Smart home technology is no longer a luxury reserved for the wealthy or tech-savvy, and the industry has responded with ever more sophisticated solutions. Many people are familiar with smart home technology through gadgets such as Google’s Nest or Amazon’s Echo, but it encompasses many other solutions for your house. This includes everything from remote-controlled heating and lighting to CCTV home security systems, doorbells and smart locks. Some let you monitor your elderly relatives, pets, and children and even track your children.

Integration is the primary ingredient of an effective smart home system. This is why the most effective products integrate with other devices and systems to make her explanation your home smarter. For instance smart lighting can communicate with the central hub to set your lights according to a set schedule or to shut them off when you leave the home. A doorbell with video could warn you of unexpected visitors or alarms can call the police or fire departments. Once you’ve mastered IFTTT (If This Then That), you can use services like Stringify to automate your devices in more complex ways.

Of course, bringing a whole range of new smart devices into your home has its own concerns. CNET is determined to learn about company policies, raise privacy concerns and ask questions directly to companies.