Think turning your house into a “smart home” is a good — but expensive — idea? Surprise! Smart home devices are both innovative and affordable. From lighting to heating and cooling, home automation can actually help you reduce your energy costs. Here are four devices that can help you save money, simplify your life and turn your home into a money-saving smart hub:

Device 1: Smart thermostats

Old money wasting habit: “My central air runs when no one is home.”

A smart thermostat that connects to your WiFi allows you to control the temperature of your house from a mobile app and personalize temps based on your family’s preferences. That means you can cool it off or warm it up just before your arrival home from work, or make adjustments if you’re stuck late. Some models detect hot and cold spots in your home, and make temperature adjustments accordingly. You’ll save on your heating and air conditioning bills by being able to monitor energy usage and set temperatures for different times of day.

Device 2: Smart lighting

Old money wasting habit: “I left the lights on in the basement before we left for a weekend trip.”

Smart lighting and smart light bulbs make it easy to switch off your lights, no matter where you are from your smartphone or tablet. Plus, you can monitor energy usage bulb-by-bulb, turn lights on and off by room and even control the intensity and color. Smart bulbs are also great for turning on lights to make it look like someone is home, even when you are away.

Device 3: Smart plugs/outlets

Old money wasting habit: “It’s easier to just leave most electronics plugged in all the time.”

Even powered off, devices that are plugged in draw energy. Smart plugs and smart outlets allow you to remotely shut down anything that’s plugged into them, like a coffee pot or a phone charger. Most products even feature the ability to program in a schedule that automatically switches off power during certain times of day, and turn lights on and off while you are on vacation.

Device 4: WiFi motion sensors

Old money wasting habit: “My kids always leave lights on all over the house.”

WiFi motion sensors work well when paired with other smart home devices like lighting or smart plugs. For instance, if no motion is detected for a set period of time, you can set the lights to turn off automatically. Set motion sensors in places where the lights often get left on by accident, like a laundry room or the garage.

Having a smart home is easier to set up than you think and, above all, the affordable up-front cost can turn out to be a wise investment that saves you money and makes your home greener in the long run.

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