Heading off to college is an exciting time filled with new experiences. As you set up your living space in a dorm or apartment, having smart home devices can make your life easier and more enjoyable. Here are some of the top smart home essentials every college student needs:
Smart plugs are affordable and versatile devices that can automate and control anything you plug into them. Plug in lamps, fans, coffee makers, and other appliances, then use a smartphone app or voice control to turn them on and off or set schedules. This allows you to conveniently control devices remotely without getting up.
Smart plugs are especially handy for things like fans and desk lamps. Set them to turn on automatically before you get back to your room, so it's comfortable. You can also set devices to turn off automatically, which helps ensure you don't leave things running that could potentially cause fires when you're away from your room.
The picture on the left shows the KASA Smart Plug HS102P4 that works with Alexa, Echo, Google Home, and IFTTT, and it doesn't require a hub to operate. (check the price on Amazon)
Smart Light Bulbs
Smart light bulbs like Philips Hue are a popular smart home upgrade. Just replace traditional bulbs with smart LED bulbs that can be controlled via smartphone or voice. Most allow you to change brightness levels and colors.
Having smart lighting gives you flexibility and convenience. Schedule bulbs to mimic the sunrise and help you wake up more naturally. Set lighting themes like energizing daylight or soothing warm light to match your mood or activities. Control lights remotely, so you always come home to a lit space. Smart bulbs also work well with smart speakers and other smart devices.
The picture on the right shows the KASA Smart light bulbs: full color, dimmable, compatible with Alexa and Google Home, no hub required (check the price on Amazon)
Smart speakers like the Amazon Echo Dot have become a staple smart home device. Using a voice assistant like Alexa, you can play music, set timers, control other smart devices, automate routines, and more with just your voice.
Smart speakers are convenient, hands-free helpers for college students. Use them to set alarms or reminders so you never forget class or assignments. Play music to make your dorm feel more like home. Use Alexa to request an Uber or order a pizza when you're too busy studying to stop. The capabilities are extensive and helpful.
The picture on the left shows the Echo Show 5 smart display with deeper bass and clearer sound. (check the price on Amazon)
The next level up from a basic smart speaker is a smart display like the Amazon Echo Show. In addition to all the regular smart speaker features, smart displays have screens that let you watch videos, view recipes, see upcoming calendar events, make video calls, and more.
Having a screen makes smart displays even more useful. Watch cooking tutorials to pick up kitchen skills. Video chat with friends and family back home. Check the weather, news, and other information with just a glance. Smart displays work seamlessly with other smart devices and services. They make great central hubs for college living spaces.
Smart locks allow you to easily lock and unlock a door using your phone and integrate with other smart home devices. Brands like August allow you to set virtual keys for visitors and roommates. This means you don't have to worry about losing a physical key or getting locked out if your roommate is gone.
Smart locks provide convenience as well as security. There are no keys to keep track of or lose. You can lock up securely even if you leave in a hurry without your key. With features like auto lock, you don't have to wonder if you remembered to lock up. Smart locks help provide peace of mind.
Smart Surge Protectors
Having electronics conveniently set up in a dorm or apartment can mean dealing with a tangle of cords and no free outlets. Smart surge protectors like the TP-Link Kasa Smart Power Strip make it easier. Control plugged-in devices individually with the app or voice commands. The smart strip lets you remotely turn on, off, or reboot devices like game systems, monitors, lamps, and more without unplugging anything. This keeps cords neatly managed and makes it easy to cut power-hungry devices when not in use.
Smart Bed Lighting
Waking up or going to sleep with jarring, bright overhead lighting isn't ideal. Smart bedside lamps provide a better alternative. Brands like Philips Hue offer bedside lamps with warm, adjustable mood lighting. This creates a more relaxing ambiance. Set schedules so the lighting automatically turns on to slowly help you wake up more naturally. Or have it turn on with low brightness at night for safer midnight trips to the bathroom. Integrated smart bulbs let you control brightness and colors.
Smart bedside lighting is an easy way to create the perfect lighting environment for better sleep and waking. The convenience and custom lighting help improve your overall mood and productivity during college.
Having a smart voice assistant device provides hands-free help around your living space. Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Siri, and other voice assistants allow you to manage your schedule, set reminders, listen to music, control smart devices, ask questions, and more.
Voice assistants integrate with other smart devices and services to automate your living environment. Ask it to turn on the coffee maker and play your morning playlist to help you start the day. Have it remind you about assignments and manage your calendar so you never miss class or lose track of school work. Voice assistants keep you efficient, productive, and stress-free.
Implementing smart home devices allows college students to make the most of small living spaces. Managing a busy schedule along with assignments, exams, and social life is made simple with the help of useful technology. Smart lighting, plugs, speakers, and other devices create a more enjoyable, convenient environment focused on productivity. With smart home technology, you can make your college experience healthier, less stressful, and more successful.
If you want an in-depth guide, you can read our blog post, How to Set Up a Smart Home System in 2023
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