How to Set Up a Just-Smart-Enough Smart Home

My own quest to create a smart home started in the mid ’90s, back when I was single and living in a studio apartment. Now, after 20 years of wrestling with various systems—from X10 to the recently released Apple HomeKit-certified products—I’ve come to a stark realization: Until all the kinks are worked out and the set up is simplified, the best way to create a home of the future is to use products from the past—those tried and true devices that just work, whether or not they have a steady Wi-Fi connection.

Below, five tricks that any house can learn, without your having to configure complicated gizmos.

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