For those of you who have always dreamed of living the life promised to us by space-age movie and cartoon characters, you’re in luck. Smart homes are no longer the wave of the future. The technology is already here, but it’s up to you to put it to use. By doing so, you can enjoy the ease and convenience of that space-age life. You also have the chance to save both energy and money. The former is good for the environment, while the latter will benefit your bank account in the long-term.

Select a “Brain” for Your Smart Home

You have several choices when you’re ready to pick a hub for your smart home. Some people choose smart assistants like Amazon Echo, which uses Alexa, or Google Home. If you don’t particularly want a smart assistant, then you can opt for a smart hub instead. The devices work similarly to Amazon Echo and Google Home, in that you can use them to operate all of your smart devices using a single app, which is part of the convenience of a smart home in the first place.

Whether you choose a smart assistant or a smart hub device, it will function as the brain of your smart home. With its help, you can automate and control all of the smart devices and gadgets that you choose to install.

Stay Safe with Smart Cameras

Smart security cameras can make your home safer. Better still, you can keep an eye on your property from anywhere. You may want to supplement your cameras with other smart security measures, such assmart door locks and doorbells. Not only can you check in whenever you like, but you can even use the devices when you’re home and someone unexpectedly knocks on the door. Find out who’s there before you open it.

Smart security options can take your existing safety precautions to the next level. You can find cameras that go on your porch, cameras that cover your back door, and cameras that you can installaround your privacy fence.

Update Your Plugs

A smart plug has the power to turn almost any appliance or device into a smart one. The key is to make sure that you choose the correct voltage to make sure that the plug will work withyour appliances. You can use a smart plug with your television, your window A/C units, your lamps, and nearly any other device you can imagine. It’s an affordable way to upgrade your home that will save energy and save money.

Let There Be Light

Renovating your home to make it smarter doesn’t have to start with a big bang. Many people choose to begin with smart lighting because it can be as simple as screwing in a lightbulb—literally. Most lighting brands offer smart bulbs, many of which can be controlled via an app on your smartphone or tablet, or with your smart assistant or Hub. In addition to turning on the lights when you’re on your way home from work or shutting them down when you go to bed each night, you can also dim them and, in some cases, change the color.

Upgrade Your Thermostat

If saving money is your aim, then you will benefit from a smart thermostat, which isone of the biggest trends in smart technology. Wasted heat can eat into your bank account, plus it’s an enormous energy-sucker. A smart thermostat gives you more control, allowing you to adjust the temperature at will.

There are smart thermostat setups available. You can check out both EchoBee4 and Nest. However, many other smart thermostats are compatible with Amazon Echo and other smart assistants, or you can choose a model that lets you download an app to control it.

With a smart thermostat, you can regulate the temperature in your home no matter where you are, which means you no longer have to leave the heat blazing when you’re out of the house. Use the app to automate the temperature, ensuring that your home is warm when you return.

You don’t have to travel to the future to enjoy a smart home. Do you use any devices that turn your house into a smart sanctuary?

Author Bio: Katie Tejada is a writer, editor, and former HR professional who works with companies like Door Locks Direct. She enjoys writing about events, travel, decorating trends, and innovations for the home, but also covers developments in HR, business communication, recruiting, and CRM solutions.