Look around and you’ll see some aspects from the Jetsons television show coming to life through today’s smart home technology. Smart devices, as a step above our average products, allow families to save a little extra time, energy and even a few extra dollars. Imagine waking up to the smell of coffee in the mornings without even touching your coffee maker.

Also recognized as home automation systems, these devices are created to make the processes of life more efficient by placing some routines on “autopilot”. As reported by Alarms.org, 57% of smart home device owners have stated that they have been able to save more time by simply using these devices. Yet, with so many options available on the market, what are some important factors to consider before purchasing a smart product?

Factors to consider before buying a smart home device

Learn more about these 4 key factors to take into consideration before making your first smart home device purchase.

1. Can you put some items in your home on autopilot?

It’s a good idea to first consider what process you can place on “autopilot” in your home. Do you normally brew coffee in the mornings? Do you usually adjust the temperature before leaving home? Take a little time to think about the things that you do on a normal basis, and from there,  see how automating that process could save you a little extra time. If you’re guilty of leaving the lights on before leaving home, a home automation solution like ADT’s Smart Lights and Smart Bulbs can definitely help by not only saving you a little extra time before heading out the door but also by cutting down on your energy costs.

2. What price are you willing to pay?

After figuring out what process you’re ready to automate, it’s time to start considering price of the actual devices. Smart home products are a step above your average devices, so the prices can definitely range depending upon its purpose and features.

For instance, larger and more robust kitchen appliances, like the CrockPot WeMo-Enabled Smart Slow Cooker, will likely carry a higher price tag than smaller appliances like the Behmor Connected Coffee Maker. The options are totally up to you and depends on your lifestyle and what you can afford.

3. What features does the device support?

Does the device support the functions that you’re planning to automate? For instance, if you’re for smart devices that will allow keyless entry for your doors, ADT’s Smart Locks would give you the ability to lock or unlock your doors by app.

When shopping for devices, consider which features will be the most helpful to you.

4. How easy is it to install and maintain the device?

While it may be tempting to purchase a home automation system that comes with many bells and whistles, it’s better instead to look for simple solutions. When you want to automate a simple process, it’s better to start small. Also, find out if the device will need to be updated in order to have the latest technology.

What are some great smart home products for starters?

It’s best to start small, and to help, we’ve put together a short list of affordable smart devices that are great to consider when automating simple processes.

Nest Learning Thermostat

The Nest Learning Thermostat allows you to control the temperature of your home easily from your phone, tablet or laptop. The device learns your schedule so that the temperature is set exactly how you like it, whether you’re waking up in the mornings or arriving home in the evenings. Additionally, this device can help you to cut down on your energy usage and save on your energy bill.

Check Price on Amazon

AuKey Wi-Fi Smart Plug

Turn your lights on or off from any location or start up your morning brew with the AuKey Wi-Fi Smart Plug. This smart home device allows you to control simple household items that you might use on a regular basis. You can also use it in conjunction with a digital assistant like Amazon Alexa.

Check Price on Amazon

ADT Video Doorbell

With ADT’s Video Doorbell, you can get alerts whenever a visitor arrives. This home automation solution boasts clear, HD images and two-way audio so you can talk with your visitors. With built-in night vision, you’ll also be able to keep an eye on your front door after dark.

Check Price on ADT.com

Philips Hue White Starter Kit

Set up smart lighting in your home in as little as 5 minutes with the Philips Hue White Starter Kit. These bulbs allow you to control your lights by voice through Amazon Alexa and can even be set according to sunrise and sunset times.

Check Price on Amazon

iTrack Motion Key Finder

Always searching for your keys? Avoid those hectic moments with the help of the iTrack Motion Key Finder. With Bluetooth compatibility, this smart device allows you to track an item using a map. Besides keeping tabs on your keys, you can also use this device to track your purse, wallet, luggage, and more.

Check Price on Amazon

Create your smart home one step at a time

When shopping for smart devices to put some of your tasks on autopilot, it’s important to keep purpose, cost, features and ease of use in mind. Just imagine how much easier getting up the mornings or coming home in the evenings will be with your new gadget. We recommend starting with one of the items in our guide and learning how to use it well before purchasing your next addition. In time, hopefully you’ll be able to have the smart home of your dreams.