“Home automation” may sound like a future concept from the Jetson’s, but it’s here and Lowes is helping to make it affordable right now! This week I’m testing out the Lowes Iris smarthome kit which starts at $179. Three versions of the starter kit are available, and they contain everything you need to start controlling your home (and your energy bill) straight from any computer, smartphone or tablet!
Worried about leaving the coffeemaker or iron on when you’re out of the house? Want to see how much electricity an light fixture or appliance is using? Need to let your kids in the house remotely? The Iris system will help you do all of that, and more!
Plus, there are no long-term contracts or monthly fees for all of the basic functionality to control your home. However, if you want to get even more out of it, a premium package costs $9.99/month and allows multiple people receive alerts from the system, plus it offers offers advanced control of your devices as well as additional video capabilities and more storage space.
Allow me to break it down for you. Inside the kit you get the main hub which plugs into your router and is easy to set up, although you should allot about 45 minutes to make sure you can get everything running smoothly. The kits also include some accessories to smarten your home. Lowes offers three different types of kits:
- Comfort and Control ($179): comes with a smart thermostat and plug so you can control your the temperature inside your home from anywhere!
- Safe and Secure ($179): this kit is packed with door, window and motion sensors as well as a programmable keypad to control entry into your home!
- Smart Kit ($299): includes everything in both of the above kits, plus a range extender to help you spread the system into more rooms in a larger house. This is the kit I tested.
Accessories for the Iris system
Once you’ve got the basic system running, you can add as much to it as you want. Lowes offers a ton of different products that talk to the hub, including:
- A smart button that can be set up as a doorbell or even a panic button
- Smart key that turns the system on and off. Give one to each of your children, and you’ll know when they’re home!
- A wireless video camera to watch your kids or the babysitter while out on the town
- Dimmer switches to help you set the mood remotely
- Outdoor modules to control your home inside and out!
- A smart lock for your front door that can be opened remotely when your kids lock themselves out
Once you’ve got the kit, you’re good to go in terms of automating your whole house. There’s a ton of accessories offered at Lowes to connect to the system, and once you’ve got it all talking to the hub you’re just a tap away from controlling your home and monitoring your energy usage from your smartphone no matter where you are.