I want a Smart Home as a renter, but how can I have the benefits when I am not allowed to make infrastructure changes to my rental? How can I make my front door more secure, save energy with a smart thermostat, and remotely control lights and appliances without making changes to the rental and putting my security deposit at risk?
What is your first thought when you picture a “Smart Home Device”? Is it a touchscreen controller built into a wall, or a series of hidden sensors installed around the home? You’d be pleased to hear that Smart Home Devices are much simpler than that; many don’t even require permanent installation or expensive remodeling requirements.
Whether you rent a house or an apartment, there are plenty of options for you to automate your home that require little to no installation hassle. Pick and choose where you wish to set up sensors or plug-in controllers without worrying about rewiring or cutting out space in a wall for an enclosure box. You can even control or check on automation devices from your smartphone or tablet via an app.
Here are top picks for easy-to-install home automation devices.
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect – The August Smart Lock fits onto existing deadbolts, installs in 15 minutes, and is a good pick for renters who can’t replace their door lock. It will auto lock/unlock when you approach or leave your home and it’s Z-Wave compatible. It also includes the August Connect Wi-Fi bridge for “anywhere access.”
VeraEdge Home Controller – The brains of your Smart Rental, it provides remote control of all of your Z-Wave and IP devices through a single mobile app or your computer. If you already own Zigbee-controlled devices, the VeraPlus may be your choice because you can control both Zigbee and newer Z-Wave devices.
GoControl Z-Wave Recessed Lighting Retrofit Kit With LED Bulb – Easily installed by screwing in and connecting two hooks. It fits into a 5″ or 6″ recessed can lighting fixture to provide warm yellow LED lighting that can be controlled with nearly any Z-Wave controller. Plus, it only consumes 8.5 Watts to save energy.
Zipato Z-Wave RGBW LED Light Bulb 2 – This powerful LED light bulb can create thousands of different colors and hues to light up your rental. It can be controlled from your smartphone or Z-Wave enabled controller (Zipabox recommended). This bulb also screws into a standard light socket and only consumes 9.5 Watts.
Fibaro Z-Wave Motion Sensor, Gen5 – About the size of a golf ball, this powerful multi-sensor can detect motion, temperature, lighting level, and even vibration. It’s Z-Wave Plus certified and compatible with all major Z-Wave hubs and controllers. The LED “eye” even changes colors to indicate different conditions and it’s really easy to install on a wall or any surface.
Leviton Decora Smart Z-Wave Plug-In Appliance Module – Remotely or automatically turn on and off any small appliance such as coffee machine, hair curlers, space heater, fan, or whatever you want. Simply plug your device into the module, and plug the module into a power outlet. Once the device is enrolled into your Z-Wave network, use a wireless Z-Wave controller to turn On/Off your connected devices.
First Alert Z-Wave Smoke And Carbon Monoxide Detector – The risk of fire or CO exposure rises in an apartment. Stay safe from fires and dangerous gas with this smoke and CO detector. It has a built-in siren and works with any Z-Wave controller. When smoke or CO is detected, the alarm sets off a loud 85dB siren and sends an alarm condition to your Z-Wave control unit.
GoControl Battery-Powered Z-Wave Thermostat – If your landlord will allow you to swap out the existing thermostat this is a great choice that works with standard HVAC systems. It’s easy to install and remove. It works with all Z-Wave hubs, including GoControl and you’ll even be able to adjust HVAC settings through your smartphone or tablet.
Make your rental home a Smart Home! Home Controls carries many Smart Home devices that work well for a rental property. Call us at 858-693-8887 (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific, Monday – Friday) for free tech support and product advice, or visit www.homecontrols.com to see what it is all about.