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Intelligent home for beginners: How to lay a foundation on which to build

One way to build a smart home is to buy many components – sensors, smart bulbs, surveillance cameras, speakers, and more – and connect them all to a hub that lets them communicate with each other and with you smartphone. But let's be real: That can cost a lot of money and invest a lot of time. And for some people, it's just too much. If your needs and desires are simpler, only a few relatively inexpensive products will offer the most amenities a high-end smart home can offer, and with a much more modest budget.

And if you make sure that these smart home products are compatible with each other, you build a solid foundation that you can expand over time. The key is to know which smart home products are not dependent on a smart home hub. While hubs offer benefits ̵

1; the most important of which is a single user interface to control everything – they are not always necessary. One thing you must have however, is a good wireless router – ideally one that can reach all corners of your home.

Here are some of the few common ways that you can build a hubless smart home system.

Smart Lighting

For most people who are interested in a smart home, lighting is the entry point. Many intelligent lighting systems work very well without a central hub and are still able to interact with other smart home elements. For example, light bulbs from LIFX and TP-Link communicate over Wi-Fi, while others communicate through the Bluetooth radio in your smartphone.

  Philips Hue Starter Kit Color and Ambiance Philips

Philips leads the smart lighting market with its Hue series of lamps and lights. While they do not require a smart home hub, they rely on a ZigBee-to-Wi-Fi bridge included in each of their starter kits.

Still other smart light bulbs, including Philips Hue, Cree, and Sengled Element, rely on ZigBee radios, so you'll need to connect a ZigBee-to-Wi-Fi bridge to your router. You can control any of these smart lights with an app on your smartphone or tablet that also lets you program lighting scenes and schedules.