These days, digital technology and the internet of things combine to provide a wide variety of home improvement opportunities to make life easier, safer and often cheaper for you and your family. Here we take a look at five of the best labour-saving upgrades you can make to your home. And as some of the examples show, not every upgrade needs to involve the latest in technology!

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Lighting

Few things can be more inconvenient that fumbling around in the dark for your keys, as you try to get into your home after an evening out. And for the elderly, it can be downright dangerous.

Automatic exterior lighting that comes on after dark when it detects movement is a great investment to make life easier and safer for everyone. It also means improved home security by deterring intruders, and can save you money if the only alternative is to leave a light on all the time.

There are other lighting innovations that you can make inside the house. Modern LED lights last at least 30 times longer than traditional incandescent bulbs, meaning that climbing around to replace bulbs is all but consigned to the pages of history. They are also far more energy efficient, which implies big money savings in the long term, too.

Tiles

If you have carpet or wallpaper in your bathroom, it can be difficult and time consuming to keep it clean and looking its best. Both can suffer from the effects of a damp, humid environment, and it can be a constant battle to keep mould at bay. Consider bathroom tiles on the walls and even the floor for a low-maintenance solution that is long-lasting and will look great.

Keeping tiles clean could not be easier, and they will save you hours of hard work in the long run.

Heating

A smart thermostat is a great investment to keep your home warm and comfortable exactly when you need it. The latest systems can even be controlled from your phone, meaning you can simply switch the heating on when you are 30 minutes from home, to be guaranteed a warm welcome.

Open sesame 

If an automatic light is not labour-saving enough to help you get in through the front door, then how about a bluetooth lock for the ultimate in convenience when it comes to accessing your home? These can even be operated from your smartphone, meaning you need never worry about losing your keys again. Of course, you do, however, need to make sure you don’t lose your phone.

You can also get a smart garage door opener, which uses Wi-Fi or bluetooth use your phone to open the garage door from anywhere. It also lets you know every time the door opens and closes.

Video doorbell

Video doorbells have been a common feature in flats and apartments for many years, but the latest come with all sorts of extra bells and whistles for added convenience and security. For example, they take and retain a time-stamped photo of everybody who comes to your door, meaning unprecedented safety and security for all the family.