When you've got a tiny home, there's only have so much space to work with. To make the most of the space, you'll need to be very deliberate in the appliances that find their way inside. Luckily, there are plenty in the smart home category that can provide maximum utility with minimum footprint. Let's explore some of the best smart tech for your tiny home.
Instant Pot Pro Plus
- Incredible versatility
- Major usability improvements
- Remote control functions fun and useful
- Community recipes can be hit and miss
When it comes to cooking, you won't have a lot of room for multiple big appliances in a tiny home. Products like the Instant Pot are able to tackle multiple functions at once and maybe even replace a stove if you're in a pinch. Besides pressure-cooking, the latest models are able to sautée, make yogurt, cook rice, steam, sous vide, and more. You can even use it for canning preserves. The Pro Plus model pairs up with a mobile app so you can beam recipes directly to the cooker, or you can remotely control it. Of course, Instant Pot has a healthy range of products, so you can find smaller ones or air fryers among their ranks if that's your jam.
Philips Hue Light Strip
- 16 million colors with adjustable output to 900 lumens
- Weatherproof operation in all conditions
- Freestanding or screw-clip mounting options
- Simple installation with extension kit available for longer runs
- Support for Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant
- Strips can’t be cut to size
- Drab silicone cladding
In a tiny home, you aren't going to have a whole lot of room for lamps. LED light strips are a great way to go since they have such a low profile and can be tucked into recessed areas. You'll likely want some kind of exterior illumination right on the house if you're counting on moving on to another site and don't want to affix much to the property. Running this Philips Hue light strip along the outside of your tiny home can handily take care of that. Philips Hue lights offer a wide range of fun color options, but they're also very energy efficient. Other models are available for indoor lighting, too. You can find some other great smart lights here.
MRCOOL Mini Split Ductless Heat Pump
Smart climate control
- Heats and cools
- Mobile app works with assistants
- Energy efficient
- Involved, lengthy installation
- Inconsistent support
Smart heat pumps are among the most energy efficient heating and cooling you can find, especially if you're trying to avoid using fossil fuels in a low-carbon lifestyle. MRCOOL makes ductless mini split systems that accommodate rooms between 500 and 1,500 square feet, while heat ratings go from 12K to 36K BTUs. Wi-Fi connectivity provides remote control and access via Google Assistant and Siri. You can set up schedules, enable geofencing so the system turns on or off depending on how close you are, and maximize energy savings.
Renogy 100W Solar Starter Kit
- Rugged construction
- Easy to install
- Reliable performance
- Occasional issues with included controller
To go even further off-grid, you'll need some solar panels. Renogy's 100W starter Kit has everything you need to set a foundation for renewable energy. It includes mounting hardware, a charge controller, and cables. You'll likely need another couple of solar panels and a deep cell battery to feed all of that power into. By plugging a separate Bluetooth module into the charge controller, you can pair up your phone and get rich data on your tiny home's power consumption and generation.
Be sure to read up more on our picks for best solar panels.
LG WM3600HWA Washing Machine
Efficient and compact
- Special steam mode for allergies
- Excellent smart features
- Great choices for cold and speed cycles
- Extra features may be difficult to navigate
Finally, you'll need a washing machine that doesn't take up a lot of room, doesn't use a whole lot of water, and conserves energy. If it has smartphone connectivity, that would just be the cherry on top. Luckily, the LG WM3600HWA ticks all of those boxes.
Even without the smartphone app, this thing is pretty smart. It's able to figure out the type of fabric being loaded or execute a steaming cycle to remove allergens. In a bigger home, you might be lacking capacity in a washer like this, but it's a solid fit for a tiny home that's looking to save space.
Be sure to read up on our top picks for washing machines if you're looking for more options.
You'll want to check with a lawyer before knowing for sure if a tiny house is legal where you want to build one. This will likely depend more on municipal laws than anything. Namely, unincorporated rural areas are more flexible with zoning than cities.
The folks at TinySociety have put together a great map, ranking each U.S. state by its friendliness towards tiny homes. Texas, New Mexico, Georgia, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Maine, and Oregon all rate highly. Meanwhile, Montana, Wisconsin, New York, Rhode Island, Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Virginia, West Virginia, Ohio, Iowa, Missouri, Oklahoma, Arkansas, Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama all rate poorly.
It's possible to spend a lot of money on a tiny house if you want to. You can expect to pay between $20,000 and $60,000 on average, or more if you're going to splurge. Here's a look at some incredibly affordable tiny homes.
If you're handy, it's possible to save a lot of money by building a tiny house yourself. In general, labor accounts for about half of home construction costs.
In order to remain towable, tiny homes should be at most 8.5 feet wide, 13.5 feet tall, and 40 feet long.
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