If you’re like most of us, you’ve increasingly spent time in your home office over the last few years and could benefit from adding more smart home tech to your space. Smart tech makes life a little easier and allows you to remove some steps and inconveniences from your routine. Not only that, but being able to issue voice commands or have lights and fans set up to activate when needed can improve your comfort and mood and even put a little change back in your wallet.
Add ambient lighting
Just because the downtown office has harsh fluorescents and bright white lighting doesn’t mean your awesome home office needs to be the same. It’s time to make your lighting funkier and less eye-strain-inducing.
Consider Govee’s new 3D Hexa light panels. These fantastic 3D light panels stick to your wall and change color, morph into different patterns, and mimic a really cool art installation. The panels come in packs of seven or 10, and each individual light can display up to six colors at once. You can set patterns and colors from the app and even set your lights to change with your music. Not only do the lights give off great ambient light, but you could also set them up in the background of your Zoom call to create a talking point. Another option is smart wall lighting from Nanoleaf.
Create flattering Zoom calls
If your business depends on live streaming, or if you spend a lot of time on Zoom or Teams calls, you may want to invest in a ring light. Kensington’s BiColor Ring Light will bring much clarity and detail to your calls. You can attach it to the Kensington Boom Arm to make the whole thing easy to pull in and move out of the way when you’re done.
Get an assistant … a digital assistant
Once you have your smart home components in place, why not make it easy to activate all of them with a voice assistant? Amazon’s Echo Show 10 is a quality voice assistant, and as a bonus, it also has a video screen for streaming how-to videos and even some video calls, with a camera that will follow you as you move around your desk space. If you pick up a Ring Video Doorbell, you can see who’s at the door on the Echo Show 10 screen and even have a conversation with the delivery driver without having to leave your desk.
Connected plugs and switches can make old gear smart
Maybe you’re not ready to invest in a whole bunch of smart home gear for your office yet. We get it — that can get expensive fast. An easy way to add smart control in the office is to invest in a few inexpensive smart plugs or switches. Amazon’s Smart Plug is one of the least expensive options around, and you can plug virtually anything into it, meaning you get voice control over even “dumb” gadgets, like fans, lamps, or charging docks.
A home office needs coffee
Nobody gets work done without coffee! While you could walk back and forth to the kitchen for a warm-up, why not hunker down and stay productive by pouring that java into a warming mug? Ember makes the Ember Mug2, with a smart automatic warming feature that can keep your brew from getting too cool. Ember’s tech allows you to set the precise temperature of your hot drink from tea to coffee to hot chocolate.
Since you’re sitting at your desk all day, there’s no better time to ensure your smartphone, tablet, and other gadgets are fully charged. One of the best ways to do this is with a wireless Qi charging pad. These pads make it easy to simply lay your smartphone face up on the pad so you can see the screen while delivering a full charge through the back of the device. We’re loving Mophe’s suede-look Qi charging pad both for its style and speed, but you can also check out some of the best wireless charging pads in this article.
Make your mouse work for you
If you want to take smart charging a step further, why not get yourself a wireless mouse that also charges itself while in use on its own mouse pad? Though it’s billed as a wireless gaming mouse, Logitech’s G Powerplay Wireless Charging System works just as conveniently for a home office. The mousepad delivers juice to the wireless mouse so it’s always ready to roll.
Executive washroom privileges
One of the perks of working at home is having your own bathroom all to yourself. Why not go full executive suite and trick out your bathroom to match your fantastic workspace? Sure a candle, room spray, and soft bath mat are all nice, but some tech could really make it a relaxing place to take a break.
You can start by adding a motion detector and smart light bulbs to the mix. We are big fans of the Philips Hue lighting ecosystem here, and you can get a starter pack of Philips Hue bulbs for a pretty reasonable price and install one or two in the bathroom. Add one of the motion sensors somewhere in the bathroom, and the lights will come on when you walk in the door and turn off after you’ve left. Bonus: It’s a great energy saver too!
A toilet seat bidet like the one from Tushy can be swapped in for any standard toilet seat and then connected to your water line relatively easily, allowing you to, ahem, stay fresh all day without using tons of paper products.
The bathroom may be the final frontier for smart home tech, but we think it’s ready for its time in the spotlight.
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