September/October 2022 Issue
Smart home tech may be typically an option for homeowners, who are free to drill holes, change fixtures, and permanently mount hardware as they see fit. But that doesn’t mean renters, who are more restricted, can’t get in on the action. In fact, wireless-enabled gear is booming in the rental market. “We’re seeing quite a bit more interest on the rental side lately,” says Efrain Guerrero, business development consultant at AAA Smart Home Security, which provides a wide range of smart home security gear. “Renters represent 55 to 60 percent of current foot traffic into our branches.”
What smart devices can you add to your house without losing your security deposit? Here are the top 10 options to consider.
Speakers such as the Amazon Echo and Apple HomePod are gateway smart home devices for many users, according to Guerrero, letting you look things up on the internet, play games, control other smart devices, and more. Of course, many smart speakers also work great simply as speakers. “I personally use a Sonos system to play music in different zones all around my house,” he says.
With just a few minutes of setup, smart light bulbs easily replace existing bulbs, giving you phone-based access to dimming and color lighting options (depending on the bulb). LED strips, which affix to walls and cabinetry with two-sided tape, are another popular option “that can really help to build a mood at home,” says Guerrero. Stand-alone lamps outfitted with wireless features offer another path to smart lighting that you can easily position anywhere you need illumination.
There’s no need to dismantle a wall outlet and install a permanent smart plug in its place. Add-on smart plugs are commonly available, letting you instantly add wireless features to any outlet in your home. Some smart plugs go beyond on/off and timer functions, including dimmers that let you create the perfect mood with your attached lighting devices.