Earth Day 2017 is upon us, so it’s time for our annual look at how you can save money by adding a few simple accessories to your home. Elgato, Philips, Ecobee and many others have released a number of products geared towards saving energy (and your hard-earned cash).
Chances are, as an avid 9to5Toys reader, you’ve already invested in some smart home gear for your pad. Diving further into these ecosystems can help save significant money in the long-run if managed the right way. In honor of Earth Day, we’ve rounded up some of our favorite accessories that are a must-have for the Mother Earth-conscious techie.
There are plenty of obvious picks for Earth Day, some of which are larger investments that might take months or years to recoup in value. We’ll get to those in a bit, but off the top we want to focus on products that will help you build an energy-conscious lifestyle.
Our top pick is Elgato’s Eve Energy that retails for $50 over at Amazon. This HomeKit-enabled switch not only offers the usual on/off controls but will also monitor the energy use of your devices over time. One of my favorite features of the smartphone app is that it can project the actual real world impact of your use in dollars, based on the week, day or minute. Seeing this data in real-time was helpful for me to see just how a certain product was affecting my electrical bill. Buy now at Amazon.
Alternatively, if you don’t need the HomeKit integration, Belkin’s WeMo Insight Plug offers much of the same functionality and is currently on sale for $39.99 direct. If you want the Siri-capabilities but don’t mind ditching the energy monitoring, iHome’s Smart Plug is the perfect entry-point into the world of HomeKit.
An obvious buy for saving energy is a new thermostat. In celebration of Earth Day, two of the industry standards are receiving nice discounts. You’ll want to act now if you’re interested, as we don’t expect to see these last long. The third-generation Nest Thermostat is currently on sale for $219 (Reg. $249) while the HomeKit-friendly ecobee3 is marked down to $199 (Reg. $249). If you’re looking to save even more, ecobee3 Lite is $169 and now works with room sensors, which must be purchased separately.
The LED Light Bulb market has been flooded with options in the last few years. Philips Hue has long been the industry standard, but other brands have quickly caught on with noteworthy alternatives. The downfall of Hue is that it requires an additional Hub but does bring HomeKit compatibility to the table. If you’re looking for an easy entry into smartphone-controlled bulbs, we recommend TP-Link’s Wi-Fi LED options that start at just $20 and are compatible with Alexa. You get the best of both worlds here thanks to the free smartphone app and inherent LED savings versus traditional bulbs.
Hunter popped onto the scene a little over a year ago with its own HomeKit-enabled fans. You may not think about it, but traditional ceiling fans can be a real energy drain on your home. Like any good smart home accessory, these fans can track your usage and create schedules that cut down on excessive use. Prices start at $349 and go up from there. If you’re looking to go all-in, we love Haiku Fans as an excellent means for saving cash while heating/cooling your home. Sure, it is pricier than most options on the market but you get a killer design and a number of built-in features.
Ultimately, there are a number of ways to save when it comes to energy use in your own home. What are some of your favorite products and tips? Let us know down in the comment section.