Will These 3 Smart Home Devices Actually Save You Money?

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Nest thermostat on wall

Hopefully, Nest’s similarities to HAL begin and end with its appearance. (“I don’t think you want it that warm, Jonathan.”)

Remember The Jetsons? Man, what a show. Besides a terribly catchy theme song (admit it, you are singing it now), The Jetsons gave viewers a glimpse into the futuristic world of 2062. The family’s everyday lives were complete with nifty gadgets; their home a cornucopia of automation.

In today’s world, the smart home industry is on the cusp of significant growth. Some of you might even already own a few smart gadgets (any early adopters of “Nest”?). And while I appreciate their promise of automation, simplification, and conservation, I’m more interested in their cost savings (you know—cold, hard cash). So, I did a little digging. Here is what I found.


1. Smart Thermostats

Perhaps one of the more “well known” smart home devices, smart thermostats move beyond simple programmable features. These allow you to control your heat/AC remotely (many via your smartphone), show real-time energy consumption, and “learn” your behavior/routines in order to adjust accordingly (freakkkky).

While many are on the market, some of the better-known devices come from Nest, Ecobee, and Honeywell.

Does It Save You Money?

Since setup costs for these devices is relatively high (anywhere from $250 to $500), your cost savings in the long term will depend on how long you plan to stay in your home and your “window” on the return.

If you are a renter or planning to move relatively soon, perhaps it’s not worth the investment. If, however, you are in for the long haul, you could realize some significant cost savings.

2. Smart Lights

While I still fancy the “clapper” to control my lights (just kidding), many companies in the smart home industry have developed smart light LED systems. Some of these products are packaged as standalone systems, while others integrate with an already established smart home “hub.”

The benefits to these products include centralized control (again, from your smartphone), the ability to program lights, and even an option to alternate colors.

Does It Save You Money?

Based on my research, prices for smart lights range between $110 and $200—and typically toward that higher end, if you desire many bells and whistles. (You’re investing in a “smart” light, so I’m guessing you do.) Unless you are super forgetful, the benefit of a smart light system might not cover the cost.

Another option is switching to LED lights without the “smart” component. If you go this route, you may be looking at long-term timeframe to realize true costs savings. Based on this article, replacing one incandescent light bulb will save you $132 over the life of the bulb … of course, that assumes a 17-year span. But, hey, $7 a year!

3. Smart Sockets/Outlets

A major source of home energy waste, and subsequent cost, comes from something called “vampire” power (seriously, that is what it’s called).

Basically, vampire power refers to energy that devices (e.g., your phone charger, coffee maker) draw while they are turned off but still plugged in. To help consumers, many companies have developed energy-efficient smart outlets, which conserve energy by automatically powering down devices and blocking the dreaded vampire energy “sucking.”

Does It Save You Money?

Comparatively speaking, smart outlets and outlet “add-ons” cost much more than your traditional outlets. However, these prices are reasonable, ranging from $10 to $50, depending on the size, scope, and design. Smart outlets are fairly easy to use and extremely portable.

So, are they worth your investment? Well, the average American home has 40 electronics drawing “vampire” power, totaling almost 10% of their electricity use. With a quick calculation based on your electric bill, you can get a rough idea of how much these outlets might save you.

Are you an early adopter of this technology (or are you waiting for the foodarackacycle)? Let us know whether it’s saving you money.  

(Photo: sensoredmedia)

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