A system with the following components will give you a very good automation experience, save energy and still remain flexible if your tastes change over time:
- Lutron automation switches to control outside lights and Lutron automation dimmers for all shared areas in your home. That would include living rooms, rec rooms, family rooms, kitchen, and hallways.
- Lutron plug-in lamp controllers and remotes for bedside lamps or living area floor lamps. Controlling these with a switch or in a lighting scene is a big improvement in convenience over turning each one on at the lamp itself.
- Push button timers for all bathroom fans. These allow you to use your fan while you shower without worrying about forgetting to turn it off. A great way to increase utility but save energy at the same time.
- Motion sensor switches for rooms you often enter with your hands full or where you only go for a short time. These include the laundry room, workshop, basement storage room, garage, small bathrooms, gym and in some houses, the main entrance way. These motion sensors eliminate forgotten lighting and a lot of wasted energy.
- The Nest Learning thermostat and two Nest smoke/co detectors. The thermostat is a robust device that is just as easy to program as it is to use the "old fashioned way", and it can save you between 10 and 30% on your heating and cooling costs.
- The Google Home Mini voice control hubs in 2 or 3 rooms. Not only are these convenient and fun, they also work as a wireless intercom for your house.
- Sonos wireless speakers. A "Play 3" in the main living/entertaining area and a single "Play 1" in a few other rooms. These speakers sound great (yes, everybody says that about their speakers but these really do sound nice - and this is a musician talking), and they put a world of music at your disposal in a really high quality playback format. The days of listening to Spotify thru your tiny, low quality computer speakers are over.