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It’s summertime and the living is easy – when you have home automation.

Summer brings a lot of change – both to schedules and lifestyles. Smart home devices can help manage these changes.

When the kids are out of school, they are coming and going more frequently – and so are their friends. Summer is also the most popular time for vacations. When you live in an amazing state like South Carolina, you’ll also probably have some house guests.

READ: Reduce Summer Stress with a Home Automation System

The experts at QEI Security & Technology have picked the three best smart home devices to install this summer. All of these products are more valuable when they are connected to a smart home system that is controlled through one app.

3 Best Smart Home Devices to Install This Summer

1. Smart Thermostat

A programmable thermostat connected to a smart home system can ensure you are maximizing your HVAC system during the hottest months.

Set a schedule so the temperature is warmer during the hours you are not at home. If something changes and you come home early or have a guest, you can change the temperature from anywhere using your smartphone app.

Set an extreme temperature alert so you know if there is an issue with your HVAC system. You can immediately call a repair person, rather than waiting until you get home to discover the problem.

Receive a notification when a window or door has been left open. You don’t want to air condition the outside!

Many power providers have “peak hours” and you can save money by reducing your energy usage during these hours. Set a schedule to reduce the temperature during these hours if you are not home.

2. Lighting Control

Lighting control includes programmable light switches, light bulbs and modules that control lamps. It is a great way to reduce the electricity you are using AND deter theft when you are not home.

Set your lights on a randomized schedule when you are away so potential burglars can’t learn your schedule.

Schedule your lights to turn off at a certain time so you are not wasting electricity. This could be at night or after you leave for work. If your kids are home for the summer, they’re probably going to forget to turn off a light!

3. Security Cameras

Exterior security cameras are great to have during the summer months. Burglaries increase by 11% and there are generally more people coming and going from your property.

A doorbell camera will record when it detects motion or when the doorbell rings. If you have it set to record on motion, you will always know when someone is on your porch… and you can talk to them. In addition to monitoring unknown people on your porch, this is great if your out-of-town guests arrive early – you can let them know when you’ll be home. And if you have a smart door lock connected to the system, you can even unlock the door from your app.

An exterior camera also records on motion and is great for detecting car or property theft or damage. All clips can be sent to you and also stored for later viewing… and to share with the authorities as needed.