To say that advancements in home technology are moving along at an incredibly fast speed is a major understatement. From slim and sleek TVs that have replaced giant bulky units to smart thermostats and home hub systems that can be controlled with the sound of your voice, you probably feel like modern life has more in common with the Jetsons than the Flintstones.
Looking around your home, you may also feel like you are ready for some serious tech upgrades, and to give some of these snazzier new gadgets and devices a try. Check out the following suggestions along with tips on how to recycle your old technology.
Upgrade Your Security Camera System
If you have an older security camera system in your home, it may be time to look into a newer model. For instance, if you find that you are spending quite a bit of money to power the devices, upgrading to a camera that uses less energy can be a wise financial choice — as well as one that is friendly to the environment. A solid example is a wire-free security camera system from Lorex; they will only start to record the moment the camera’s thermo-sensor detects motion, so you are not constantly paying to power the devices or storing footage you don’t need. As a “green” bonus, the cameras use a lithium-ion battery that is long-lasting, so you are not having to shell out a ton of money for new batteries.
Look Into a Light Dimmer Kit
Another great way to save energy while upgrading your old home technology is through a light dimmer kit. For example, a Caséta kit by Lutron will allow you to control the lights from anywhere in your home. If you have an Amazon Echo, you can also turn the lights on, off or down with the power of your voice. Unlike other light dimmer kits that require you to use special bulbs, the Lutron kit has been tested on over 1,000 bulbs and works with dimmable LEDs, halogen and incandescent varieties.
Get Rid of the Bulk With a New TV
If you have an old cathode ray tube or CRT TV, you may be more than ready to treat yourself to a flat screen model that will allow you to experience your favorite shows in brilliant and crystal-clear color. Fortunately, these newer TVs have really dropped in price over the years; you should be able to find one that you love for a few hundred bucks at a local electronics store. Some of the new TVs come with streaming services like Hulu built right in, so if you have a separate Hulu unit, you may be able to pare down the number of devices in your living room.
A Few Words on Recycling Your Old Tech
As you work on upgrading your home technology, please do not toss the old devices into your trash can. As Consumer Reports notes, electronic products can contain toxic substances like mercury, cadmium and lead, which means they must be disposed of carefully. If your old tech is in good shape, see if a local thrift store like Goodwill will accept it; if not, check with your local city to see if they are having an upcoming electronics collection day. In many cases, you can find out this info by calling the customer service number on your city garbage collection bill.
Enjoy Your Fancy New Home Technology
Home technology has come a long way, and in some cases can help you save money on energy bills. As your budget allows, invest in some new devices while also being careful on how you dispose of your old gadgets; you should end up with a greener home that costs you less money.