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

Yes, you can set up an entire Smart Home at Bunnings

Earlier this month we reported that Bunnings was a pretty good place to get some technical kit (and a game pc† So we decided to put the worst-sanga home to the test: Can we build a smart home using only appliances sold at Bunnings?

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

Building a smart home from Bunnings

The Internet

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

It has nine in total, and they are all TP-Link. The cheapest is the TP-Link Archer C20 Wi-Fi router, which will set you back $59.95. It shall do the job, but not brilliant. With the Archer C20, you simultaneously get 300 Mbps on 2.4 GHz and 433 Mbps on 5 GHz for a total available bandwidth of 733 Mbps.

The most expensive is the TP-Link Cat6 4G+ wireless router. For $300 you get 4G backup (most routers you get from your telco now offer this) and the field is that you can connect up to 64 devices.

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

Smart Home Hub

Now that the internet is settled, you want a smart home hub. Bunnings, what good is a smart home hub?

Let’s start with retail giant Amazon. For $37 you can get the 3rd gen Amazon Alexa and the gen-4 Echo Glacier for $57-$79 depending on your preferences. All these Alexa-enabled hubs are able to turn lights on/off, play music, answer questions – everything Amazon has taught Alexa to do. But there’s no ‘hub’ element for control, so you’re limited to what your voice can do.

In the smart home hub space, however, Bunnings has a bit more Alexas. The gen-2 Echo Show 5 costs $77 and the gen-2 Echo Show 8 costs $127. All of these let you select buttons on the screen and watch things like Amazon Prime and Netflix, control lighting, power outlets, etc.

Google Assistants (which I personally prefer) are also available from Bunnings. The 2nd gen Google Nest Hub costs $97 (this isn’t the one with sleep tracking), but you can also pick up the Google Nest Mini for $49 and the Google Nest Audio Smart Speaker for $124.

you can use the physical screen on the Echo Show and the Google Nest Hub, but you will benefit from the Alexa app or the Google Home app on your phone.

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

Phones and tablets

No, Bunnings does not sell smartphones. However, it has a super cute rotary phone for $99.95. But that’s not going to help us build a Bunnings smart home. It also does not sell iPads or Android equivalents. So let’s assume that you already have at least a tablet or smartphone. The next thing we need are smart bulbs.

Smart lighting

Under the banner of “smart light bulbs,” Bunnings has 60 ranging from floodlights to the standard light bulb you’d use in your bedroom, RGB strip lighting and Nano sheet colored bulbs. You’ll pay more for a floodlight, of course, but for the standard globes you’d place around your house, expect to pay $11 to $35 for one (the latter giving you color options). You can also get cool stuff like Nanoleaf shapes.

Other smart things

This includes both indoor and outdoor motion sensors (which notify you when motion is detected or you can even activate a specific light to illuminate). The cheapest is $22.85 from Arlec. I’ve never used an Arlec kit so can’t comment on the quality, but the Brilliant brand is available from 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 tells you 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 isn’t 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 smartphone or tablet somewhere else. And you probably already have them.

Who would have thought? Lowest prices really to be just the beginning.

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