Today, we all love to be constantly connected.

At least, I do! I’ve been on a quest this year to create a truly SMART apartment and it’s been slow and steady. One of the things that is attractive about Home Automation (or the Connected Home) is that you can monitor different features in your home, protect your valuables and even help conserve your energy.

Long gone are the days when the only glimpse at Home Automation was in an appropriately titled Disney Movie “Smart House“. (If you missed Disney in the 99 and 00’s, you missed out.)

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With the holidays just waving at us over the horizon, I want to make sure you get these items on your holiday list to help tech out your house.

Ready?

Check out my 4Β Must-Haves for the Ultimate Connected Home (or Apartment)

Samsung-SmartThings-Hub-Front-AngleSamsung SmartThings Hub: The control center for all things home automation, this hub connects to all of your devices and helps you manage a wide range of devices from your smartphone. Priced at $99, you will be up and running in no time with the ability to connect to your home from anywhere in the world.

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Nest – Learning Thermostat: Ever wonder if you turned the heat off before you left the house? If you left the window open in the summer and now you are providing A/C for everyone in the neighborhood? Welp. Nest is a programmable, self-learning, sensor-driven, Wi-Fi-enabled thermostat that wants to help save you money. Promise. The parent company of Nest, Nest Labs was acquired by Google in 2014 which catapulted this hidden gem into worldwide fame. This beauty can be yours for just $249.

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Amazon Echo: Yes. I know I thought that the Amazon Echo was creepy when it was released almost a year ago, but it’s not. Promise. This voice-activated device allows you to connect with Alexa, a cloud-based voice service that is like your own personal Ask Jeeves in you home. (Remember him?) The Amazon Echo can play music, read the news, check sports and weather by the sound of your voice. Sound intriguing? Pick up one today at $179.99

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Ring- Wifi Smart Doorbell: Who’s that peeking in my window? Never have to wonder who decided to show up at your house with RING, the wi-fi enabled doorbell. With this handy little device, you can see and speak with visitors via your smartphone or tablet from anywhere in the world. With two options for power (battery or existing doorbell wiring), you can have this device set up faster than you can say “No, I think I’m going to stay in tonight”. Snatch up the Ring Doorbell for $199 today.

So…are you ready to automate your home? Do you have any of these devices installed already?Β 

Sound off below!