A smarthome is no longer a distant dream of the future, it is very much something you can achieve now, whether you have a little bit of spare cash, or a lot.
There are plenty of ways, devices and products that can all contribute to making your home a smart one, and it will depend on what your priorities are as to what you start with, or build on. For example, you might want every bulb and radiator in your house to be connected, or you might just want to be able to control your music from your smartphone.
Systems and devices vary significantly in terms of cost, but turning your home into a clever one isn't as expensive as you might think. We listed a few devices available in our how to get a smarthome for under £500 feature, but here we are looking at what you can get with double the bucks.
Honeywell's Evohome connects to your existing boiler and radiators and enables you to control your entire heating system from the central console or a smartphone app. You'll be able to create up to 12 zones in your home, all of which can be controlled individually to bring you maximum comfort, while at the same time help you save energy.
Each zone can have multiple radiators within it and each radiator can be controlled down to a set degree in temperature. You can set your entire home to be one temperature, or you can have different rooms at different temperatures, all of which you can do from the app no matter where you are. Honeywell's Evohome is compatible with IFTTT, a service based on the statement: If This Then That. This means you can set various "recipes" to suit your life, such as make the heating turn off automatically if the sun comes out.
PRICE: £249 for Evohome Connected Pack, £77 for radiator zone kits
Philips Hue is a smart lighting system that consists of connected bulbs and a wireless bridge, which can be controlled using an iPhone, iPad or iPod from wherever you are. The starter pack comes with three bulbs and the bridge but you can buy the bulbs individually too depending on how many of your lights you want to connect. The bridge can control up to 50 Hue light bulbs and each bulb is said to use 80 per cent less energy than a traditional bulb.
You'll be able to create light settings based on your favourite photos, or photos you have uploaded, and there for millions of colours to choose from. Hue also has a party mode that makes the bulbs flash in time with your music and you can set timers to help you wake up every day. Of course you'll also get the ability to turn the Hue bulbs on, off and dim them to suit the mood you are trying to create. Like Honeywell Evohome, Philips Hue is compatible with IFTTT.
PRICE: £149.95 for the starter pack, £49.95 for individual bulbs
Piper nv + Z-Wave Pack
There are several smarthome cameras available, all of which have their on pros and cons. Piper nv is a follow-on device from the original Piper that entered the market in January last year and it builds on the all-in-one home security and video monitoring system by adding night vision and a new camera performance.
The Piper nv sports a 3.4-megapixel sensor with 180-degree fisheye lens that has 10x zoom and will record 1080p video, as well as allow you to electronically pan and tilt, all from your smartphone. You'll be able to see what is happening in your home when you aren't there, from wherever you are. What is great about Piper is there are also a range of Z-Wave accessories that can be integrated with it so you can turn on a reading light from the same app for example. You get the option of three accessories with this deal, and you can choose from a plug, door or window sensor, or micro smart switch.
PRICE: €399 (approx £300)
Sonos Play 1
Sonos is a wireless HiFi system that consists of various different sized speakers, a sound bar and a sub, all of which you can control using the Sonos app, which is compatible with iOS, Android and Windows. The Sonos Play:1 is the cheapest and smallest of the speakers available, offering two custom-designed drivers with dedicated amplifiers inside.
It comes in black and white colour options and you can stream your entire music library, a range of music services such as Spotify, and internet radio from the app to the speaker. Sonos speakers can also be grouped, no matter which combination you have so it's nice and easy to add to your collection and fill your home with music.
Belkin WeMo Switch
The Belkin WeMo Switch is part of a modular system so you can control as much or as little of your home as you want to. The idea of the switch is to give you wireless control over home appliances and electronics, for example a lamp, fan, TV or coffee machine.
You plug the WeMo Switch into an outlet in your home and plug any device or appliance into it. The Switch then needs to be connected to your home Wi-Fi network, which you do through the Android or iOS app, and after you complete the installation instructions, you'll be able to turn whatever you have plugged in on or off from anywhere using your smartphone. The Belkin WeMo range is also compatible with IFTTT so you'll be able to create various recipes if you want to.
Belkin WeMo Maker
The Belkin WeMo Maker is a device that makes it possible to control low-voltage electronic devices using your smartphone or tablet. It can connect to nearly any device controlled with a DC switch and once connected, you'll be able to turn them on or off, put them on schedules or connect them to different sensors.
The customisation possibilities are endless with the WeMo Maker as it too works with IFTTT. With this compatibility, it means you could connect a WeMo Maker to a garage door and create a trigger to open the door when you are nearly home based on your smartphone's location for example.