6 Ways You Can Have a Smart Home Even If You’re Renting
Who doesn’t like to put their own stamp on things? If you’re renting a house or apartment, you’ve surely had ideas about how you’d like to change the space. Your capacity to do so, however, is most likely limited by your lease agreement.
Many landlords, for example, will restrict your ability to make physical changes like repainting or hanging things up with screws. Fortunately, you have other options to make your place your own — the most promising of which is smart technology.
1. Amp Up Your Wi-Fi
If you’re going to give your pad a tech makeover, the first place to start is with upgrading the Wi-Fi already in place. Most home automation involves a Wi-Fi connection, so any smart devices you adopt will rely heavily on it. By implementing a Wi-Fi management service on top of the network, you can tap into and augment that system. Smart home solution Plume HomePass is a good example: It provides enhanced security, adaptive capabilities, and a connected device management hub.
Adaptive Wi-Fi can shift network resources to strengthen connectivity in high-traffic areas of the house, prioritizing always-on smart device connection. For security purposes, you can also fully control network access to prevent unauthorized intrusions.
2. Use Remote-Controlled Speakers and AI Assistants
While you don’t need one to use the other, these two types of devices often go hand-in-hand in their operations. Internet-connected smart speakers allow you to communicate task commands and requests to virtual assistants with your voice alone. By further connecting them to your home system, you can use them to control most other linked components. With one command, you can turn off the lights, find a movie to watch, or even start up your vacuum.
For a cheaper, less-connected option, there are also speakers that are not connected to virtual assistants but through Bluetooth. Bluetooth speakers are controlled via your phone, and you can use the virtual assistant on it for simpler media-based tasks. You’d be surprised what you can do on such a device and how affordable it can be.
3. Embrace Smart Lighting
Smart homes are convenient, no doubt, but they can also improve quality of life in other ways. One example is smart lighting. Sure, it’s helpful to tell your lights to go on when you have an armful of groceries. But their dimming or color features can also set a mood, and timed on and off capabilities can boost home security and save energy.
In a rental, you may think smart lighting is off limits. After all, you can’t install new fixtures, and customizing existing ones is either difficult or prohibited. Instead of attempting it, you can purchase a smart lamp that places the same capabilities within your full control.
Many free-standing smart lighting products can adjust their brightness at particular times, like when you’re trying to fall asleep. If you have mobility issues, they make it easy to turn lights on and off remotely. Migraine sufferers can change a smart lamp to a soothing color. Whatever your lighting needs, smart lamps give you full control over them. And when you move, you can easily take these products with you.
4. Entertain Yourself With a Smart TV or All-in-One Media Player
Remember the old days? You needed a DVD player to watch a movie, a TV to watch your favorite show, and a stereo to listen to music. Nowadays, instead of using cumbersome physical formats to entertain yourself, you can do so digitally with just a button click.
Televisions have evolved to include several combined technologies all in one place, so they can be used as a hub. These smart TVs can display the weather; stream shows, movies, and music; and even enable video chats with friends.
The addition of comprehensive media players can bring many of these capabilities to non-smart screens for less. These can take the form of a streaming stick, media box, or even a video game console. While the first two do not provide full gaming capability, they are much more affordable.
5. Deploy a Robot Vacuum
Just because you’re not a homeowner doesn’t mean you’re not a housekeeper. Household chores can be burdensome, but you can reduce your time spent cleaning by having a robot vacuum do the work for you. It will keep your floors consistently clean while adding to your pad’s futuristic vibe.
Although robot vacuums don’t replace human work in terms of quality, they drastically reduce the effort required of you to clean. Different vacuum brands function differently, but for maximum automation, some can empty themselves during the day without human intervention. They can also connect to Wi-Fi and be controlled via phone, so you can put them to work remotely and conveniently. While robot vacuums do need to be charged, this can also be done automatically.
6. Give Your Kitchen a Tech Upgrade
You’ve got to love the simplicity of walking into a coffee shop, ordering a drink, and having it made for you. It’s always a nice experience, but it still requires getting yourself to the coffee shop to get your daily dose of caffeine. A programmable coffeemaker can serve this role for you faster and more affordably. Set your automatic coffee-maker to brew a cup at the time of your choosing, and your morning java will be waiting.
Nor is a coffeemaker your only choice for kitchen automation. While a smart refrigerator isn’t likely an option in your rental, plenty of small appliances can automate food and drink prep. Programmable rice cookers, Wi-Fi-enabled air fryers, and Alexa-connected Instant Pots will get dinner started at the touch of a button or the sound of your voice.
A smart home is not impossible in a rental; in fact, it’s an entirely feasible way to make a drastic difference in your space. Technology has developed to the point where little inconveniences, like dragging yourself out of bed to make coffee, are no longer necessary. Give yourself a break and do everything you can to “smarten up” your rental. While you may not be able to paint your bedroom violet, you can still have a smart home with all the bells and whistles.