Wednesday, January 8, 2014 11:29 AM EST
As the New Year begins, you’re probably working on a long list of things to tackle. You might want to reorganize your space and belongings, paint a few walls or even update your kitchen. Or maybe you’re still renting and your goal this year is to finally get into the Toronto condo market. Whatever your situation is, today’s technology is helping more condo owners customize their homes than ever before. Here’s a look at some of the hottest gadgets that can help make the coolest condos that much more so.
Imagine having a piece of technology on your door that determined who could and could not enter. The Goji deadbolt lock system works with your smartphone, and stops you from ever having to dig into your purse or pockets again, searching for your keys. You can also send access to your home to anyone via text or email, and program specific dates and times of entry for special deliveries or services. If you’re not at home, Goji will take a picture of anyone who approaches your door and send it to your smartphone. All activity is recorded and logged, and can be accessed anytime through Goji’s app or your online account. For only $278, that’s a cool form of security.
2. Philips Hue
How nice would it be to wake up to lights slowly turning onto a warm setting? Or to relax in a room with lighting matched to a photo from a recent vacation? For $200, Philips Hue lets you set the mood of any room by controlling up to 50 light bulbs with one app. You can choose from several modes, including “Concentrate” which help you pay attention and stay focused. And, for security purposes, you can set timers for lights to go on and off when you’re out of town. The Hue light bulbs produce all shades of white, from warm to cold, as well as colour, and use as much as 80% less energy than regular light bulbs. The starter pack comes with the wireless bridge and three Hue bulbs.
3. Nesco Portable Induction Cooktop
There’s a little piece of equipment we think all condo owners could use in their kitchens, and that’s a portable induction cooktop. Induction cooktops look like nothing more than a smooth, ceramic surface that plugs into the wall, but it’s the way it heats up that makes it so cool. With elements located below the surface of the glass, induction cooktops generate a magnetic field. The surface doesn’t get hot – instead, the energy gets transferred directly to the pot or pan. Induction cooktops heat food faster and use less energy than your gas or electric range. Any induction cooktop will work, but this one by Nesco has great ratings and is a steal at only $90.
4. Nest Thermostat
Too many of us leave our thermostats on one temperature all day, heating our homes when we’re not even there. With a Nest Thermostat, you can program your thermostats to your schedule, so you never have to think about moving your dials up or down again. You can use the Nest app to control up to 10 thermostats, so you can turn the temperature up before you get home or turn it down if you’re going to be away. The little leaf icon lets you know if you’re saving energy or not, and an energy history app will show you how much energy you’ve saved. For only $249, the Nest Thermostat can lower your condo’s heating and cooling costs by up to 20%.