Building our smart home is one of the biggest projects the hubs and I have ever taken on. Smart home automation is practical, sustainable, and can save a lot of money, so it’s worth it. There are so many smart tech devices that I have installed since moving in—and thanks to my new partnership with The Home Depot, I have been able to enhance it to the max! Over the next month, I’m going to share my top smart tech recommendations you should start out with, and then I’ll continue with more posts after I reveal my starter suggestions. These are devices that are both easy to implement and provide a lot of value to your everyday life—starting with smart home security!
As a travel addict, it was especially important to me to make sure this beautiful thing we built together was protected at all times, whether we were inside it or on-the-go. So for anyone looking to incorporate smart tech into their home, I recommend starting out with security. We chose the Nest brand because it has its own system of interconnectivity that also works well within our larger smart home ecosystem—meaning, it pairs very nicely with our Google devices. So what exactly is an ecosystem? Glad you asked!
SMART HOME ECOSYSTEMS EXPLAINED
First thing I want to start out with—don’t let smart home tech scare you! Once you grasp the basics, the rest is easy. Understanding the ecosystem concept behind smart tech is a great place to start on your smart home journey.
Smart home gadgets let you control your home via the internet. You can remotely manage and monitor various aspects of your residence using smart devices and voice commands. An ecosystem is the hub that connects all your devices together. Not all ecosystems support all smart devices, but you can easily figure out what is compatible with what by looking for the “Works with…” info on the product descriptions.
For example—one of the big players in the smart home hub game is the Google Assistant ecosystem. As I pick which smart home products I want, I always check if it’s compatible with Google Assistant. Nest is its own ecosystem within itself that’s owned by Google, and as a bonus, it pairs with Google Assistant! So it was a no brainer for us to choose Nest.
WHAT NEST SECURITY DEVICES I HAVE
Thanks to our partnership with The Home Depot, our very first Nest products were Nest Hello Video Doorbell and Nest Secure. We also added Nest indoor cameras and outdoor cameras to our setup as well.
Watch the Video (and continue reading below)
1. Nest Hello Video Doorbell
Nest Hello Video Doorbell is pretty freaking dope if I do say so myself. It acts as a doorbell, security camera, motion detector, and speaker/microphone all in one! So when someone steps up to your door, you can see who is there and even talk to them if you want. This has a number of benefits and I use this in so many different situations, especially when I’m traveling!
• Benefit 1: Alerts you without someone ringing the doorbell.
It detects people, motion, and sound of visitors and sends you a notification if you have a visitor. It can even send special alerts when it recognizes friends and family. Every week I get food deliveries and they never ring my doorbell! My Nest app, however, notifies me that someone is approaching my door and I can see the delivery being made. Thanks to the app, my food doesn’t end up staying out there all day.
• Benefit 2: All day streaming and continuous video recording.
Some security doorbells only record when they detect motion. Nest records 24/7. I have been able to go back and not only watch security footage when I needed to, but I was able to save important clips as well.
• Benefit 3: I can talk to visitors using the app.
There are situations where being able to talk to whoever is at your door comes in super handy. When I’m out of town and a solicitor pops by, I can kindly tell them we aren’t accepting solicitation. When my friends come over, I can tell them to let themselves in. When the lawn guy comes by to tell me he’s on the property and I’m too lazy to answer the door, I just talk to him through the Nest app. Happens all the time!
How easy is it to Install?
Installation of the Nest Hello Video Doorbell is relatively easy, with a difficulty level of 3 on a scale of 1-10. You can find an installer if you need help. You’ll just need a few tools including a Phillips screwdriver, power drill, and drill bits to complete the job.
To connect your doorbell to the Nest app, you simply launch the app, and “add a product” by scanning the QR code on the back of the doorbell before you install it. The app is fantastic and will guide you through each installation step!
2. Nest Secure Alarm System
At my last home, I had a very traditional alarm system. After getting the Nest Secure Alarm System, I can’t imagine ever going back. Arming and disarming is so much more convenient with a smart device. The system I have comes with 3 components:
•Nest Guard: Alarm, keypad, and motion sensor
The Nest Guard is a small spherical shaped keypad that plugs into your wall. It also has a backup battery in case the power goes out. It is most useful for when trusted friends, family, and guests need to enter your home when you aren’t there, so plug it in by the door that visitors most frequently use. Perhaps you have a house sitter taking care of your home while you’re on vacay—he or she can arm and disarm using the Nest Guard as they come and leave the residence.
• Nest Tag: Arming and disarming device
The Nest Tag is one of the ways you can arm and disarm your home. It’s a small circular device that’s light as a feather and you tap it against your Nest Guard as you enter and leave to arm and disarm. As an alternative to giving out your passcode, you can give your Nest Tag to a guest who needs to enter your home while you’re out.
• Nest Detect: Sensor for doors, windows, and rooms
We have Nest Detect devices all throughout our home. They are wireless and battery powered. Stick these on your walls, windows, and doors where it can sense both motion and open/close action. On walls, it detects motion. Windows, it tells you when it opens. Doors, you get both! Whenever a door with Nest Detect on it opens in our home, we hear a pleasant-sounding chime and when it senses motion, we can see it in our app if we have motion detection turned on.
The main benefit of this system is you can arm and disarm in several different ways, and each method is way more expedient than entering in a code as you would with a conventional system—however it does give you the option of entering a passcode on the Nest Guard’s keypad if you want to stick with tradition! You can conveniently choose to arm and disarm by tapping the Nest Tag on your Nest Guard when you come and go, give a voice command to your Google Assistant, or my favorite way—with the Nest app, which you can arm and disarm from anywhere, even if you’re in another country!
3. Nest Cameras
In addition to the doorbell and alarm system, we also have security cameras inside and outside our house and we LOVE these! For those who are just looking for something to get started with however, I recommend getting your feet wet with the Nest Hello Video Doorbell and Nest Secure first before moving on to Nest cams, however you can watch my video to see more on it.
NEST ECOSYSTEM + WHERE TO BUY
Overall, this is one of my favorite smart tech purchases because of the everyday value it provides. The entire Nest ecosystem is amazing. I love being able to open my Nest app and manage all my Nest devices by phone. It’s so handy when I’m traveling or just out and about in general.
Nest has a number of products you can manage within the app, which I’ll dive into in a later post. These include Nest Thermostat, which allows me to control temperature from my app; Nest Locks, which allow me to remotely unlock doors for visitors; and Nest Protect, which is a smoke + carbon monoxide detection system.
Looking to step up your smart home game? Start with home security and do it the modern way—from you Nest app. Head to your local Home Depot store or shop online. They have all the Nest products available for purchase. That’s it for today’s smart home tech post y’all! Stay tuned for the next one.
Tell me: How do you currently secure your home?
*This post was sponsored by The Home Depot, but trust–all opinions are ALL me.