In March 2014, I was fortunate enough to be featured on Tiny House Nation. You can see details and the full episode here. The experience was so much fun and I got hooked up with all kinds of cool stuff for my tiny house. I’ve always loved technology and was most excited about my amazing new tiny house gadgets. Since then, I’ve continued to try and acquire the most innovative tech products to make my tiny house look operate like something on The Jetsons.
When you think about a tiny house, “high tech gadgets” and “modern technology” probably aren’t the first things that comes to mind. The common stereotype of a tiny home owner is the hippie minimalist that wants to travel the world while preferring to stay “off the grid,“ right? The misinformed might picture a log cabin on wheels, with its resident cooking by campfire and bathing down by the river. While that lifestyle is pretty fun, and some in the tiny community do actually live that way, it couldn’t be further from the truth for a majority whom we’ve met.
Limited space requires that we make the most of each square foot. We must find a way to do more with less space. That mindset goes hand-in-hand with technology and innovation. Gordon Moore set the pace for the recent explosion in technology with his computing rule of thumb, “Moore’s Law.” He essentially said that computers decrease by half their size every 18 months. Not long ago, a calculator was larger than a tiny home. Today, we can put a whole entertainment system in a kitchen drawer.
Listed below are the coolest tiny house gadgets I own or will be soon acquiring.
My Favorite Tiny House Gadgets
Have you walked into a Costco lately? If so, you’ve seen the ridiculously huge TV’s greeting you within the first 30 yards of the showroom floor. Those things look gigantic in a massive warehouse… imagine one in your tiny home! But, maybe you still want that cinema atmosphere. Well, we’ve got the perfect tech gadget for you.
A mini projector (a.k.a. a “pico projector”) offers big-screen viewing without permanently taking up an entire wall. Use the compact projector to display whatever your viewing pleasure then stick it in a drawer once you’re done.
You also gain flexibility in where you watch TV because you’re not constricted by a wall-mount. Take that little guy wherever you’d like. Curl up in your bed with a bowl of Neapolitan and project “The Notebook” at your feet if you’d like. Or, take your show outside and project it onto the side of your home. The possibilities are endless.
Pico projectors range in price and quality and, from our experience, it seems that you get what you pay for. You definitely don’t want to skimp here. Our favorite is the M2 Micro from Aaxa Technologies. You can read more about this micro projector here in our tiny house gadgets section.
Now that you’ve got your amazing picture, you’ll need quality sound to go with it. Unless you’re only into silent films, this is essential. You’ll want something with enough bass to really suck you in and also enough volume and clarity to sound great outside under the stars.
The only way to go is bluetooth. A tiny home is way too small to be hiding wires. And, again, you’ll want the flexibility to take your entertainment system anywhere.
We’re not talking about the bluetooth speaker you got at the “white elephant” party or that one that you got for joining your bank. We’re talking about another level of speaker. One that syncs up easily, doesn’t need to be turned up to maximum capacity, and will even tell you the weather when you ask nicely. We’re referring to the Amazon Echo.
You can read more about the Amazon Echo in our Tiny House Gadgets section here. With your M2 Micro Projector in one hand, and Amazon Echo in the other, you’ll be a walking entertainment center. Just make sure that they’re charged. That brings us to our next must-have tech gadget for your tiny home.
Zuli plugs can give you complete control of your tiny home’s outlets and appliances directly from your smart phone. Here’s some of the cool things you can do with these “smart outlets.”
- Program your lights to come on when you get home
- Get notified if an outlet is used while you’re away
- Turn off/on appliances from anywhere
- Track your electricity usage per outlet
While this tech gadget is super advanced, it’s surprisingly easy to use. You stick Zuli Plugs directly into your regular wall socket and then plug in whatever you’d like. You can then control it through your device.
We were fortunate enough to help the company test this product and can’t say enough good things about it. If interested, you can read our Zuli Beta test interview here.
As an alternative, we suggest the Wemo Automation System in our Tiny House Gadgets Section. It’s currently the leading competitor in the space.
LED Strip Lighting
The first thing you should plug into your new Zuli outlets is your LED lighting strip. Imagine walking through your front door and having your iPhone trigger your Zuli plugs which fades in your LED lighting strip surrounding your tiny home.
There are so many reasons why LED lighting strips are better than traditional socket lighting. They’re long-lasting, eco-friendly and incredibly durable. They’re minimal reliance on energy makes them a great compliment to solar panels.
And, they look beautiful. You can combine them with other LED elements to create the perfect lighting situation in your tiny house. To see more photos and info, click here for our Tiny House Gadgets section on LED Strip Lighting.
Luci Solar Lantern
What if you decide to entertain guests outside? Before you fire up that new micro projector and crank up the Amazon Echo, you’ll need some lighting to get ready for the screening. You can’t be opening pinots and slicing manchego without seeing what you’re doing.
The Luci Solar Lantern is definitely the way to go. Consistent with our ongoing theme, there are NO cords to deal with. And you wanna know why… it’s solar powered! How sweet is that? Not only is it cordless and aesthetically badass – it’s also good for the environment. If you’re not sold yet, might we add that it’s also waterproof and holds a charge for 10 hours?
But wait, we have one more trick up our sleeve. It’s also inflatable! So when you’re not using it, you can deflate it and it takes up very little room. Check out more info and pics of the Luci Solar Lantern here.
You’ll need to protect all of your new tech gadgets and we suggest you start by locking your front door. But, not just with the boring, old bolt lock. We love Kwickset Lock for securing our tiny house. While Kwickset has been around for decades, their new product, the Kivo, is a new product inspired by recent mobile technology advancements.
The Kivo Touch Lock makes it quick and easy to enter your house without fishing for keys each time. It’s easy to install and simple to use with their intuitive mobile app.
In addition to functioning like a normal bolt lock, you get a bunch of added benefits. You can create and delete “ekeys” on the fly for allowing others to access your home. You can also track how often individuals are coming in and out of your place. You can even set push notifications to be alerted in real-time once someone enters or leaves!
For those that want to go a step further in locking down their beloved tiny house, we recommend the Amcrest HD series wireless security camera system.
This is the simplest way that we could find for offering peace of mind at all times. The live-feed camera can be accessed from any mobile device, laptop or PC. In addition to the security benefits offered, this is also a great way to keep tabs on any frisky pets or for a virtual trip home during your lunch break.
The camera holds up to four hours of footage and offers additional space with an added SD card.
Do you have any of the Tiny House Gadgets listed above? Are there other innovative products that you can’t live without? If so, please leave them in the comments below.
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