101 Home Automation Ideas for Convenience & Savings

Whether you have a baby you don’t want to wake, you travel often, or you’re just too busy, automating your home is one of the easiest and most affordable solutions to it all.

Less than ten years ago, home automation was limited to smart thermostats, robot vacuums (wink wink), and a few smart locks. Unless you wanted to build an entire smart home or were willing to spend thousands on home automation systems like the X10 all the way back in the 1970s. But when the market was introduced to voice assistant, home automation took a huge leap. With the potential to automate 28,000 devices that already connect and exchange data!

But we’re not going to get into all 28,000 devices. Instead, let’s just run through 101 of our top home automation ideas for 2021. You can automate your home in ways that best fit your lifestyle and priorities, whether you’re most interested in entertainment, health & wellness or energy savings. And we will break down ways you can automate your home, room-by-room:

Home Automation Ideas For the Whole House

While most smart home devices solve solutions in just one room of the house, and for just one task, there are ways to automate your home in its entirety.

It doesn’t take much either.

From a whole home security system to a smart thermostat, here are some of the best smart home gadgets on the market today:

Smart Plugs | Our best home automation ideas using smart plugs:

man traveling by airplane

1. Automate your morning routine, such as turning on an alarm or light next to your bed, or even your coffee machine! (Who doesn’t want to wake up to the smell of freshly brewed coffee in the morning?).

2. Use “away mode” to keep your home outwardly looking as if you’re home when you aren’t.

3. Turning items on and off before you arrive home, so it’s set up and ready for you right away (i.e. a Christmas tree, or fans in your room to cool it down and make it comfortable before you arrive).

4. Create a whole home bedtime routine, which automatically shuts power to appliances, computers, fans, etc.

5. Set up a vacation mode for the whole house – turning off lights and the stove, turning down the temperature, and activating things like motion sensors and alarms.

6. Stop pulling plugs to save power for devices around the house. Instead, just set timers or shut them off remotely with a smart switch when you’re not using them (or, say, if you’re on vacation and realize you didn’t turn devices off)

There are more smart plugs on the market today than we can account for, all coming in at varying price points and with unique features.

There are also smart outlets if you’re interested in more permanent options for automating your home devices (or are on the path to creating a fully automated smart home).

That’s right, there are a variety of features that come with smart plugs. Some offer a mobile app that allows you to set schedules for plugged-in devices, while others let you set timers or monitor usage.

Some smart plugs will only work with Amazon Alexa, while others will only work with Google products.

Choosing one greatly depends on the devices you’d be connecting, your price point, and the features you hope for.

** Disclaimer: If you do choose an outlet, know that most states have restrictions over the type of outlets that meet code requirements. You might not be able to install these outlets close to areas of water, for instance. So be sure to check your state’s requirements. To avoid potential dangers of mis-wiring, it may be prudent to hire an electrician to install them safely and to code.

woman setting thermostat

Smart Thermostat | Home automation ideas involving your thermostat:

7. Adjust the temperature of your entire house while you’re away to save power.

8. Adjust the temperature to each room, depending on your living patterns and the rooms you use the most. Not only will this make you comfortable, but it can save you a lot of money by reducing energy consumption for the rooms you don’t use often.

9. If you’re away from home during a winter storm, but you lowered your thermostat before you left, you can remotely adjust the temperature to ensure your pipes don’t freeze.

10. Warm up the bathroom during shower time (even better if you have heated floors) to keep you relaxed, cozy and help you dry.

Some advanced thermostats can learn your home temperature preferences and use them to control your climate system and improve the efficiency of your home heating and cooling.

It also includes separate in-room sensors to adjust the temperature in each room and even learn where you spend most of your day (boy, that ought to save your household from a few arguments).

woman looking at light

Smart Lighting | Our top reasons to automate lights throughout your home:

11. Be like Kevin McCallister protecting his home from burglars by turning on the lights in your house at night, or if, say, your home security system or motion detector picks up movement outside.

12. Turn off all of the lights in the house as soon as you go to bed, rather than having to get up in your dreamy state just because you forgot a light.

13. Set your lights to turn on automatically if you wake in the night, with color or a dimmer and sensitivity preferences (so you’re not blinded)

14. Set a morning routine, with lights that turn on and simulate a sunrise, rather than turning them on at full brightness in the morning.

15. Create a vacation mode, which will turn on specific lights at night while you’re away, and turn them off at specific times as well to simulate you being home (for security reasons)

16. Set timers for holiday lights across your entire home exterior and throughout the interior.

17. Never come home to a dark house again. You can either turn them on when you’re in the driveway (some lights can use geofencing to do this automatically when you get home) or on your way home or set a timer for when you’re usually coming home.

18. Coordinate landscape lighting, so it’s brighter at night than at sunset or dawn to conserve energy as well as shut off and turn on automatically.

19. Use motion sensors to turn on lights when you enter the room, and when it’s dark, those lights can automatically dim to just enough light to light your way and not wake anyone else up.

20. Working at home a lot? You can put lights around your office that change to a designated color when someone wants to talk to you or enter the room. You can set a doorbell type device outside the door for others in your house to trigger the change of lights. This is perfect if you often wear headphones while you work.

It’s inevitable that you have lights that just… don’t make much sense. The switches are in awkward places; you can turn off one light, but have to run to the other side of the room to turn the others off.

Sometimes you can’t (or just don’t want to) get up to turn the light on or off. You’re napping in front of Netflix with your fur or human baby on the couch and just don’t have the mobility or energy. (We see you.)

While automating home lights is very convenient, it still isn’t perfect. It’s much easier to manage a whole house of smart lights if they’re built into it.

But for those installing individual bulbs, you may find that a manual flip of the switch cuts off the automation. Meaning, you have to manually switch the light back off before you can use your remote app once again.

This isn’t the case for all smart lights, but it is something to watch out for if you’re switching to automated lights.

Smart Cleaning | Some of our top ideas for automated cleaning:

girl hugging dog21. Schedule your Roomba® robot vacuum to clean while you’re away, or sleeping, or at times that are most convenient for you (and get a notifications when it finishes jobs)

22. Send your robot vacuum out on cleaning missions after a pet or a child has made a mess using voice control or the mobile app.

23. Mop floors automatically, either activating your Braava® robot mop when you’re ready or setting it on a timer or schedule.

24. Reduce cycle time and save money by using a smart washer and dryer that speak to each other. They can auto-select a best cycle and drying time for your wallet.

25. Schedule your loads of laundry around your child’s nap times, so they don’t wake up from the loud machine.

26. Sometimes affectionately called the “Roomba of lawn care,” robotic lawnmowers are starting to solve the time-consuming hassle that is yard work. Yup, you can automate your mowing now.

27. Activate air purifiers, or turn their power up when you’re cooking or sleeping.

While there are robotic window cleaners, litter boxes that filter as soon as the cat leaves the box and toilet bowl cleaners that run after each time you flush, there aren’t a whole lot of cleaning devices that you can control with a mobile app.

That said, companies like LG are coming around to wifi capabilities in their appliances, allowing you to set timers and start cycles remotely.

roomba with children

In most cases, if your appliance or device can connect to wifi and has an app, or connects to devices like Alexa or Google Home Assistant, you’ll be able to start and stop the device and possibly set timers. But, you might not get the full functionality of other smart products.

While we’re still cleaning up a lot of messes on our own, there’s one area of automated cleaning that’s thankfully well-developed: robot mops and robot vacuum cleaners.

I know, I know, we’re talking about ourselves, but if the shoe fits… Sweeping and mopping floors seems like one of those chores you never fully succeed at because there’s always a patch of dirt you missed or a corner you couldn’t get at. Your pets are constantly shedding fur and your kids are constantly dropping Cheerios.

We get it.

That’s why we made it easy to schedule cleaning around your busy life and automate this constant chore entirely.

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Smart Security Systems | Our top and recommended automated home security system ideas:

28. Monitor and be alerted to dangerous levels of carbon monoxide or the presence of smoke or fire, even when you aren’t home.

29. Get alerts when someone is at your front door, whether you’re home or not.

boy using phone to automate home30. One big anxiety inducer is forgetting whether or not you locked the door before leaving for vacation. Automated door locks make it easy to lock or unlock your doors, whether you’re in the driveway or thousands of miles away.

31. See when your kids arrive home from school and unlock the door for them. Or trigger it to open automatically when they arrive.

32. Set up a vacation mode to activate motion detectors outside your home, garage, windows, and doors, to receive alerts of intrusion while you’re away.

33. Instead of just monitoring for burglary, you can actually use a security system to monitor things like air quality, temperature, and humidity.
34. Set up alerts for specific doors or even cabinets, to know each and every time your special snack drawer was opened. 

35. Use geofencing to automatically set alarms, lock doors, turn on motion sensors and security cameras, as soon as you leave the house for the day and disarm it as soon as you come home.

36. Use geofencing to automatically open your garage when you come home and turn on lights – almost like your home is welcoming you back.

37. See who’s at the door from any room in the house, because you can program your phone or even your TV to display the video from the doorbell, security camera, or door lock.

Home security systems really took hold of the market back in the 1980s, with things like motion-sensing lights and an automatic garage door opener.

But real home security automation –a system you could control remotely from any device, is a relatively new concept (rising along with other automated technologies around 2014, with the Amazon Echo).

Now, there are solutions for everything. Automated door locks, window sensors, smart doorbells with video, night vision cameras, and more.

What Should I Automate In My House?

It’s truly up to you whether or not you need or want a connected home, and what technology you’d like to add.

For peace of mind, you could focus only on automating security through controlled door locks, motion detectors, and a video doorbell.

If you have a pet (or multiple pets) that shed a lot, especially in spring and summer when allergens become a huge problem, then maybe an automated air purifier and a Roomba® robot vacuum is enough for you.

Automated home technology isn’t necessary, but it can make life much easier and cut the time you spend on mundane tasks like closing the blinds and turning off all of the lights before bed each night. (It adds up!).

woman using automated home features

Home Automation Ideas: Room-By-Room

While a lot of the smart home ideas above resonate with room-by-room optimizations, there are many more ways to turn a regular room into a luxurious space – or to simply add convenience.

Home automation isn’t limited to your interior either. Your entire property can respond to voice commands if you choose.

Backyard | Smart home automation ideas for your backyard:

dad and daughter grilling

38. Automate your greenhouse with proper temperature control, humidity, and irrigation.

39. Automatically water your garden at the right time of day for each plant, or coordinate your irrigation system with the weather.

40. Mow your lawn while you’re at work.

41. Set timers on all of your outdoor lights – from Christmas trees to romantic twinkle lights. Or set them to trigger on when you enter the yard.

42. Automate your awning to adjust to the sun’s position in the sky.

43. Coordinate lights and music for an outdoor party, birthday, wedding, or family night.

Creating a practical home includes your yard as well. And it can be just as fun, time-saving, and convenient as automating the rest of your home.

Basement | Best home automation ideas for your basement:

44. Never deal with frozen or burst pipes again. Water and temperature sensors can alert you to the threat so you can heat the area, wrap the pipes, or perform other preventative measures.

45. Prevent floods, or automatically start pumps in the event of a flood, water leak, or burst pipe.

46. Automatically shut off your water valve if the sensors detect a leak.

47. Get alerts for standing water or overly humid or damp areas.

Your basement is probably the last place you thought of automating, but it’s the biggest location for energy loss in your home.

It’s also where any flooding would likely occur, where your pipes are most likely to freeze, and where your home’s foundation can weaken from too much moisture, or even grow toxic mold. (Basements are notoriously like stuffy caves unless refinished).

singing in bathtub

Bathroom | Some of the easiest home automation possibilities for your bathroom:

48. Automate your bathroom fan to turn on as soon as your shower does, or as soon as it detects a certain amount of heat or humidity.

49. Set your shower to turn on when you’re ready, and to automatically reach the temperature and flow you prefer.

50. Turn on your in-floor heating system when you’re ready for a bath or shower, or set it to specific times in the day according to your routine.

51. Keep your mirror from fogging, or change the lighting while doing your makeup to see what you look like in outdoor or indoor lighting.

52. Need a spa day? Turn on your bath, start the jets and bubbles, and add a scent or relaxing color – all from a mobile app!

The bathroom is where we go to unwind, prepare for the day or for bed, and do our necessary business. But there’s a lot of room for luxury improvements and time-saving conveniences.

Bedroom | Best ideas for bedroom automation:

cat on bed

We’ve previously mentioned a few automation ideas for the bedroom, such as temperature control and lighting, but there are lots of unique options for your coziest space.

53. Set your alarm to wake you up with your playlist or Spotify, or even with lighting that mimics a sunrise.

54. Set your blinds and curtains to open when your alarm goes off in the morning.

55. Coordinate nightlights or under-bed lighting to activate with motion, so you can find your way through your room at night without waking your partner.

56. Have your Alexa tell you the weather when you wake up.

57. Adjust your bed settings for reading, sleep, napping. And for guest rooms, you can automatically adjust the bed to their preferences.

58. Automatically activate lights in your closet as soon as the door opens.

59. Create entire wake-up or good night routines that rope in everything from your blinds and lights to your alarms.

mother daughter cooking

Kitchen | Best home automation ideas for your kitchen:

60. Get alerts when someone left the kitchen door open or is rummaging through the fridge when they aren’t supposed to.

61. Hands covered in raw meat juice? Just ask your faucet to turn on for you so you can wash up without touching anything.

62. Ask your faucet to send out a certain amount of water (i.e. “Alexa, fill my cup with 3 oz of water), so you never have to worry about measuring water for recipes again.

63. Have your oven warm up with a simple voice command while you’re preparing ingredients.

64. Set up alarms and timers so you don’t forget any items on the stove.

65. When connected to apps like Yummly, your appliances will automatically heat up to the correct temperature, cook for the right amount of time with the right settings, and stop automatically when the meal is cooked.

The kitchen is one of those areas we’ve longed for the most automation. It is probably the area of the house with the most potential for it.

In the future, you can expect things like countertops that weigh your vegetables or give you recipe options based on what’s on the counter.

Living Room | Home automation ideas for your living room:

family dancing in living room66. Have Chipolo find your remote when it’s lost. It’ll ping until you find it.

67. Ask your remote to turn on your favorite show, or play something for the kids.

68. Coordinate lights with your TV, to heighten the experience of any movie or show you watch.

69. Have your TV pause automatically when the doorbell rings, so you don’t miss a beat as you check your phone to check your doorbell app.

70. Set a timer or schedule for when you’re supposed to go to bed, and have your TV turn off and lights come on to make sure you don’t stay up too late.

Nursery | Best home automation ideas for your nursery:

71. Create a nighttime scene in your kid’s bedroom, dimming the lighting, turning on cool colors, starting a noise machine and your video monitor.

72. Set up motion detectors for the lights with dimmers or night colors. (So you don’t wake the baby fully when you go in to nurse them.)

73. Use night-vision baby monitors to keep tabs on your little one during naptimes or throughout the night, controlling the angle if they get out of view. Some even tell you the temperature and air quality in their room. Some also notify you of sounds or odors coming from the room.

74. Get alerts if your baby’s heart rate falls too low or if they stop breathing.

dad holding baby

75. Start and stop sound machines to soothe your baby during nap times or prepare them to wake up in the morning.

76. Use Alexa or Google Home to set daily reminders or routines, reminding kids to do their homework, brush their teeth, or clean their room.

77. Use Alexa or Google Home to sing or read to your child if they’re having a hard time sleeping. (It’s always nice to do this yourself, but if you’re not home due to a work trip or are out on a date night, this is a good way to keep their routine.)

When you’re a new parent, there’s a lot to worry about. Having automation there to handle things like turning on the lights when your hands are full, or keeping a watchful eye on your child while they sleep, can make life easier and more reassuring.

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Home Automation Ideas for Any Lifestyle

We’ve covered a lot of ideas, but there are still dozens of untapped solutions for your home and your life.

Smart Entertainment | Cool home automation ideas for entertainment:

family on couch78. Stream music throughout your home for a party, or to get the whole family into the groove.

79. No need to walk around with headphones when you’re cleaning, just set all the speakers in your home to play and you’ve got entertainment while you clean (most systems can even connect to Spotify or your stored music or playlists, and respond to voice commands like “skip”)

80. Set the music to start in your shower as soon as you turn on the water.

81. Coordinate lighting to your music or movie for an ultra-fun setting, and more of a party vibe.

82. Dim the lights in your living room or home theater automatically, as soon as you hit play.

83. Set the TV to come on to your favorite channel as soon as you wake up or come home. (Perfect if you watch the news or weather in the morning.)

84. Turn off the TV at a set time automatically every night.

85. Set your hot tub to turn on or off at set times or days or adjust temperatures according to personal preferences.

Some of the coolest home automation products belong in the entertainment section of our lives, so it probably won’t surprise you that there are quite a few gadgets to choose from.

It’s also not shocking that a lot of those automations revolve around music and movies.

Youtube is loaded with tours of completely automated home theatres, where everything – from the speakers to the screen, to the lights that are coordinated with the movie – is completely remote or voice-controlled.

Another common automation upgrade smarthomes include (for entertainment) is a whole home speaker system, which includes speakers for the shower.

There are systems that allow you to set up connected speakers throughout your home and remotely control them with a mobile app. But if you’re going through a home renovation, you may consider installing them directly into the walls.

child doing yoga with mom

Health & Wellness | Smart health and wellness ideas:

86. Get reminders to work out at a certain time in the day.

87. Use smart lights to help you keep track of time limits, such as for workouts. It’ll light up like a progress bar until the time is up.

88. Automatically lower the temperature if you’re going to work out.

89. Simulate natural lighting throughout your home, or have it adjust to the position of the sun.

90. Use smart recipe apps to suggest meals for the week. And add the ingredients automatically to your shopping list! If you have a smart fridge, you can even coordinate it to monitor what’s already in your fridge, add what’s missing to your list or suggest recipes based on what’s there.

91. Voice-activated video and music that fits perfectly with your workout.

92. Suggested exercises and workouts for you, and monitor your progress.

While there is a growing number of automated fitness equipment, automating your home for a healthier lifestyle revolves largely around simple automation.

Is your healthy lifestyle more of a necessity due to allergens or other health conditions? Then automated climate control, air purifiers, and robot mops and vacuums should be a focus for your automation.

If your automation focus is more on your fitness and diet, then smart appliances, scales, and recipe apps can help you stay on track.

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Energy Savings | How to automate home energy management:

93. Program your curtains and blinds to open or close, and even adjust to the sun’s position. This helps maximize that natural warmth in winter or keep the home cooler in summer.

94. Automate temperature control and easily monitor that consumption from anywhere.
family playing in sprinklers
95. Create an entire energy management system, ranging from your lights and temperature to your sprinklers and solar panels.

96. Set sprinklers and other lawn care items to respond according to weather conditions, so you’re not saturating your lawn when it’s already raining.

97. Adjust fans to the season and temperature in your home to reduce energy consumption and redistribute heat.

98. Sun bothering you? Control the tint of your windows, or have them adjust to the time of day.

99. Connect window sensors to your thermostat, so that when you open a window, it won’t run the A/C.

100. Have automated fans turn on as soon as you open the window to circulate the air.

101. Cutting off the power to energy-sucking devices automatically when they’re not in use.

The world has seen an increase in more vicious storms, detrimental flooding, droughts, and fires across the globe. And the average homeowner is far more aware of their energy consumption (not to mention the costs of it).

As a nation, the demand for materials like coal and natural gas is decreasing. While renewable energy in the form of solar panels and wind turbines rapidly increases.
The push is largely driven by costs and environmental factors giving us little choice. Homeowners are triggered by the same realities.

Unsurprisingly, there are a lot of new home automation solutions. Home energy monitoring, solar garden lights, and solar panels for your home, for instance. And we’ve already mentioned home temperature control and automated lights.

man using technology items

Starting Your Home Automation Projects

If you’re ready to start automating your home, first set a goal for your home. Energy efficiency? Luxury? Convenience?

From there, you can start laying out the rooms you want to automate and the gadgets that can get you there.

If you’re ready to start putting some of these home automation ideas into practice, we’ve got you covered on the cleaning front. Consider the iRobot bundles the dream team of clean. Pair our specialized robots together for a complete clean with less effort from you. Let iRobot take care of the vacuuming and mopping so that you can take care of everything else.

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