A new generation of household devices have been designed to make your life easier through your home’s internet connection. This “internet of things” as the trend is called can transform your house into a smart hub that saves you valuable time and money with minimal effort. Though many of these new technological wonders carry a hefty price tag, filling your house with voice-enabled, wi-fi-ready gadgets doesn’t have to break the bank. Here are five simple ways to create the smart home of your dreams on a budget.

Choose a Platform

Your smart home plan begins with choosing which brand of technology to base your system around. Most of the major players in today’s tech market produce their own brand of smart assistant, which can serve as the hub for the rest of your connected devices. Be sure to research the various brands and the technologies found within their ecosystems ahead of time to be sure you’re getting the ideal setup for you. For instance, if installing a smart lock on your door is a priority for your home, be sure that the technology is available on your chosen platform before committing to any purchase.

Install Wi-Fi Boosters

All the smart-enabled tech in the world won’t do you any good if it can’t connect to your home’s Wi-Fi. Make sure every corner of your home is bathed in a strong wireless internet signal by installing Wi-Fi boosters throughout your rooms according to the manufacturer’s recommendation. Like all the technology you select, try to purchase boosters that share a common brand with your other components to make connectivity a breeze.

Replace Traditional Bulbs with Smart Bulbs

Now that you’ve got the basic infrastructure in place, a good first step in setting up your smart home is the installation of smart bulbs. These programmable bulbs give you the freedom to dim lights and turn them on and off via your smartphone from any room in the house—or even while away. Many smart bulbs also feature the ability to turn on or off according to a programmable schedule, which can lead to savings on your home’s energy costs.

Upgrade to Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are a handy way to add a touch of intelligence to the devices you already own. This new type of plug replaces your home’s traditional electrical outlets, allowing you to control power to whatever is plugged into them via an app. Though these plugs won’t have a practical use in every room, they can certainly come in handy for certain situations. Think of the convenience of turning your decorative holiday lights on or off with a tap of your smartphone.

Name Devices Thoughtfully

With a few pieces of smart tech installed, you’ll need to label each individual device within your chosen smart home app to avoid confusion. It might be difficult to recall where exactly you’ve placed “Smart Bulb 1.” Instead of deferring to the manufacturer’s default names for your connected devices, give them a name that will be easy to remember as soon as you connect each device (i.e., “Nightstand Lamp,” “Garage Outlet.”) Complete this step right away for a hassle-free smart home experience from day one.

You’re committed to the smart home life—now all you need is a home in which to install your fancy gadgets. Frist Ohio Home Finance is here to help make your dreams of homeownership a reality! Contact us today to get started. Refinancing can also help free up money for upgrades to your home. Use this simple calculator to help determine if refinancing could be right for you.