The amount of technology available for homeowners these days is stunning, if not overwhelming. You can do pretty much anything from your phone, from turning on lights to setting an alarm to locking your door and more. With all the options out there, which ones make sense, and why? We’ve showcased a few home automation options to consider.

Home safety features

If you’re looking for one category to automate in your home, safety features should be your first choice. There are many wonderful options to choose from that not only make life easier but can make your home more secure. Most people start with smart doorbells, which offer homeowners the opportunity to see who is at their door before they open it, even if they’re not home. Some models allow you to keep video on file for later reference or have a two-way conversation with the person at your door even when you’re not in your home. Basic models are easy to install and inexpensive, giving you peace of mind and a level of safety for a low price.

Another popular safety feature is automated door locks. Ever leave your house and can’t remember if you locked the door or not? Ever gotten home and realized you somehow locked yourself out? Are your teenagers home alone and forgetful about locking the door at night?  Smart locks can solve this problem and can be run from your phone, whether you’re at your front door or the next state over. On some models, you can assign codes to different people like your housecleaners or your mother-in-law, so you can control who comes and goes without having to unlock the door every time or share a central code. Whole house security systems can tie these options together and bundle with in-home videos, motion sensors, and more.

Lighting and window coverings

If you come home to a dark home and stumble through the house to turn on a light, automated lighting might be a good option to consider. It can be tied to a home security system, or it can be a standalone feature. Lighting automation lets you control lights from your computer or smartphone, turning them on and off, scheduling them to come on or turn off while you’re on vacation, and even dimming depending on the time of day. There are even color-changing light bulbs that can mimic a mode you’re going for, from cozy warmth to cool evening calm blues. They can help you sleep at night, be slowly dimming, and wake you up by slowly getting brighter. This is a fun and convenient way to dip your toe in automating your home.

Window covering automation can add a level of convenience for those who often open and close blinds, or have a high up window covering that are difficult to reach. You can set shades to open and close on a schedule or control them with your voice using Alexa or another voice assistant. They also can tilt to control how much light comes in versus merely opening and closing.

Kitchen automation

The biggest rage right now is in kitchen automation. Sure, you already have some control over your crockpot or Instant Pot with settings you can set and forget, but new kitchen automation takes control to a whole new level. Kitchen faucets are a popular pick where you can wave your hand in front of the faucet to start or stop the water flow. Some models even allow voice control so you can tell the faucet how much water to pour in, say, a pot for boiling pasta.

Refrigerators are another trend in home automation. Smart models allow you to check the contents of your fridge, control temperature, and even change temperature settings for different parts of your fridge depending on your needs (like a big platter of sandwiches or several wine bottles being stored for a party). Some have computer screens that act as a helpful display, showing calendars, pulling up recipes, or scrolling through family photos.

Not to be outdone, ranges and stoves now offer automation as well. Connected to your home’s wi-fi, certain models can be controlled from your phone or by voice. They’ll even alert you when your food is done; no more clock-watching or listening for that buzzer to go off.

Home automation has come a long way, and many people are incorporating these upgrades into their custom kitchen renovations. If you’re considering adding home automation during a major remodel, be sure to work with an interior design professional that can counsel you on not only function but style so that these items blend seamlessly into your newly remodeled home without detracting from the look of your home.