Want to deck out your apartment or rental home with smart gadgets, but are afraid you'll violate the terms of your lease? You’re not alone! Many renters feel like they can’t enjoy the perks of smart home devices because they can’t alter their living spaces.
Fret not! There are plenty of awesome products you can use in your rented space. Predominantly, you’ll want to look into plug-and-play devices, which require little to no installation and can be packed up and taken with you when you move. Here are 10 smart home devices that are perfect for renters.
1. A smart battery that upgrades normal smoke detectors
Instead of replacing existing smoke detectors with a smart equivalent, why not just update the alarms you have? With the Roost smart battery, you can turn normal smoke detectors into smart devices simply by installing the battery. Just pop it in (no tools required) and you’ll be able to get smartphone notifications when the alarm goes off or the battery is low.
2. An installation-free smart plug that will save you energy
“I wish my utilities were more expensive,” said no one ever. It’s frustrating when you’re slapped with a high electric bill on top of your rent, but Wemo smart plugs can help. Simply plug them into your existing outlets, then plug in your appliances. You’ll be able to remotely control whatever is plugged into the Wemo, letting you turn devices off when you’re not home. Hello, energy savings!
To see other great smart plugs, check out our roundup of the best smart plugs.
3. A smart controller for your boring air conditioner
If your landlord is nice enough to provide an air conditioner, you can upgrade it into a smart AC unit with the help of the tado Smart AC Control. Install the controller, and just like that, you’ll be able to remotely control the appliance and save up to 40 percent on energy costs. The tado also works with heat pumps!
4. A removable smart air conditioner
No air conditioner? No problem. Treat yourself to a smart, affordable AC unit. The Frigidaire Smart Window AC gives you remote control over the device, and it can provide maintenance reminders so you never forget to change the filter.
5. A standalone security system
No need to mount cameras or pay a monthly fee to monitor your home. The Piper All-in-One Security System with Video Monitoring is perfect for rentals—just place it on a shelf or table and you’ll be able to keep an eye on your place with HD video streams and real-time notifications if something’s amiss.
6. A kit to turn regular blinds into smart blinds
Here’s another product that turns your normal apartment fixings into smart gadgets. Once you install the MySmartBlinds Automation Kit, you’ll be able to control your window coverings from your smartphone, setting up schedules for them to open and even putting them in energy-saving mode.
7. Easy-to-install smart light bulbs
Who needs smart lights when you can have smart bulbs? There’s also no hub or bridge required for these light bulbs, just a Wi-Fi connection. They can even be synced with Amazon’s Alexa so you can control them with voice commands.
8. A showerhead that lets you take phone calls
Smart showers are super cool, but chances are your landlord won’t spring for the installation costs. That doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a tech-savvy shower, though. The H2oVibe Rain Showerhead can be installed onto your existing shower, letting you answer calls or rock out to your favorite songs while you wash.
9. A sleep system to block out your loud neighbors
Noisy neighbors keeping you up at night? Prioritize your Zs with the help of the Sense Sleep System. Not only can this gadget produce ambient noise to block out disruptive sounds, but it will also monitor your sleep patterns, provide personalized recommendations on how you could sleep better, and wake you up in the morning.
10. A pet camera to keep your dog from barking
If your dog’s barking while you’re away is bothering the neighbors, you can quiet down Fido with the help of the Furbo Dog Camera. This cool device will send you notifications if your pooch is barking, and it lets you talk to your dog and even feed him a treat or two.