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Smart homes for every budget

From a few remote-controlled features to full automation, home tech can be had at all price points. Emily Brooks takes a look at what you can achieve for your money
Moss Technical uses Niko technology. The setup’s smartphone dashboard controls heating, lighting, security and more.

Home technology can easily be tailored to suit the depth of your pockets. It might start with a £20 app-controlled lightbulb that can be turned on or off remotely, for example. And it might stop somewhere around the six-figure mark for a completely integrated smart home where everything is centrally controlled, from security to media streaming, with tip-top audio-visual equipment to boot.

Entry-level tech

For smaller budgets, or if a renovation project doesn’t involve extensive electrical works, wireless and pluggable consumer products are booming. “These are designed to enhance the efficiency of your home, saving time and energy while enabling you to set scenarios for your daily routines,” says Katrina Mills, smart home buyer at John Lewis & Partners. The company has opened several dedicated smart tech departments at its stores – ideal if you want to try before you buy.

For example, a Google Home Hub controller (£139) can be paired with more than 10,000 devices, from Philips Hue lightbulbs that have alarms, timers and alerts (£60) to a Nest Hello video doorbell (£230). Or you could buy an Amazon Echo speaker (£80) and hook it up to a Hive Active thermostat (£180) and SmarTap bathroom controller (from £149) so you can ask Alexa to turn on the heating and shower before you enter the bathroom. New products are coming along all the time, but compatibility is sometimes an issue, so check they will work with the system you’ve selected.

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About Build It

Build It is Britain’s longest running self build magazine. Each issue is packed full of inspirational and informative readers’ homes, as well as expert advice on issues from budgets and planning to project management and design. This month: - Smart homes for every budget - Timber frame FAQ - Choosing outbuildings - How to maximise your mortgage chances - Guide to finding land