In my personal time, I’m a lover of all things technology. But when it comes to my home, I’m adamant that technology needs to add value and zero complications. If it checks both boxes, I’ll consider it a worthy addition to the mix of products I use to control my house.
This is the exact approach I have taken with our smart home offerings from Welcome. For the past three years, I’ve tested and used every one of these products and can confidently say this is the best mix of products I have found.
When I spec smart home tech, a key tenet is that a product must function the same way a “dumb” one does while providing the added benefit of being a smart device. Your light switch needs to function the way a traditional one does and be controllable through your phone or voice assistant. Every product listed below fits this bill and is an option for your very own Welcome home.
eero mesh Wi-Fi network
This is one of those products you never knew you needed until you had it, and then can’t understand how you went without it for so long. The eero mesh network is essentially business grade Wi-Fi for your home: it can handle as many devices as you can add, and passes those devices between access points with no dead spots or bandwidth restrictions. It’s the only Wi-Fi network I trust to power the 55+ devices on my home network.
Ring Video Doorbell Elite
This doorbell is the perfect intersection of design and technology, featuring a super-slim package with interchangeable faceplates to ensure it complements your home’s facade. The convenience it brings to your home is substantial, acting as an additional security camera that’s always on and giving you the ability to speak to anyone who rings your doorbell. When paired with the Schlage Encode™ Smart WiFi Deadbolt, you can even let people into your home remotely.
Ring Floodlight Cam Pro
The Ring Floodlight Cam Pro is an incredible value for the peace of mind it can offer, thanks to the 3D motion detection with bird’s-eye view that shows you when and where someone (or something) is walking on your property, even if you can see them directly on camera.
In general, Ring combines a quality platform with quality devices at a low cost of ownership, and it’s products play well with others. From within the single Ring app, you can also control your Schlage door lock, Honeywell Thermostat, and LiftMaster garage door opener, and Lutron Caseta light switches when one of your cameras detects motion.
Schlage Encode™ Smart Wi-Fi Deadbolt
I’ve tested a lot of smart locks throughout my career and the Schlage Encode is by far my favorite. It’s incredibly straightforward and you don’t have to worry about needing your phone to lock and unlock the door. There are no compromises on aesthetics—both in and outside the door—and it works within the Ring app, meaning it works seamlessly with your other smart home accessories.
Honeywell T9 Thermostats
I like the T9 because it plays well with voice assistants, has a great in-app user experience, and is easy to use from the thermostat itself. Utilizing this smart device can save you up to 40% on utility bills and give you all of the convenience smart home devices are known for, from scheduled temperature shifts to automatically adjust temperature when you’re on your way home via geolocating.
Lutron Caseta Wireless Smart Switches
These smart dimmers work just like any standard light switch with the added benefit of being able to set up predetermined “scenes,” control your lights from a voice assistant, and automate lights to turn on and off at different times. This is one of my most-recommended smart home add-ons.
LiftMaster MyQ 8500W Garage Door Opener with Battery Backup
Two of my favorite features of the LiftMaster are 1) that it connects to Amazon Key so you can accept package deliveries securely in your garage and 2) the battery backup. This garage door opener can open and close up to 100 times on its internal battery power which means you’ll be able to access your garage even in the event of a power outage.
Sonos Multi-Room Audio
When I found Sonos, I stopped searching for other multi-room audio brands. Simply put, it’s the most complete, highest-quality, and easiest to use multi-room audio system available. Sonos is the perfect combination of quality audio, easy-to-use tech, and a reasonable price