With manufacturers now offering you the ability to control everything from your oven to your lawnmower via an app on your smartphone, interest in smart technology has mushroomed in 2016.
The John Lewis website reported a massive 670% increase in searches for smart home products over the past year, along with an 81% increase in sales.
We’ve rounded up some of the most popular smart tech below. Not sure if it’s worth adding smart products to your home? Take a look at our smart homes guide, which explains more about how smart home technology works and whether it’s worthy of the hype.
1. Philips Hue smart lighting
Searches for Philips Hue smart lighting on the John Lewis website were up by 207% over the past 12 months. The Hue system allows you to change both the brightness and colour of the light bulbs in your home from your phone. You can also sync them with films, computer games or music, so that the lighting in the room fits in with what’s happening on screen.
You can’t use the Hue with regular light bulbs, though, and the system certainly isn’t cheap. A starter kit, which includes the main connecting hub and three E27 or GU10 light bulbs, costs £149.
If the thought of spending that much on your lighting alarms you, you might be more interested in a Best Buy LED light bulb – they start at just £5.
2. Nest smart thermostats
Nest thermostat sales increased by 30% at John Lewis compared to last year.
Like other smart thermostats, you can use it to control your home’s heating via your smartphone. The Nest system has a motion sensor that detects when you enter and leave your home, and adjusts the heating accordingly – meaning you don’t even have to bother opening up the app.
We’ve tested it to find out how easy is it to set up and use, and whether it has any flaws you should be aware of – read our full Nest smart thermostat review for the verdict.
3. Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier
Another smart product that’s soaring in popularity, according to John Lewis, is the Dyson Pure Cool Link air purifier. Dyson claims that this pricey air purifier can remove almost all of the pollen, mould, bacteria and odours from the air inside your home.
You can send the air quality data that the Pure Cool Link collects to a smartphone app. The idea behind this is that you can remotely monitor the air quality inside your home, and set an air quality level for the Pure Cool Link to aim for. If you have the Pure Hot + Cool air purifier – which includes a built-in heater – you can also use the app to set the target temperature in the room.
4. Smart home security
Home-monitoring technology, such as wireless security cameras, is something else that John Lewis customers have been buying in increasing numbers.
These cameras allow you to keep an eye on your home while you’re out. They can also detect motion and record footage of any intruder, while more-advanced cameras include facial recognition and two-way audio.
Our tests have found that some cameras, even though they are claimed to be high resolution, don’t provide good footage – so be sure to check out our wireless security camera reviews if you’re interested in buying one.