As technology evolves, the world is getting increasingly smarter. For millions, smartphones have become a staple of their lives, replacing older phones that do little more than make calls. Automobiles are also using “smart” technology, and some practically drive themselves. But these developments aren’t just useful when you’re out and about. Taking advantage of “Smart Home” technology can make life more convenient and make you and your family feel safer. Here are a few upgrades you can make that are smart for your budget as well.

Security Systems

Keeping your home safe, whether you are in or out of it is likely a high priority, and home security has moved far beyond simply locking the door and setting a burglar alarm. Many are turning to more automated methods, such as live security cameras that monitor the inside and outside of your home. These cameras can be checked whenever you want from your phone or computer, even if you’re on vacation. Motion detectors can be added to cameras as well and send you an alert to anything you might want to take a look at.

Motorized Window Shades

Can you remember the days when you had to get up and walk to the television to change the volume or turn it off and on, before remote controls were the standard? That taste of convenience has left us hungry to control more things by remote, such as motorized window shades. Whether you’re trying to get the glare off the TV or out of your eyes, want to show off that full moon at just the right moment, or give the impression that you’re home when you’re not, motorized shades can be just what you need to achieve this. You can even add timers or solar sensors, so that your shades, blinds, or curtains “know” when to open or close even without your prompt.

If the idea seems a bit futuristic, a.k.a… expensive, remember that people once felt the same about remote control televisions. Motorized shade cost is actually much less than what many would expect, and setting them to keep out the sun can help reduce utility bills. A qualified window treatment dealer, such as Arjay’s Window Fashions in Ventura, California can give you details about the various options.

Automatic Lighting

Like motorized shades, automated lighting also can add to the security and convenience of your home in order to mimic an active household. They also come in handy when you’re returning home after dark, and want to light things up before going inside. Instead of touring the house to make sure the lights are off when they aren’t needed, you can turn them off with your smart phone.

Smart Thermostats

Initially, automated thermostats were found to be energy savers because you could program them to turn themselves up or down a few degrees depending on your schedule. With the Southern California heat, you set the temperature higher while you’re at work, and then an hour before you get home or can let it drop so you can enter a cool house. Today, you no longer need a set schedule to turn the thermostat up or down. These can be turned on through a phone or tablet application and can be adjusted anywhere.

Smart Television

The technology of televisions has advanced beyond the remote control. They will let you watch internet videos, listen to your favorite music, check the weather on a whim, or watch movies from a subscribed service. But even without upgrading your TV, it’s likely your cable or Internet service gives you the option to control your TV through your smartphones. This allows you to stream content, set up your DVR to record your favorite show, pause things while you stop to take care of something else.

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