We think this article is the real sweet-spot for building yourself a great smart home from scratch.
Let’s set the budget to between RM2,000 and RM3,000. At this level, you can purchase a wide range of devices to make most areas of your home smarter – from the bedrooms and living room,even the kitchen.
Here, you can look into smart locks, security cameras and others security devices to make your home a safe one as well as a smart one.
We have opted to cover budgets of RM2,000 and RM3,000 in this article instead of sticking to one price, because at this level it is all about expansion. Do you want just a couple of smart lights for RM400, or do you want voice-controlled bulbs in every room, potentially costing thousands?
As such, you could spread your budget thin and far, or invest heavily in your most-used rooms. Hence the thousand-ringgit range here.
How to Build a Smart Home between RM2000 and RM3000
Smart Home Hub or Smart Speaker
The foundations of any smart home are built on the hub or smart speaker. You could opt for a Google Home or Amazon Echo costing around RM348 and RM540 respectively, or pick the cheaper RM140 alternatives of the Home Mini and Echo Dot.
Or, if you don’t want the always-on microphones of Alexa and Google Assistant constantly listening out for their name, you can buy a smart home hub like the Xiaomi Aqara Smart Hub for RM130.
Xiaomi Aqara Smart Hub Gateway WiFi Zigbee Version
This device can be controlled with Google Home if you like – letting you switch lights on with your voice, for example – but it isn’t a requirement as you can use the Aqara App instead.
Total Spent: RM130
A Second Smart Speaker
If you have opted for an Echo or Home, adding a budget version smart speaker like the Echo Dot or Google Home Mini (both around RM140) can open up many new features.
Google Nest Mini Smart Speaker
For example, a second smart speaker can bring voice-controlled music to another room in your home. It also means that Alexa or the Google Assistant can hear you from a second location, so you don’t need to return to the one smart speaker every time you want to ask something. This setup also means you can play two different music tracks, albums or playlists in different rooms at the same time, and broadcast house-wide announcements with Google Assistant. If that’s your thing…
You’ll want to connect the Echo Dot or Home Mini to a speaker you already own, as their audio performance isn’t great. Alternatively you could spend more of your budget on a regular Home or Echo, or event splash out on the RM1980 Google Home Max for room-filling sound.
Total spent: RM270
Smart lighting can be an expensive system to build.Even if you have RM3,000 to spend, you need to ask yourself what you want from smart lighting. Do you want a few lamps scattered across the home? Maybe some lights in the garden and one behind the television, or a light strip under the kitchen counter? Or, you can replace light switch with a smart instead to control the light bulb? Or, do you want to replace every bulb with a smart equivalent? Naturally, the latter will cost a lot of money.
For this article – and with a RM3,000 upper limit in mind – we have opted for four pieces of RM40 Xiaomi Mi Led Smart Bulb, which able to work with Google Assistance or Amazon Alexa.
Xiaomi Mi LED Smart Bulb – White & Color (English) – Works with Google Assistant & Amazon Alexa
We have then spent an additional RM265 on a motion sensor (RM40), a dimmer switch (RM110), and an LED light strip (RM115).The motion sensors can be configured to switch a certain light on when movement is detected – handy when walking to the bathroom at night – and the smart switch has four buttons for turning a whole room on or off, dimmer or brightening, and cycling through a range of pre-sets.
Although expensive, the 10M LED light strip can be a great addition for lighting under your kitchen counter, above cupboards, or behind the television.
Total spent: RM840
You’re unlikely to spend much time talking to Alexa or the Google Assistant about your smart door lock, but devices like the third-generation August Smart Lock Pro are useful all the same. The RM1,350 device comes with a sensor for letting you know when the door is ajar or closed (as well as locked/unlocked), and offers a wealth of features.
August Smart Lock Pro + Connect – 4th Gen
With a smart lock fitted to your door, it can be made to automatically unlock when you approach, or be controlled from your smartphone or virtual assistant, like Alexa.
August Smart Lock Pro can be integration with third-party alarm companies, possess of Z-Wave compatibility, ease of installation, and talks to Alexa and Google Assistant.
Alternatives include the RM1699 Aqara N200 Smart Door Lock, which include a keypad for entry without your key or smartphone.
Total spent: RM2,190
Generally speaking, there are two types of home security cameras; indoor and outdoor. The former is useful for keeping an eye on pets and children while you’re out, and the latter is weather-proof and intended for security surveillance.
Indoor cameras like the Xiaomi Mijia 360° Home Security Cam start from around RM147, while the TP-link Tapo Cam costs RM139 and the Yi Home Cam will set you back RM129. You also need to bear in mind that many camera systems – indoors and out – offer subscription services to unlock extra features like face recognition and video storage.
Xiaomi MIjia IMILAB 360° Home Security Cam
Outdoor options include the RM235 Yi Outdoor Cam, which is weatherproof, 1080P Full HD , has infrared night vision, and real-time streaming to your phone and activity alerts when motion is detected. Alternatively, the GOQ Outdoor Cam which costs RM128.
Yi Outdoor Security Cam
For this article, we have budgeted for one indoor and one outdoor camera, each costing RM200.
Total spent: RM2,572
Universal IR Remote
Universal IR remotes can control your TV , some appliances with IR sensor like air conditioner, fan, etc. Most of the universal remote control has app features that ensure it works with your smartphone. They can also work with smart devices and voice systems such as Google Home and Amazon Alexa.
Broadlink RM Pro with RM119 is our option of the universal IR remote. It not only let you control infrared / RF appliances through your smartphone, but also can let you to preset scheduling, theme so that appliances will turn on / off automatically under different themes. Alternatively, the Broadlink RM Mini 3 comes with the price of RM46 and limited features.
Broadlink RM Pro 4
Total spent: RM2,770
Like the superhero utility belt of your smart home, the smart plug is flexible, dependable and simple to use. Just fit one to a wall outlet, connect it to your home Wi-Fi via the companion smartphone app, and fit almost any device to it. Now, that device can be switched on or off using the plug’s app, or by speaking to your AI assistant of choice.
Smart plugs are useful for controlling simple devices that only need to control the power outlet and no features of the actual device. Just make sure the device powers up and works as intended when it is switched on at the wall, and a smart plug will work just fine.
Some models of smart plug are very cheap – RM28 or RM32 each – but if you have a slightly larger budget, then we recommend the TP-Link Kasa,RM108 on Lazada with support energy consumption monitoring.
TP-Link HS110 WiFi Smart Plug with Energy Monitoring
As part of the RM3,000 budget for this article, we have opted for two of these plugs, adding RM216 to our total.
Total spent: RM2,986
With the total spend of RM2,986, we feel this gives your home a huge amount of connected smartness. For those on a budget closer to RM2,000, we suggest going easier on the smart lights, as their cost builds up quickly, opting for cheaper smart plugs.
We think RM2,000 to RM3,000 is a real sweet-spot for consumers who are new to the smart home but keen to jump in and discover what the industry has to offer.