10 things to make you feel like you're living in HGTV's Smart Home
Don't wait to win the HGTV smart home when you can create your own
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Since 2008, HGTV has built—and given away—12 brand new houses outfitted with the latest smart home products.
Located in Roanoke, Texas, a 33-mile drive from Dallas, the 2019 HGTV Smart Home is valued at over $1.2 million. Step inside of the Old World oasis, and the home you’ll find is anything but archaic. The impressive smart home is loaded with dimmers, switches, light bulbs, shower systems, toilets, and more—all of which can be controlled by voice, tablet, or smartphone.
Although a winner for the latest HGTV Smart Home has already been selected, there's no reason you can't create your own "smart home” with the help of the right products. Here’s what you need to buy for a do-it-yourself version of the HGTV Smart Home.
1. A smart security camera so you can keep a watchful eye on your home
It probably comes as no surprise that smart home security is a part of the HGTV smart home. The home features a "touch-to-wake" security keypad by the front door, as well as a whole-house security system. For your own DIY piece of mind, we think the Nest Cam Outdoor is the best outdoor security camera and the Logitech Circle 2 is the best indoor security camera.
The Nest Cam Outdoor is one of the most expensive cameras we tested, but it's smart enough to differentiate between people and pets, offers customizable activity zones, and the ability to create and share video clips. A Nest Aware subscription, which starts at $5 a month, is required to activate these features and more. You can check the exterior view of your home in the Nest App, or on a smart display screen like the Google Nest Hub.
To check out what’s going on inside your home when you’re away, we recommend the Logitech Circle 2. Clear night vision, an easy-to-use app, and the ability to control the camera with Alexa, HomeKit, and Google Assistant are just a few of the reasons we love the Logitech Circle 2. The Circle 2 includes free 24-hour storage, and paid plans are available starting at $3.99 per month.
2. A smart TV so you can watch your favorite shows
Home theater isn't overlooked in the HGTV Smart Home, as it includes a media room decked out with a surround sound system, projector screen with color-changing LED backlighting, and more. Of the 17 TVs our editors tested, we think that the LG C9 Series (2019) is the best TV you can buy right now—and it comes with Alexa built in.
The LG C9 is available in three sizes: 55 inches, 65 inches, and 77 inches, all of which can be controlled by Alexa and Google Assistant. The big screen smart TV has a 4K resolution and, despite its price tag, is one of the most affordable OLED TVs of 2019 that’s perfect for your home theater.
3. A smart doorbell that lets you see who is at the door without getting up
This year's smart home comes with an "advanced video doorbell," according to HGTV. Much like our favorite smart doorbell, the Ring Video Doorbell 2, the doorbell on the HGTV smart home lets you talk to guests without having to answer the door and sends motion alerts.
We love the Ring Video Doorbell 2 because it offers a strong connection, loads video faster and more consistently than other doorbells we tested, and lets you designate motion zones and adjust the sensitivity settings. But, if you want to save and play back video clips, you will need to purchase Ring Protect, which starts at $3 per month.
4. A smart microwave and oven so you can use your voice to cook
The Smart Home touts at 30-inch, built-in combination convection microwave and oven, which probably costs a small fortune. However, you can a similar, more affordable smart microwave and oven all-in-one for just $249.99 on Amazon.
The Amazon Smart Oven is set to release on Thursday, Nov. 14, but is currently available for preorder. The kitchen appliance is a 4-in-1 convection oven, microwave, air fryer, and food warmer that includes more than 30 built-in presets. If you have an Echo speaker, you can use it to control Amazon's new smart oven by saying, "Alexa, preheat the oven," or, "Alexa, cook salmon."
5. A smart speaker so you can control your smart home
Just like the HGTV Smart Home comes with a control hub, you’re going to need a smart speaker to help manage your smart home gadgets, so, depending on compatibility, you may go with Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant. Our favorite Alexa-enabled device is the second-generation Echo because it has great sound quality and can hear you well, even from a nearby room. If you’re looking for a smart display, we think the Google Home Max Hub is a pretty great option. It has a 10-inch, high definition screen and is a smart assistant and home security camera all-in-one.
6. A smart thermostat so you can adjust the temperature from bed
You might not be able to upgrade your home to the advanced heating and cooling system featured in the HGTV smart home, but you can buy a smart thermostat to make adjusting the temperature inside a piece of cake. We tested smart thermostats and the Emerson Sensi Touch WiFi Smart Thermostat performed the best. It comes with a color touchscreen display and works with Alexa, so you can say things like, "Alexa, increase the thermostat." The thermostat also works with Google Assistant and Apple HomeKit.
We think this is a great option to DIY your own version of HGTV's Smart Home with because the setup and installation is easy, the thermostat is simple to use, especially with voice assistants like Alexa, Siri, and Google Assistant.
7. A smart bulb or smart switch so you can control the lights from the couch
Another thing you'll find throughout the HGTV Smart Home is smart lights. They appear in the great room, entryway, kitchen, media room, and patio, according to HGTV. If you're looking for bulb options, the best smart bulbs you can buy are the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance A19 Starter Kit third-generation. The bulbs offer 16 million colors to choose from and you can control them remotely on your smartphone or tablet. Or, you can use your voice to adjust the lights since these bulbs work with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant.
Smart switches and dimmers can also help you control the lights without standing up and flicking a switch. We recommend the Lutron Caséta Smart Lighting Dimmer Switch Starter Kit, which is compatible with Alexa, Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant. We found the app to be very easy to use and, unlike other options we tested, Lutron dimmers don't require a neutral power line. However, this system doesn't truly support three-way switches (where you have multiple switches for the same light). Instead, the company offers Pico wireless remote kits to mount its remotes over additional switch boxes.
8. A smart bed so you can track your sleep habits
The winner of this year’s HGTV Smart Home will be sleeping on a smart bed that keeps a record of sleeping habits. A smart bed is definitely a luxury item, given that it’s outfitted with fancy features. Instead of a smart bed, which can be costly, consider a smart mattress cover to go with your existing mattress.
The Eight 10005 Smart Mattress Cover, an Alexa-compatible smart mattress cover, tracks your sleep habits and generates a daily report about your deep sleep, light sleep, heart rate, and respiratory rate from the night before. Additionally, you can control the temperature on both sides of the mattress pad right from your smartphone.
9. A voice-activated shower controller so you can start the water before you get in
Step inside the latest HGTV Smart Home master bath shower and you'll find a "top-notch smart shower system" that offers the "ultimate personalized showering experience," according to HGTV.
While you probably don't want to demo your bathroom, the Moen Shower Smart Bathroom Controller can make shower smart without paying for costly renovations. Since the system works with Echo speakers, you can say, "Alexa, turn on the shower." In the U by Moen App, you can create shower presets like "Morning Shower" or "Workout" that are set to a specific temperature. Then, tell Alexa to "set the shower to Morning Shower" without having to do the work yourself.
10. A robotic lawn mower that can cut your grass so you don’t have to
The 2019 home also comes with a robotic lawnmower that can be controlled via an app. It's a pretty nifty way to make sure your lawn is well manicured while leaving you with one less weekend chore. If you like the idea of doling out your yardwork duties to someone else, then the Worx Robotic Lawn Mower can help you get the job done, much like the mower included with the HGTV Smart Home.
The weather-resistant smart mower runs on a lithium battery and can mow up to a quarter of an acre at a time before returning to the base station to recharge. It creates a custom schedule based on the size of your yard, comes with an anti-collision system, and cuts close to the edge of your grass for a clean cut. There’s also a robot that will weed your garden, so you can fully automate your lawn care routine.
Recreating the HGTV Smart Home is easier said than done, but these products can help get you started.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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