Even if you don’t own your place, there’s still plenty of room to make it feel smart, homey, and uniquely yours. Thanks to a new family of connected products, you can have the smartest rental on the block without letting go of your security deposit. We’ve rounded up a few of our favorites that are guaranteed to spruce up your home in a matter of minutes. Each device is renter-friendly, pretty on the eyes, and can be installed without complicated wiring or landlord glares.
Let’s start with your entryway:
1) Setting up an August Smart Lock makes it a breeze to invite visitors over — even when you’re not there. The lock works by allowing your smartphone to serve as a virtual set of keys so anyone that you designate can come inside. For instance, if you left the stove on, you could easily give access to a trusted neighbor to go inside and turn it off. August works with your pre-existing lock, so your landlord won’t have a freakout when you set it up.
2) Once you get inside, do you ever find that you’ve misplaced your bag, wallet, or other valuables? With TrackR, you can keep tabs on your misplaced items through sensor-loaded stickers. If you do lose an item, you can easily locate it through the Trackr app. Wasting hours tearing your place apart is now a thing of the past.
Now, head over to your bedroom and living room:
3) FRAMED is a digital art frame that lets you change up your artwork — without actually changing your artwork. The frame is one of the first digital frames on the market, and will let you freshen up your place by constantly swapping in new pieces of wall art.
4) Color and lighting are not only fun to play with, but you can use it to instantly add ambiance to your room. If your landlord won’t let you paint the walls or add new light fixtures, consider investing in lights that use less power and change depending on your mood and the time of day. With the Philips Hue system, you can make your home become more in tune with your environment by adjusting the color and intensity. The SMFX Smart Bulb is another option for customizing your lighting while simultaneously lowering your energy bills.
5) The Keen Smart Vent helps you save energy while beautifying an often overlooked area of your home — your vents. The simple installation makes it easy to to pop in and remove. The vents talk to each other, so they can regulate the airflow between rooms and provide an optimal temperature for whatever room you’re in. For instance, if you’re in the living room, the Smart Vent will cut off the heat in the kitchen to make you feel more comfortable.
Time to talk safety:
6) Getting settled into a new place can take some time, and feeling secure can take even longer. The Smart Alert Nightlight’s home monitoring can help speed up that sense of safety. The nightlight works by alerting you if your smoke or carbon monoxide alarms go off when you’re not home. If you’re not there to respond, it will reach out to friends who can take care of what’s happening. Bonus features include temperature and humidity monitoring, along with 16 million color options (another way to upgrade those white renter walls). Ideal for renters, you just need to plug it in and sync it with the Leeo app to get up and running.
7) Homeboy is a tiny home-security camera that can play back up to 30 seconds of video. The camera is the size of a pool ball and boasts a rechargeable battery, and magnetic and adhesive sides, so you can mount it — and remove it — from basically anywhere. It sends both audio and video to your smartphone, and uses low-power Wi-Fi so you don’t have to keep it on all day. Security made easy.
And now, time to talk geek:
8) For the geekier renters among us, the littleBits Smart Home Kit lets you connect many of the household items you already have to the Internet. The kits are simple to configure and harken back to those block-building days of yore. Want to be alerted if your fridge or garage door is open? With a little tinkering, you can make all of your connected dreams come true.