As a Home Renter, I Want a Smart Home Too!

Published on
February 9, 2018 3:09:00 PM PST February 9, 2018 3:09:00 PM PSTth, February 9, 2018 3:09:00 PM PST

I want a Smart Home as a renter, but how can I have the benefits when I am not allowed to make infrastructure changes to my rental? How can I make my front door more secure, save energy with a smart thermostat, and remotely control lights and appliances without making changes to the rental and putting my security deposit at risk?

What is your first thought when you picture a “Smart Home Device”? Is it a touchscreen controller built into a wall, or a series of hidden sensors installed around the home? You’d be pleased to hear that Smart Home Devices are much simpler than that; many don’t even require permanent installation or expensive remodeling requirements.

Whether you rent a house or an apartment, there are plenty of options for you to automate your home that require little to no installation hassle. Pick and choose where you wish to set up sensors or plug-in controllers without worrying about rewiring or cutting out space in a wall for an enclosure box. You can even control or check on automation devices from your smartphone or tablet via an app.

Here are top picks for easy-to-install home automation devices.

August Wi-Fi Smart Lock - The August Wi-Fi Smart Lock fits onto existing deadbolts, installs in 15 minutes, and is a good pick for renters who can’t replace their door lock. It will auto lock/unlock when you approach or leave your home and it’s Wi-Fi compatible. It also works with Amazon Alexa, Google Home, Siri, and Xfinity Home.

Vera Ezlo Plus Smart Controller– The brains of your Smart Rental, it provides remote control of all of your Z-Wave and IP devices through a single mobile app or your computer. If you already own Zigbee-controlled devices, the Vera Ezlo may be your choice because you can control Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi devices.

SATCO Starfish Wi-Fi 5-6" LED Tunable & Dimmable White Recessed Retrofit Downlight – Easily installed by screwing in and connecting two hooks. It fits into a 5" or 6" recessed can lighting fixture to provide white color temperature that can be adjusted from warm to cool and be controlled via Wi-Fi using your smartphone. Plus, it only consumes 10 Watts to save energy.

SATCO Starfish Wi-Fi 10W LED A19 RGB and Tunable White Smart Bulb – This powerful LED light bulb can create thousands of different colors and hues to light up your rental and it can be controlled from your smartphone via Wi-Fi technology. This bulb also screws into a standard light socket, only consumes 10 Watts, and can be controlled using your voice with Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Apple Siri.

Fibaro Z-Wave Motion Sensor, Gen5 – About the size of a golf ball, this powerful multi-sensor can detect motion, temperature, lighting level, and even vibration. It’s Z-Wave Plus certified and compatible with all major Z-Wave hubs and controllers. The LED “eye” even changes colors to indicate different conditions and it’s really easy to install on a wall or any surface.

Leviton Decora Smart Z-Wave Plug-In Appliance Module – Remotely or automatically turn on and off any small appliance such as coffee machine, hair curlers, space heater, fan, or whatever you want. Simply plug your device into the module, and plug the module into a power outlet. Once the device is enrolled into your Z-Wave network, use a wireless Z-Wave controller to turn On/Off your connected devices.

FirstAlert Z-Wave Plus Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector, 2nd Generation – The risk of fire or CO exposure rises in an apartment. Stay safe from fires and dangerous gas with this smoke and CO detector. It has a built-in siren and works with any Z-Wave controller. When smoke or CO is detected, the alarm sets off a loud 85dB siren and sends an alarm condition to your Z-Wave control unit.

2GIG Z-Wave 700 Programmable Thermostat – If your landlord will allow you to swap out the existing thermostat this is a great choice that works with standard HVAC systems. It’s easy to install and remove. It works with most Z-Wave hubs and HVAC systems and features SmartStart Support and S2 authentication security. Plus, it features capacitive touch buttons and a bright LED screen to provide clear information and controls.

Make your rental home a Smart! Home! Home Controls carries many Smart Home devices that work well for a rental property. Call us at 858-693-8887 (7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Pacific, Monday – Friday) for free tech support and product advice, or visit to see what it is all about.