Essential Smart Home Devices: How to Build A Better Smart Home

Every smart home needs to start somewhere. In the first ever guest post on the Senic Journal, Jeff from RIZKNOWS shows you a few essential smart home devices that you should look into first when creating a smarter home.

The age of the smart home is here and yet there are so many devices that it can be confusing (and a little intimidating) for consumers. Which brands are best? Where should you start? How do you install the new products?


It can be easy to fall into the trap of thinking you need all the smart appliances on the market, from an Alexa device to your water sprinkling system to your refrigerator. In this beginner’s guide to building a smart home, we’re going to give you the basics for creating a cohesive and convenient system and point you towards some of the best products to use.


The Smart Speaker

The nucleus of every smart home is a smart speaker. For the purpose of this post, we will be discussing the Sonos One, which arguably is the best overall smart speaker. That said, there are a myriad of other smart speakers apart from Sonos, and other brands, that will do just fine.


The Sonos One has Amazon Alexa voice control built in and Google Assistant coming into play in the coming months. While it lacks Bluetooth, it does have Apple AirPlay 2, which allows you to stream music from your MacBook, iMac, iPhone, or iPad. The speaker has deep, rich sound and easily pairs with other Sonos speakers for multi-room audio and surround sound. That’s one of the biggest advantages with purchasing a Sonos product—you have broad compatibility across their lineup for speakers, subs, and amps.


Sonos One (and Alexa) can be used to control your music and podcasts, set timers, control the temperature in your home, add to your grocery list, purchase products on Amazon, and many other things. In fact, there are tens of thousands of commands that Alexa is equipped to handle.


Smart Lighting

Your second step to creating a smart home is buying smart lights. They’re very simple to use but make your home feel that much more advanced. You can replace bulbs, switches, outlets, and plugs – but a nice place to start (which we recommend) is with Philips Hue Smart Light Bulbs.

©Philips Hue

They’re widely considered the gold standard of smart lights and come in a variety of shades and colors, so everyone can have a perfect lighting experience. Upgrading your lights isn’t just about convenience and ambiance. A secondary feature of adding smart lights such as Philips Hue is its energy efficiency and longevity. Using up 85% less wattage than regular bulbs and lasting 10 times as long, they pay for themselves almost twice over just in energy savings. Users can create schedules and timers as well as run them based on the time of sunset/sunrise, providing consumers extensive cost savings down the line.


Controlling Your Smart Home

While controlling everything through the many different available apps (i.e. Sonos, Alexa, Philips Hue, etc.) and voice commands is fun, we’ve found that they often are imperfect and/or can take too long.


Enter Nuimo Click, a smart switch that can wirelessly pair with your Sonos speakers and Philips Hue light bulbs to make accessing your music and smart lighting easy and efficient. You can mount it anywhere you want (wall, nightstand, ceiling; seriously, wherever) and it never needs to be recharged.

See how Nuimo Click works

Controls are the most overlooked part of a smart home but are perhaps the most worthwhile investment once you’ve already taken the dive into upgrading your home.


This guide could easily be 2,000 words long, but the simple fact is that there are three products that you should look into first when you’re building a smart home—everything else is just fringe.


This post was written by the editorial staff from and, both of which are review websites that cover popular consumer products, including smart home gadgets.

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