So you got a smart home what?

If you're new to the whole smart home thing and unsure of where to begin, don't despair -- there are a lot of ways to work connected devices into your life. You can use one product or kit on its own as a simple solution to a singular need. Establishing custom rules with one or more gadgets via IFTTT can up the ante a bit. But, the highest level of smart home self-actualization lies with the hub and other open-API multi-product integrations.

Read on to find out more about the three main smart home "tiers."

Some smart home products are self-contained by design. Select DIY security kits, like Viper Home, and professional firms like ADT, only work within a limited framework -- their own.

Other gadgets, like the Belkin WeMo line or Philips Hue LEDs work with competing brands, but that doesn't mean that they have to.

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