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We’ve had high-tech shower heads for several years now, so isn’t it about time that sink faucets catch up? What you may not realize is that high-tech faucets – known as smart faucets – have been around since as early as 2009.

As with most smart home products What Is A Smart Home? What Is A Smart Home? We recently launched a Smart Home category at MakeUseOf, but what is a smart home? Read More , people tend to think of smart faucets as gimmicky and gratuitous. What’s wrong with a traditional setup? Is there really enough room for improvement to justify an upgrade? I’m here to convince you: yes!

1. Finer Controls and Settings

We’ve all been there: first turn on the hot faucet and wait for the water to heat up, then turn on the cold faucet to bring the temperature back down to a comfortable level. How much water is wasted from that?

And finding the right balance of hot and cold is a frustrating game. A little too much in one direction and you’re left with either frostbite or third-degree burns. It just isn’t fun, but with the right smart faucet, you may never have to play that game again.

smart-faucets-nomos-by-fima

For example, advanced models – like the Nomos by Fima Carlo Frattini – have digital displays that let you fine-tune temperature with pinpoint accuracy. Others are more simplistic, such as those with LED lights that change color depending on the temperature.

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Upcoming smart faucets – like the Veris F-Digital by Grohe – may even be programmable ahead of time, allowing you to set and remember specific temperature preferences. In that sense, they’d almost be like a smart thermostats, but for your sink Looking to Buy a Smart Thermostat? 5 Nest Alternatives Looking to Buy a Smart Thermostat? 5 Nest Alternatives When it comes to controlling the temperature of your home, the Nest smart thermostat is king, but there are plenty of options out there. Here are 5 you should consider if you're looking to buy. Read More .

2. Improved Water Efficiency

Money is a big concern when it comes to appliances and home improvement, which is one reason why smart home products are so great: they save you energy and money Save Energy and Money With These Smart Home Devices Save Energy and Money With These Smart Home Devices One of the biggest benefits of a smart home is the energy saving technologies available. As well as saving money, you’ll also be pushing toward a more sustainable, convenient living situation. Read More whether we’re talking about thermostats, power plugs, or lighting solutions – and faucets now join that list.

smart-faucets-90-degrees-by-moen

For example, smart faucets that are marked WaterSense use 20% less water than traditional faucets right out of the box. Couple that with finer controls for temperature and pressure and you’ll conserve more water while wasting less.

This should excite you, even if you aren’t an environmental green freak. After all, improved water efficiency means you can get the same amount done with less water – and less water used means a smaller water bill every month.

3. Fewer Germs and Diseases

According to an office environment study in 2012, break room sink faucets were determined to be the absolute dirtiest surface of all regularly-used facilities:

The study researchers swabbed some 4,800 surfaces in office buildings housing some 3,000 employees. The study got the “officially dirty” readings on:

75% of break room sink-faucet handles
48% of microwave door handles
27% of keyboards
26% of refrigerator door handles
23% of water fountain buttons
21% of vending machine buttons

Now, obviously this doesn’t translate perfectly into a household scenario, but the findings are indicative of one thing: faucets are dirtier than we care to think – even dirtier than your keyboard A Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your PC Part 1: Hardware Cleaning A Spring Cleaning Checklist For Your PC Part 1: Hardware Cleaning With the arrival of Spring in the Northern Hemisphere, houses across the globe get a nice cleaning to rid them of dirt and clutter that has accumulated over the past year. Dust and junk also... Read More – and that’s because we don’t clean them often enough.

smart-faucets-charlotte-by-brizo

Smart faucets are easier to keep clean. Many of them are touch-operated, and some are even touch-free – like the Charlotte Lavatory Faucet by Brizo. In addition to less physical contact, smart faucets with modern designs are easier to wipe down than traditional knobs and handles.

Ultimately, fewer points of contact means a reduced chance of spreading bacteria, and that should be a high priority for any modern homeowner.

4 Smart Faucets Worth Looking Into

Delta Faucet Tesla, Battery-Operated w/ Touch2O.xt

Delta Faucet 552TLF Tesla Single Handle Lavatory Faucet with Touch2O.xt Technology, Chrome Delta Faucet 552TLF Tesla Single Handle Lavatory Faucet with Touch2O.xt Technology, Chrome Operates manually with the handle, with the tap touch2o functionality or by placing your hands within the 4 in. sensing field around the faucet Buy Now At Amazon $306.00

The Tesla by Delta Faucet is a wonderful faucet that delivers on its price tag. It’s WaterSense certified, which means it’s great at conserving water, but it has three means of operation: a manual handle, a tap-on/tap-off function, and a 4-inch proximity field around the faucet.

It’s also battery-operated, able to run on 6 AAs (for up to 2 years) or 6 Cs (for up to 5 years). This particular product comes with AAs bundled.

Speakman SensorFlo, Battery-Powered

Speakman S-9010-CA Sensorflo Battery Powered Sensor Faucet Speakman S-9010-CA Sensorflo Battery Powered Sensor Faucet All components housed above counter Buy Now At Amazon $474.44

Unlike most faucets, which require within-the-sink integration, the SensorFlo by Speakman sits completely on top of the sink. It runs on two 3-volt lithium batteries and has a built-in warning when the battery life drops below 10%.

It’s WaterSense certified and has absolutely no handles for operation. Just stick your hands in the basin and it’ll run. If the sensor somehow malfunctions, it has a built-in time-out feature that kicks in after 60 seconds of continuous flow.

Kohler K-13472, Battery-Powered Touchless

KOHLER K-13472-CP Gooseneck Touchless Deck-Mount Faucet with Temperature Mixer, Polished Chrome KOHLER K-13472-CP Gooseneck Touchless Deck-Mount Faucet with Temperature Mixer, Polished Chrome Insight adaptive infrared technology Buy Now At Amazon $358.99

The K-13472 by Kohler is a battery-powered faucet that runs on 2 AAAs with a minimum battery lifespan of 3 years. It has a handle for temperature control but does not require any kind of touch for operation.

It uses adaptive infrared technology to calibrate the sensor according to the surrounding environment, which eliminates false triggers and optimizes sensor functionality.

Sloan SOLIS EAF-275, Solar-Powered Touchless

Sloan Eaf-275 Solar Powered, Sensor Activated Electronic Hand Washing Faucet; Pre-mixed Water Only Sloan Eaf-275 Solar Powered, Sensor Activated Electronic Hand Washing Faucet; Pre-mixed Water Only Optional integral temperature control lever allows the user to adjust the water temperature Battery backup provided Water-efficient flow rate of 0.5 gpm/1.9 Lpm is standard Modular One-piece Construction with all Concealed Components above deck Double Infrared Sensors with Automatic Setting Feature Automatic Self-adapting Sensor Technology Solar Powered Magnetic Solenoid Valve Water Supply Connection with Flexible High-pressure Hose and Strainer Appropriate Mounting Hardware included Includes 6 Buy Now At Amazon $468.00

The SOLIS EAF-275 by Sloan is an expensive piece of hardware, but it justifies the cost with a feature not seen elsewhere: the fact that it runs on solar energy. It claims that “any natural or artificial light source will generate enough energy to operate the sensor”.

But in case that fails, it also comes with a backup battery. A lever on the side makes it easy to adjust temperature.

Are Smart Faucets Worth It?

These faucets might seem overly expensive at first, but when you really look into how much a smart home actually costs How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? How Much Does a Smart Home Really Cost? A smart home could change your life – freeing up time in your day and regulating your routine so you don't have to remember what needs to be done. But how expensive is it, really? Read More , you’ll see that it’s a small price to pay for long-term gains. Compared to most home improvements, smart home products are dirt cheap.

Will you be moving on to smart faucets? If so, which model intrigues you most? If not, why not? Share with us down in the comments!

  1. fcd76218
    November 6, 2015 at 9:10 pm

    And another thing - How do you fix the faucet when it starts misbehaving? Who do you call? A plumber? An electrician? An electronics engineer? Ghostbusters? Or do you have to buy a whole new $$$Faucet?

    When an old mechanical faucet started acting up, I'd buy a bag of washers or gaskets for a couple of dollars and replace them as they wear out. With the newer mechanical faucet, I would just replace the cartridge.

    That is the problem with the "smart" gizmos, all of them have a big sticker on the back "Contains NO user replaceable parts". When they break, you either pay through the nose to get them fixed or you pay through the nose to replace them. Either way, any possible savings you might have had by using them go down the drain

  2. Germaine Eckert-Coppess
    November 6, 2015 at 7:58 pm

    As a property manager & overall housekeeper, I have long been a proponent of single-handle faucets and push-down drains... amazingly the majority of people who waste water and do NOT clean up after themselves (they are used to someone who does it or seem to not notice/care what slobs they are). Touchless is debateable as there is nothing worse than not being able to control when it won't go on - or worse - OFF! Just keep it simple...

    QUALITY shouldn't have to be expensive, but better be made of solid metal with coating to deter calcium buildup and filters easily replaceable. Tired of cheap plastic parts that break, cause water leaks, and a pure waste of $$$ all around. Really, can't believe the industry and "eco-saving coalitions" even allow mfg of junk that ultimately has a life of less than 2 years to end up in landfills. That's not smart at all!

  3. John Shalack
    November 6, 2015 at 2:37 pm

    Having replaced a number of faucets in my time, I fail to see the savings. You will still need to run the water same number of gallons to get hot water as any other faucet. So, for the "convenience of not touching a valve, you pay a $200+ premium over a std faucet...?

    There is, no doubt, a "wow" or "cool" factor, and, if that's important to you, I say, go for it...

  4. Ben Stutts
    November 6, 2015 at 1:18 pm

    Why are we using a work environment break room faucet as the reason you MUST have a $350 'smart' faucet in your home? The faucet in my bathroom is used approximately 6 times a day for about 15 to 30 seconds each time. (longer for tooth brushing) It is cleaned at least weekly and whenever it looks dirty in between. My kitchen faucet is cleaned as part of the several times a day dish washing routine (no dishwasher). This negates the "But germs!" argument. I can see where some people could have a real need for a motion controlled or temperature controlled faucet, but again what does that have to do with how often you clean it? IMHO, for most people these are gadgets, fun to have and fun to use if you can afford them, but not really necessary for most people.

  5. fcd76218
    November 6, 2015 at 12:46 am

    I'll take a dozen Sloan's and five noise-cancelling toilets. /sarcasm

    These devices are for those who have way too much money and want to impress their air-head friends.

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