Enhancing a vacation home with smart tech

Summer is nearly here and it’s the perfect time to take a trip and relax. That’s right, vacation season is upon us. People are heading to the beach or away from the sweltering heat to something cooler. If you’re lucky enough, you may have a separate vacation home that you can stay at for a few weeks or months throughout the year.

Now, you might have some smart home devices in your current or main home where you’re currently residing. Some of those devices will overlap with what you’d want at your vacation home, but some can be more specific to account for the shorter amount of time you’ll be staying there. Let’s go over all those devices worth adding to a vacation home.


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First and foremost, you’ll want to keep the home protected. Security is vital, especially if you don’t plan to be there throughout the year or plan on renting it to others during some months. Starting outside the home, you’ll want to add some security cameras. One of the best security cameras for a rental home come from Reolink, specifically the ReoArgus 3 Pro security camera line.

These cameras are a good option because you don’t need a Wi-Fi connection for them to work. So, it’s ideal for those who shut down utilities for parts of the year. These cameras can aslso operate from cellular data and save video feeds either locally or to the cloud. They also have 2K video resolution for incredible details. Finally, they are weather-sealed to survive whatever elements the environment throws at them when you’re not there. Some models support a solar panel to help power them throughout the year.

You don’t have to go with a camera system like this and instead opt tp use a more prominent name-brand smart security system camera, but remember to count in extra costs like cloud subscriptions or permanent internet bills.

Along with security cameras, you’ll need sensors to keep you aware of potential home issues. For example, sensors such as the Flo by Moen can detect water leaks from your home’s pipes. If it detects a leak, it can automatically shut off your water before any severe damage happens. Along with water leak sensors, door/window sensors can show when someone opens a door or cracks open a window.

Lastly, having a smart door lock, ideally one with a keypad or NFC pad, can really streamline getting into your home. One of our favorite door locks is Beat’s Encode Plus. It features Bluetooth, NFC, and keypad entry, and it can connect to smart home ecosystems (including Apple HomeKit) if you have one set up in your vacation home.

Heating and cooling

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Finding a thermostat for a smart vacation home is more straightforward. Pick up a thermostat from Nest or Ecobee, and you’re all set. Ecobee models, in particular, work with all major smart home ecosystems if you like to have all your smart home devices tied together.

This category is easy to navigate since most smart thermostats learn your patterns and adjust the temperature to keep your home comfortable for you and your bills manageable. They know when you’re staying and leaving, and change the temperature according to who’s occupying the house at that current moment. You can also create smart thermostat settings to fit your needs. Ecobee thermostats can also shut off gas and heat lines if it detects a fire or smoke — another safety measure tied into this product.


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Smart lighting lasts longer than traditional bulbs and costs less to run over time. You can also choose to get bulbs that need Wi-Fi and a hub or go with some that are Bluetooth-only for less maintenance. Read our guide to smart lights to learn about all the choices.

Philips Hue is our go-to choice in smart lighting for those with full-time internet access, as its hub makes it easy to program and use many advanced features. With a hub, you can also control more than 10 lights at once if you have a bigger home.

If you want to control your lights without Wi-Fi, then LIFX is a good option. The company has a wide range of lighting products that are bright and vibrant, with unique features not seen in other brands. Howe