Having your smart home come to life when you arrive home after work is great, but have you ever wished for a bit more control? Telling Alexa to toggle your lights on and off definitely isn't the pinnacle of smart home integration—even if it is amusing. Let's take a look at 10 fun things you can do with your smart home IFTTT enabled devices that add a little flair to more traditional functions.

The Manything Applet turns an old smartphone into a security cam.

10. Have an old phone? Why not turn it into a security camera?

Traditional security cameras can be expensive, especially if you're just wanting to monitor a small, potentially less important area of your home. In this case, maybe you don't want to pay $100 bucks just to make sure your dog isn't snooping where he shouldn't. If you have an old phone, you can grab the Manything Applet for the Apple or Android, as well as this IFTTT Applet; with this set up, you'll get emailed a video clip anytime your phone senses movement.




IFTTT has a number of Applets for Phillips Hue and Ring.

9. Scare away intruders with Ring and Philips Hue integration

You've probably seen motion activated lights working in suburban neighborhoods before—the kind usually mounted above garage doors. Taking its queue from that traditional set up, this IFTTT Applet allows your Hue lights to come on when the Ring senses motion nearby. Rather than an outdoor flood light, the Hue lights up the inside of your house, potentially spooking any would-be invader.


Turn your smartphone to silent mode by a simple text message.

8. Lost your phone? Bet you never thought a light switch could help you find it

Using this applet, you can turn your WeMo light switch into a quick phone finder. The applet works by having you long press the WeMo switch which triggers a call to your phone. Hopefully your phone isn't on silent, but even if it is, check out this applet which can toggle your phone from silent to ring mode after receiving a triggering text!

Applets can link together two different devices, such as ones from Eight and Nest

7. Keep your bed nice and toasty with the Nest Thermostat and Eight bed warmer

If you're like me, you like to keep the house at near arctic temperatures, but absolutely hate crawling into a bed of ice when it comes time to sleep. With this IFTTT applet, you can have your Eight bed warmer kick on when it detects a predefined low temperature from the Nest thermostat. And just like that, no more sheets of snow without sacrificing your cool house temperature.



Who doesn't want an Applet that links your coffee machine to your first stretch of the morning?

6. Wake up with coffee nearby

Now that we've discovered how to keep your bed nice and warm, how about a fresh cup of coffee to entice you out of bed in the morning? If you've got a Fitbit and Belkin WeMo plug, then you can use this applet to automatically switch on the coffee maker when Fitbit registers you waking up in the morning.


IFTTT lets you lock the door automatically when it senses you've left your Wi-Fi radius.

5. Never forget to lock the front door ever again

You've got a good, warm night's sleep, and a fresh cup of coffee to kick start your day, but did you forget to lock the front door on your way to work? If you've got a SmartThings system then you'll never have to deal with that worry again via this applet. Using location data, your SmartThings system will automatically lock up when it tracks you (and your mobile phone) leaving a predefined area around your house.



Of course there's an Applet to control your lights.

4. Turn dumb lights into smart lights

Even if you haven't invested into a smart lighting system, if you have a WeMo switch, you can still have a taste of automated lighting. Using this applet, you can have your home's old light bulbs toggle on or off, depending on your location.



You can create notes in Evernote with IFTTT through Google Home

3. Turn Google Home and Evernote into your own note taker

Sometimes dictating notes is just easier, especially if you're a habitual multi-tasker. While there are multiple setups out there which allow you to do just such a thing, you can simplify the task with Google Home and Evernote. This applet allows you to simply say, "OK Google, tell Evernote…" and then you literally tell Evernote what is on your mind. The note will be stored for your perusal at a later, more convenient time.



Prince fans listen up: This Applet will turn your lights to purple when it rains. (Yes, really.)

2. Purple Rain

Are you a fan of Prince, and/or perhaps the color purple? Or maybe you just want to give your friends a chuckle on some rainy afternoon. With this applet, you can combine your Philips Hue with Yahoo's Weather service to automatically switch your lighting to purple anytime it rains. Using the same concept, you can create your own, similar applets which alter your home's lighting based on other weather conditions.


Cook a lot? This Applet will gets your lights blinking when the oven timer goes off.

1. Light Timers

Perhaps my favorite applet, as someone who cooks a lot, is this one which lets you set a timer for your Hue. We've all done it—forgotten something in the oven, but if you've got an Amazon Echo and Philips Hue lighting, you can use this applet to set a quick timer. Once the timer expires your Hue will blink a few times, giving you a clear visual reminder to check the oven. Of course, you don't have to be timing food, this applet will let you time anything you want and always give you a very noticeable indication when you're out of time.


It doesn't matter if you're looking to have a bit of fun with some silly applets, or if you're looking to maximize your productivity, IFTTT based solutions are simple but powerful tools. As the smart home ecosystem continues to expand and IFTTT integration deepens, the controls at our fingertips will be paradigm changing. Already our devices are taking over many menial and busy work tasks, freeing us to concentrate on those things which are more important. If you haven't already, perhaps it's time to begin diving into the applet rabbit hole to find your own ways to upgrade your life and home.

-Lee Turner reviews various IoT wearables and smart home devices for GearBrain.

If you need help installing any of these Smart Home Systems or products, you can visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a local trusted professional.