to change your system or buy a new smartphone when they move in. You can read this article to learn more about setting up that kind of system.
6) Alexa-Compatible Renter-Friendly Deadbolt
Amazon Alexa is one of the most popular smart devices, so if you're looking for a single device to control your room, it's one of your best options. You might not be able to change locks in a rental, but you can turn your existing lock into a SMART lock with this. It fits over the inside of the deadbolt so that you can lock and unlock your door with Alexa or with your regular keys. It even has an auto-lock feature to unlock the door as soon as you're nearby, and you can send temporary access keys to people.
7) Google Home/Nest
There are a few different SMART device hubs you can use, though if you want to have more options, your best bet is to get a more popular one. Google Home or Google Nest is reasonably popular, and you're probably already familiar with Google. You can get the main hub and then put smaller satellite hubs in holders like these in different rooms so that the device can hear you no matter what room you're in.
8) SMART LED Light Strips
LED strip lights are useful if you like to keep a light on at night so that you can see if you wake up since they don't take much electricity and produce a soft light that won't be too harsh if you're walking around in a sleepy daze at three in the morning. You can install SMART strip lights that are compatible with a remote or app and turn them off during the day. You don't need to do any cutting and electrical work like you would to add regular overhead lights. This guide should help with installation.
9) SMART Light Bulbs
SMART light bulbs are an easy way to create SMART lighting without installing new lights since you're probably not allowed to make major changes in an apartment. You'll have to make sure they'll work with your light fixtures, but then you can get SMART light bulbs like these that are compatible with a smartphone, Google Home, or Alexa. This way, you don't have to buy a specific app, but if you have an Echo or Google Home, you can set up voice activation for any light fixture with these bulbs in it.
10) SMART Switch
If you own your apartment, you can go a step further with your SMART lighting by getting a SMART switch like this one from Amazon. With these kinds of three-way SMART switches, you can turn on a light using an Echo, Google Home, or light switches. Since they're three-way, you can have two switches for one fixture, which can be helpful in a hallway or if you want to have a light switch next to your bed. Since these take some simple wiring, you'll need permission if you don't own your apartment. They do come with step-by-step instructions to install.
11) Automated Curtains
Google Home and other SMART hubs or SMART lights are probably some of the first things you think of when you think about SMART homes, but there are other technologies that probably still seem futuristic. You can use the directions in this article from Maker Pro to make your curtains into automated curtains, for example. Automated curtains definitely seem futuristic, but if there's glare on your screen or the sun's in your eyes, it can be nice to be able to hit a button and close the curtains.
12) Motion Sensor Lights
Motion-sensor lights are typically used outdoors, but you can get indoor ones, too. The entire point of designing a SMART apartment is that you want the convenience of turning off lights without touching them or otherwise want your home to work for you. Another way to make your home work for you is to have automatic lights that you don't even need a SMART app for. If you own your apartment or get permission from your landlord, you can install motion sensor lights like this that'll turn on when you enter a room.
13) Voice-Activated Sink
Lights and locks are some of the most common SMART technologies, but there's a SMART version of almost any home appliance nowadays. We found one that we thought was genius; a voice-activated sink. How many times have you been cooking raw meat or touched something else gross and didn't want to have to touch the faucet to turn on your sink? This solves that issue, and you can even direct it to pour specific amounts of water for recipes.
14) Raspberry Pi Voice-Activated Home Automation
Home automation is expensive, but if you own an apartment, you can get away with a lot more since it's a smaller space. Raspberry Pi Voice-Activated Home automation is one option with a lot more versatility than most because you can speak to it in a more natural way. Unlike Alexa or Google Home, it can recognize your speech without a specific command and interpret things you want it to do. While it's still not going to be perfect, it's a step further than standard voice technologies that need you to say a specific command.
15) Biometric Lock
This locking device may be best for people who own their own apartments since you'll need to replace existing locks, but if your landlord allows it, you can replace the lock with this fingerprint lock and add your landlord's fingerprint, so they still have access. The neat thing about this is that the fingerprint sensor is designed to unlock the door as you grip the handle so that you don't have to take any extra time to unlock it. You can just grab the handle, and the door will unlock as you open it.
SMART technologies are improving all the time, and SMART apartments are more accessible than ever; how are you planning to make your home into one? We'd love to hear about it in the comments below.