Deon Home.
Deon Home.
Image: Supplied

1. Audio: Denon Home 250

Smart speakers are a dime a dozen; I should know, I have more speakers in my house than I have space for. But the Denon Home 250 is a standout. The speaker is the latest in the company’s HEOS-equipped multiroom range and features an understated elegance that allows it to disap-pear into the background while making the audio the star of the show. Unlike many other smart speakers, which are only compatible with one smart assistant, the Home 250 works with Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa and is compatible with Apple AirPlay 2.Featuring four active drivers and a passive bass radiator, the Home 250 boasts audio quality that belies its size and is arguably one of the best-balanced smart speakers I’ve ever experienced.You can cast music to it directly from your favourite audio-streaming service and it gets impressively loud — something my neighbours most likely don’t appreciate — without distorting any vocals. It also supports high-resolution audio. R9 999, homemation.co.za

2. Kitchen: LG Insta View Side- by-Side Fridge

When you think of a smart home, you’re probably thinking of smart speakers, smart lights, or maybe a smart security system — but not a smart fridge.LG’s InstaView Fridge is not only beautiful, thanks to the matte-black finish, but it’s also super fun.The InstaView functionality means that all you have to do to see what’s in your fridge is knock on the door twice and, voila, you can see all the wine and cheese you have in there (or is that just me?).It has door-in-door functionality, which lets you ac-cess your favourite snacks without having to open the section of your fridge where your actual food is, and it’s compatible with LG’s ThinQ IoT platform. The ThinQ app is compatible with Android and iOS and lets you do things such as remotely adjust the fridge’s temperature, which is perfect for large shopping hauls and can help save energy. R48 200, hirschs.co.za

LG Insta View Side- by-Side Fridge.
LG Insta View Side- by-Side Fridge.
Image: Supplied

3. Lighting: Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp 2

Xiaomi is a brand that most of us associate with Android smartphones, but the company also makes all kinds of fun, futuristic, fabulously smart-connected devices, including a kettle that lets you set the water temperature and a timer for how long you’d like to keep your water hot.The Mi Bedside Lamp 2, however, is one of my favourite Xiaomi smart devices, and it’s more useful than it might seem at first glance. Not only can this LED lamp change between up to 16-million colours, it’s also internet connected, which means that you can turn it on, or off, from anywhere in the world, or in your home. Thanks to its compatibility with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant via the Google Home platform, and Apple HomeKit, you can also just speak to power the lamp on or off and to change the colour.It makes a great nightlight for kids, and I’ve used it as a makeshift security device by turning it on remotely if I’m not at home when it gets dark. Not only does it make it appear as if someone is home, it also means that I don’t have to return to a dark house at the end of a long day. R769, syntech.co.za

Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp 2.
Xiaomi Mi Bedside Lamp 2.
Image: Supplied

4. Power: Tesla Powerwall

You’ve made it this far and you’re probably thinking, “Brendon, all of these connected devices sound great but how am I going to power them all during all this loadshedding?” To which I have a single-word answer: Powerwall. Made by Elon Musk’s Tesla, Powerwall is a renewable-energy solu-tion that is now finally available in South Africa.Available in various configurations, Power-wall can store energy from solar panels when the sun is out, and from the grid when it isn’t, to ensure that you remain connected no matter what happens.The companion app lets you monitor your home’s power consumption in real time, helps you optimise your usage, and provides remote access.It’s water resistant, child- and pet-friendly, and can be floor or wall mounted indoors or outdoors.from R159 300, tesla.com

Tesla Powerwall.
Tesla Powerwall.
Image: Supplied

 From the July issue of Wanted 2021.

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