Using Your Smartphone to Run Your Home

The smartphone has changed daily living in ways that earlier forms of technology have not. Think about how people interact with their home appliances, find lost keys, remotely control temperatures in the home, and adjust the brightness of lights in a room.

Today, you can simply download or use an app on your phone, make your selection, and then let your device do the work. Discover four smartphone accessories that handle these tasks and more.

Smart Thermostats


Image via Flickr by BitBoy

The smart thermostat, such as Google’s Nest, connects to your home’s Wi-Fi for information and communication. You simply access the Nest app on your phone, make the desired temperature change, and the Nest takes action. Adjust your thermostat anywhere — at work, during dinner, or while traveling.

If you can’t easily reach your phone, control the Nest from a smartwatch app. You can use stylish smartwatches such as the Samsung Gear S2 to complement your smartphone’s use of the Nest app.

Another helpful feature of the Nest is its ability to check temperature. If the thermostat gets set for a specific temperature, Nest holds the room to that setting. In turn, the HVAC system will activate when the temperature is too low and turn off when the temperature is too high. By using the Nest app, you can save money on energy costs.


The Tile is an attachment like a key fob that you place on objects you routinely lose. Slide Tile on a key ring or hold it to find a missing phone, for example.

Tile is a palm-sized unit that has little bulk and rounded corners so you won’t snag nearby items. The device has a Bluetooth receiver inside that activates when it receives a signal from the phone app. Tile then plays a musical note loud enough to hear from a distance.

To find your lost object, keep signaling the Tile. Alternatively, you can use Tile to find a missing phone. Simply squeeze the Tile and it activates your phone to play a song so you can track down your mobile device.

Smart Lighting

Wi-Fi control brings the simple light bulb into the smartphone era. Have you ever had the feeling that you left home and didn’t turn off all the lights? You can now easily check your lights with some apps available for your phone. Log in and look for the status of the light. If you see a light on, you can turn it off. Are you in bed and can’t remember if you turned off a living room lamp? With a smartphone app, you can turn off your lamp without getting out of bed.

Lights also exist with the ability to change color and create a flashing pattern through an app. You can easily create a party atmosphere through the related application.

Connected Appliances

Many appliance manufacturers now include Wi-Fi connectivity in their products. This product list includes ranges, refrigerators, washers, dryers, and microwaves. Some washers and dryers come with the ability to send a text message when the washing or drying cycle is complete. Now when you’re reading a novel from your easy chair, you won’t need to check to find out if you need to move clothes from the washer into the dryer.

Ranges can even text or send a message to a phone through an app to let you know when a dish you’re preparing is ready to serve. You can also start warming the oven to prepare it for a meal. Log into a stove app before you get home, then pull out your prepared meal and place it in the preheated oven. If you don’t remember to check your appliances before you leave home, you can make a safety check by using your phone.

Wired devices and access to the Internet and short range communication protocols, have opened up a new world of communication in business and at home. Together with Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, and wireless internet, the accessories described above can make your smartphone more useful. Whether you’re using your phone to control the lights in your home or help you find lost objects around your house, these accessories can make your mobile device an indispensable object for daily living.