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Home is where we relax after a long day at work. Even when we take off for a fun-filled vacation, there’s nothing quite like the feeling of coming home. Everywhere else is foreign and hostile, but one place will always welcome us.

And so it sucks when there are problems at home. This place of rest and comfort can quickly become a place that instills us with stress and frustration. But with the aid of certain smart devices, some of these issues can be lessened or even eliminated.

Problem #1

You have a teenager who often sneaks out or comes home late. Or you have a locked-away firearm and want to make sure nobody ever accesses it without your permission. Or you often leave your garage door open overnight.

Solution: The Iris Contact Sensor. This small and affordable sensor will tell you when something is opened or closed, and is flexible enough to be installed anywhere for any purpose. It does require a ZigBee-compatible smart hub to work, such as the Iris Smart Hub or second-generation SmartThings Hub.

Iris Contact Sensor Iris Contact Sensor Iris offers 24/7 Pro Monitoring for only $14.95/month Buy Now At Amazon $20.00

Problem #2

You want to grant someone temporary access to your home during times when you aren’t there to let them in (e.g. babysitters and maintenance workers). You also hate the five seconds it takes to lock and unlock your door.

Solution: The August Smart Lock. This thing replaces your regular door lock, unlocks when you approach it, and locks when you leave — the smartphone app acts as a key. You can also assign virtual keys to others and the lock will sense them as authorized to enter. Virtual keys can expire over time.

August Smart Lock 2nd Generation – Dark Gray, Works with Amazon Alexa August Smart Lock 2nd Generation – Dark Gray, Works with Amazon Alexa Control your door with your smartphone. Buy Now At Amazon $149.00

The August isn’t the only smart door lock on the market. Others are available Buy One of These Electronic Door Locks and Ditch Your Ancient Keys Buy One of These Electronic Door Locks and Ditch Your Ancient Keys One area where smart home technology shines is home security. And while security cameras and motion sensors are great, neither has more of a wow-factor than an electronic door lock. Read More , but many of them lack the proximity lock feature.

Problem #3

You want to know when people come knocking on your door even when you aren’t home. You want to give verbal directions to package deliverers. You want to know who keeps playing “ding dong ditch” at 2am.

Solution: The Ring Wi-Fi Video Doorbell. Why peek out your peephole when you can just open a smartphone app and see an HD video feed with two-way audio? No matter where you are, you can converse with any person at your door. It also has visitor alerts based on a built-in motion sensor.

Ring Video Doorbell 2 Ring Video Doorbell 2 See, hear and speak to anyone at your door from your phone, tablet or PC Buy Now At Amazon $174.99

The Ring is the most popular of its kind, but you can find several other smart doorbells on the market What Is A Smart Doorbell, And Which Should You Buy? What Is A Smart Doorbell, And Which Should You Buy? Doorbells that provide two-way communication, allow for remote monitoring, and send alerts directly to your smartphone? We're not talking about the future – all of this (and more) is already possible using smart doorbells. Read More . Some offer better video quality while others offer fewer features at a more affordable price.

Problem #4

You want to know ASAP when your basement floods (yet again), whether from excessive rain, a burst pipe, or a malfunctioning washing machine.

Solution: The SmartThings Water Leak Sensor. It’s a small device that you tuck away in a leak-prone area. As soon as it makes physical contact with water, its alarm goes off and sends you a smartphone alert. Requires a SmartThings Hub!

Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor Samsung SmartThings Water Leak Sensor Get an immediate alert on your smartphone at the first sign of excess water. Buy Now At Amazon $29.95

If you don’t have a smart hub, you can opt for the D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor instead. It only requires a smartphone for pairing and can be fully controlled through the provided mobile app. In fact, the whole D-Link Connected Home Lineup is very good (see our review of it for details D-Link Connected Home Set Review and Giveaway D-Link Connected Home Set Review and Giveaway D-Link's Connected Home products introduces high definition security cameras, a water sensor, and a smart WiFi power switch. But is D-Link's vision of the Smart Home ready for your living space? Read More ).

Problem #5

You want to stream Netflix, Hulu, HBO, and all kinds of other channels directly on your TV without hooking up a laptop (or dealing with the horrible interfaces of most smart TVs).

Problem: Solution: The Roku Express, Roku Streaming Stick, or Roku Premiere. These devices are so easy to use: just plug them into your TV. The Express is a portable stick akin to a USB drive, the Streaming Stick is a more powerful version of it, and the Premiere is a true set-top box with even more power. We recommend the Streaming Stick (read our review of it).

Roku Premiere - HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player Roku Premiere - HD and 4K UHD Streaming Media Player Perfect for HD and 4K Ultra HD TVs, features fast quad-core processor and 802.11ac dual-band wireless. Buy Now At Amazon $48.58

Other Roku models exist but they are more expensive and/or serve more niche purposes. For more on that, check our guide to picking the right Roku device Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? Which Roku Media Streamer Should You Buy? The current offering is split into five products – the Roku Streaming Stick, and the Roku 1, 2, 3, and 4. This article looks at what each product can offer, and tries to ascertain which... Read More .

Problem #6

You have trouble falling or staying asleep, but you don’t really know what the problem is. You want to know more about your sleeping habits.

Solution: The ResMed S+ Sleep Sensor. Place it on your nightstand and it will analyze your sleeping patterns and your sleeping environment (e.g. light and sound levels, temperature, etc.). Based on that, it can recommend ways to improve your sleep quality. Comes with apps for Android and iOS.

S+ By ResMed Personal Sleep Solution S+ By ResMed Personal Sleep Solution Sync: Syncs with your smartphone or tablet Buy Now At Amazon $37.48

The ResMed S+ is just one of many smart products designed to solve sleep-related issues. For more, check out our favorite devices for sleeping smarter 9 Gadgets to Help You Fall Asleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happier 9 Gadgets to Help You Fall Asleep, Stay Asleep, and Wake Up Happier The quality of sleep you get each night directly impacts your mood, health, and productivity the next day. Get better sleep than ever before using one of these smart gadgets! Read More .

Problem #7

You just can’t get up even after a good night’s sleep. You want to make your morning cup of joe without ever getting out of bed. You’re also a coffee snob (I mean, connoisseur).

Solution: The Behmor Connected Coffee Maker. Not only is this a high-quality brewing machine, it lets you set the exact temperature for your brews — perfect for anyone who takes their coffee seriously. You can control it through a mobile app and even create different brewing profiles (e.g. for different beans).

Behmor Connected Temperature Control Coffee Maker Behmor Connected Temperature Control Coffee Maker Customizable, temperature control coffee maker with phone app for easy operation Buy Now At Amazon Too low to display

Problem #8

You can’t sleep at night because you constantly worry about a carbon monoxide leak. It is, after all, one of the most silent of killers. You also hate dealing with false smoke alarms!

Solution: The Nest Protect Alarm. This device is a two-in-one Wi-Fi-connected smoke and carbon monoxide detector that sends you mobile alerts when either is present (read our positive review Nest Protect Review and Giveaway Nest Protect Review and Giveaway Read More ). In the case of a false alarm, you can silence it from your phone. Battery and wired options are both available.

Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Battery (2nd gen) Nest Protect Smoke & Carbon Monoxide Alarm, Battery (2nd gen) Know from anywhere. Connect Nest Protect to Wi-Fi and it will send an alert to your phone if the alarm goes off or the batteries run low. Buy Now At Amazon $118.50

If you can’t use the Nest Protect, or if it’s unavailable for some reason, there are plenty of alternative smart detectors worth checking out 6 Smart Detectors That Protect Your Family and Property from Harm 6 Smart Detectors That Protect Your Family and Property from Harm A truly smart home does more than save money: it helps protect your family and house. These smart detectors will keep an eye on things so you feel safe when at home or away. Read More .

Problem #9

You wish your lights weren’t so dumb. Why can’t they respond to voice commands? You also wish you weren’t so dumb. Why can’t you ever remember to turn off lights around the house?

Solution: The Philips Hue Starter Kit. The kit comes with a Hue Bridge, which acts as the brain, and two A19 LED bulbs that connect to the bridge. You can then control each bulb individually through the Philips Hue mobile app, which pairs with the bridge (see how awesome it is in our review Philips Hue Starter Kit Review and Giveaway Philips Hue Starter Kit Review and Giveaway The market is flooded by bulbs with wifi, all with their own silly mobile app that you need to fuss around with to turn them on. Is the Hue any different? We find out. Read More ).

Philips Hue White A19 60W Equivalent Smart Bulb Starter Kit (Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant) Philips Hue White A19 60W Equivalent Smart Bulb Starter Kit (Compatible with Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant) Enhance your home with soft white lighting, controlled remotely wherever you are. Set timers and light schedules, automating your lights to make it seem like someone is home even when you are away. Buy Now At Amazon

But as useful as they are, some people do think that Philips Hue bulbs are overpriced 5 Reasons Philips Hue Bulbs Are Overpriced and Pointless 5 Reasons Philips Hue Bulbs Are Overpriced and Pointless Thinking about purchasing a Philips Hue Smart Lighting system to save money and create cool lighting effects? Read this article first, because the realities of Philips Hue don't always live up to the hype. Read More . If budget is an issue, consider checking out one of these alternatives to Philips Hue instead Philips Hue Smart Bulb Alternatives to Save Money Philips Hue Smart Bulb Alternatives to Save Money In this article, you’ll learn about some of the less expensive alternatives to Philips Hue and see how they compare. Read More .

Problem #10

You love having a healthy garden and/or lawn, but you can’t be bothered to get up every time you need to turn the sprinklers on and off. You also hate water waste, but forget to turn them off when it rains.

Solution: The Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller. It’s just a controller so you’ll need your own sprinkler system ready to go. Once it’s ready, you can turn it on and off and create sprinkler schedules right from your phone. But the coolest part? It has built-in weather data and will skip the sprinklers with forecasted rain. It also automatically adjusts with seasonal changes.

Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller, WiFi, 8 Zone 2nd Generation, Works with Amazon Alexa Works with Alexa.  Control watering with the power of your voice. Use more than 100 different voice commands to run zones, set rain skips and more. Buy Now At Amazon $175.99

Problem(s) Solved.

With these smart home solutions, you can wipe away many of your day-to-day frustrations and turn your home back into a place for relaxation and rest. It’s amazing what you can do with just a smartphone, isn’t it?

What are your favorite smart home solutions? Did we miss any good ones? Let us know in the comments below!

Image Credit: AndreyPopov/Depositphotos

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  1. dragonmouth
    October 14, 2017 at 1:33 pm

    "It’s amazing what you can do with just a smartphone, isn’t it?"
    And that is the problem with your solutions - they REQUIRE a smartphone or some kind of a hub.

    Another problem is that anything having WiFi capability is eminently hackable. The gizmos will allow you to remotely open/close a door, but if you can do it so can a hacker.

    The gizmos will notify you about a water leak or a break-in but by the time you react/respond it will probably be too late. The damage would have been done.