Simplisafe Essentials Security System ($259.95)
I live in a safe neighborhood in a small town, and even so, it feels really
nice to have extra security. The SimpliSafe kit comes with three entry
sensors, a keypad, a motion sensor, and the main hub. It’s easy to set
up; it only took me half an hour and doesn’t require a monthly contract.
SimpliSafe has a lot of extra accessories that you can invest in as needed, such as a broken glass sensor, security camera, and keychain fob.
While I like that I can turn it on or off from my iPhone, this is one of the
few products in this roundup that doesn’t integrate with HomeKit, and
there is a lot of room for improvement when it comes to adding more
robust smart home features.
RunLess Wire Click for Philips Hue ($59.99)
The biggest problem with smart lights is dumb (a.k.a.
standard) light switches. To control smart lights from
your phone, the light switch needs to be turned on at
all times. This creates a lot of problems, because there
are often kids or guests in the house who can’t access
HomeKit. There are also a lot of times when a physical
switch makes more sense. I feel pretty silly carrying my
phone at night, asking Siri to turn on and off the lights
as I walk through the house. Smart switches solve this
problem by providing a physical control for your smart
light. RunLess Wire is my favorite smart switch I tested.
As the name implies, it doesn’t require any electrical wiring and doesn’t run off of a battery. Instead, it generates
power from the click of the switch as you turn lights on
or off. It comes with a kit for replacing your standard light
switch. I just put mine on the nightstand and can now
control the lights in my room and closet from my bed.
August Home Smart Lock Pro ($229)
This smart lock detects your location via a companion app on your iPhone
and automatically locks and unlocks your door when you leave and reenter
your house. It can be easily retrofitted to most home locks. The August Smart
Lock integrates with HomeKit so that you can ask Siri to operate it along with
other smart home accessories, allowing you to do things like automatically
shut off all the lights and lock the front door when you say, “Siri, goodnight.”
I recommend splurging for the August smart doorbell and keypad to go along
with the smart lock as they are handy when you have guests.
Remo RemoBell S Video Doorbell
This smart doorbell brings an additional
level of security to our home. It has a
built-in camera, microphone, and speaker, allowing us to talk to guests at the
door from our iPhones; particularly convenient if you don’t want to answer the
door, or if someone visits when you’re
not home. The RemoBell S also has a
built-in motion detector and will notify
you whenever someone is outside your
house. It records a 30-second clip when
motion is detected and stores it in the
cloud for three days for free.
Mydlink Wi-Fi Water Sensor
The Mydlink smart water sensor
integrates with HomeKit and
connects via Wi-Fi to notify you
of a water leak in your house.
My basement frequently floods
in the spring, and it can take me
a while to notice. This detector
helps me catch floods early
without having to check my
basement every time it rains.
Just plug the sensor in, and
put its long wire on the floor in
the area you want monitored.
The companion app will send a
push notification to my iPhone
if a leak is detected, and a loud
alarm will sound if I’m not near