Whether you’re a technophile or a tech novice, you’re probably somewhat familiar with smart home devices.

Smart home devices are operated by smartphones, voice commands, or artificial intelligence. They can automate a number of everyday tasks, making our lives simpler, more entertaining, and even more secure. For some people, that can be as simple as buying a smart speaker or smart TV. For others, it can mean creating a whole network of devices, including plugs, lights, security systems, thermostats, even a robot vacuum cleaner.

When most people think about smart homes, they assume the technology can only exist in a house. The truth is there are a ton of highly portable smart home options at all price points that can transform and modernize your apartment into a smart apartment. Read on if you want to learn how to make your apartment a smart home!

How Can I Turn My Apartment Into A Smart Apartment?

There are four things to keep in mind when selecting a smart home device for your apartment.

  1. Ease of installation (and removal).
  2. Simplicity – no complex wiring or drilling.
  3. Size –  you’ll want something that doesn’t take up a lot of room and that you can take with you.
  4. Compatibility with other devices.

Best Smart Home Devices for Apartments

Now that you have a starting point, it’s time to put together your own smart home starter kit full of tech you can take with you.  Check out these four ideas for how to modernize your apartment.

1. Smart Speakers

Smart speakers (also known as voice assistants) are the starting point of most smart home networks. Your smart hub connects all your smart devices and is your main method of interacting with these devices. If you’re exploring the best smart home devices for apartments, then this is the place to start.

The three main voice assistant options are from Amazon, Apple, and Google. Amazon’s entry-level speaker, the Echo Dot is powered by Alexa and plays music, answers questions, reads the news, checks the weather, sets alarms, controls compatible smart home devices, and more. Google’s latest speaker, the Google Nest Mini offers all of the same features at a similar $40 price point.

At the other end of the price scale is the Apple HomePod, listed at $300. It positions itself, first and foremost, as a speaker that also combines the intelligence of Siri to play music, help with everyday tasks, and control your other smart home devices through voice commands or via your iPhone or iPad.

All three voice assistants are easy to install, wireless, highly portable, and multifunctional. And, they’re minimalist designs ensure they won’t clash with your decorating goals.

2. Smart Plug

While not as multifunctional as a voice assistant, a smart plug is a very cost-effective (around $20) and simple device to add to your apartment — making it especially attractive for first-time renters learning how to make a smart apartment. Smart plugs can add a lot of functionality to your existing electronics, such as fans, your coffee maker, or a lamp.

The Wemo Mini uses your existing home Wi-Fi network to provide wireless control of your lights and appliances. No subscription or hub is required: simply plug Wemo Mini into an electrical outlet, connect a device to the smart plug, and wirelessly control your device using a tablet or phone. It’s compatible with all the major smart home platforms and reacts to commands. You can also set up timers and schedules through the Wemo app.

Best of all, there’s no wiring and you can take it with you when you move.

3. Smart Light Bulbs

Smart LED light bulbs not only allow you to control the lights in your home by just the sound of your voice, but they are also energy efficient and can be added or removed from fixtures easily.

Philips Hue A19  bulbs fit into traditional lamps and fixtures without any electrical modifications and are compatible with Amazon, Apple, and Google devices. They can be controlled by voice or by an app, so you can make schedules, adjust the brightness, or customize the light color to create a different mood. Plus, you can always add more bulbs to the system later down the line.

4. Smart Locks For Apartments

Smart locks can provide a lot of peace of mind, particularly if you live alone in your apartment. There are a number of smart locks on the market but many of them require some degree of wiring or swapping out the existing lock mechanism (which is definitely frowned upon in most rental agreements).

The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock, however, has a sleek, compact design that fits easily over your existing deadbolt so you can keep your original, physical key. This easy-to-install smart lock will remotely lock or unlock the door, check door status, assign “virtual guest keys,” and see who’s coming and going. And because Wi-Fi is built-in, you can use your favorite voice assistant to control your door or connect to your phone and the August app.

Just don’t forget to let your landlord know that you’ve added it. They will need to make sure they still have access to your apartment in case of an emergency.

How to Modernize Your Apartment with Southern Management

Ready for an apartment upgrade? At Southern Management, we have a few tips for how to make a smart apartment and create a true tech haven without intrusive wiring or putting holes in the wall.

Our 75 apartment communities across Virginia and Maryland offer a variety of options to help you feel secure and tech-savvy in your new home. Explore our communities today with a virtual tour and contact us for more information!