Yes, You Can Fit Out an Entire Smart Home at Bunnings

Yes, you can build an entire smart home at Bunnings

Earlier this month we reported that Bunnings was a pretty decent place to pick up some technical kit (and one gaming computer). So we decided to put the sausage sanga house to the test: can we build a smart home using only the devices sold at Bunnings?

We use the kit available through the Bunnings online marketplace to build this smart home, but much (if not all) of it can be bought off the shelf.

Building a Bunnings Smart Home

The Internet

For any smart home, you need the internet first. Does Bunnings sell the Internet? No, but he sells modems/routers. Assuming you already have Internet, but your modem/router is trash, you can get a new one from Bunnings.

In total, it has nine, and they are all TP-Link. The cheapest is the TP-Link Archer C20 Wi-Fi Router, which will set you back $59.95. This will be do the job, but not brilliantly. With the Archer C20 you will simultaneously get 300 Mbps at 2.4 GHz and 433 Mbps at 5 GHz for a total available bandwidth of 733 Mbps.

The most expensive is the TP-Link Cat6 4G+ Wireless Router. For $300 you’ll get 4G backup (most routers you get from your phone company now offer it) and the pitch is you can connect up to 64 devices.

If you need to extend your Wi-Fi range to connect smart home devices throughout your rooms, Bunnings also offers a set of extenders. The cheapest extender is the TP-Link 300Mbps Universal Wi-Fi Range Extender, for $33.71, and the most expensive is the Netgear AC1750 Mesh Wi-Fi Extender, at $128. In comparison, Amazon Eero Mesh Network Routers will cost you $439 each. You will get your money’s worth. But if you live in an apartment, you should be fine.

smart home hub

Now that the internet is sorted, you’re going to want a smart home hub. Bunnings, what did you get as a smart home hub?

Let’s start with shopping giant Amazon. For $37, you can get Amazon Alexa 3rd Gen and Echo Glacier 4th Gen for $57 to $79, depending on your preference. All of these Alexa-enabled hubs are capable of turning lights on/off, playing music, answering questions – everything Amazon has taught Alexa to do. But, there’s no control ‘hub’ element for these, so you’re limited to what your voice can do.

In the smart home hub space, however, Bunnings has even more Alexas. The Gen 2 Echo Show 5 will cost $77 and the Gen 2 Echo Show 8 will set you back $127. All of these let you select buttons on the screen and watch things like Amazon Prime and Netflix, control lights, power outlets, and more.

Google Assistant (that I personally prefer) are also available from Bunnings. The 2nd-gen Google Nest Hub will cost $97 (it’s not the one with sleep tracking), but you can also get the Google Nest Mini for $49 and the Google Nest Audio smart speaker for $124.

You box use the physical screen on the Echo Show and Google Nest Hub, but you’ll get the Alexa app or Google Home app on your phone.

So a phone (a smart phone, of course) is an integral part of your smart home.

Phones and tablets

No, Bunnings does not sell smartphones. It does, however, have a super cute rotary phone for $99.95. But that won’t help us build a Bunnings smart home. It also doesn’t sell iPads or Android equivalents. So let’s assume that you already have at least one tablet or smartphone. The next thing we need are smart lights.

Smart lighting

Under the “smart bulbs” heading, Bunnings has 60 of them, ranging from spotlights, to the standard bulb you’d use in your bedroom, to RGB strip lighting and Colored Nanoleaf globes. You’ll obviously pay more for a projector, but for the standard globes you’d place in your home, you’d expect to pay $11 to $35 for one (the latter giving you color options). You can also get fun stuff like Nanoleaf shapes.

Other clever stuff

This includes motion sensors for indoors or outdoors (which would alert you when motion is detected or you can even trigger a specific light to illuminate). The cheapest is $22.85 at Arlec. I’ve never used an Arlec kit before so can’t comment on the quality, but the Brilliant brand is available at Bunnings for $34.86 and Mirabella for $29.

Bunnings also sells Google Nest Smoke Detectors, which have a piercing alarm sound, but a soothing voice that lets you know an alarm is coming and it’s loud.

There are also a ton of security cameras, seriously, too many to list, and smart doorbells. If your device is not smart, like a bedside lamp, you can make it smart by connecting a smart plug between the outlet and your device.

Can you build a Bunnings smart home?

You can. But you have to buy your internet or your smartphone or your tablet somewhere else. And you probably already have them.

Who would have thought? The lowest prices really are just the beginning.

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