If you are always working to add smart devices to your house, which is awesome, you’ll need
You could always call someone to install everything for you. But I believe that by starting out doing very simple installation work can set you on the path to taking on more complex work over time.
Here are some suggestions that could help you make light work out for installations of automation devices.
The smart home tool ideas list
Some of these things can be applied to more than the installation of smart devices. Let’s run through the list of these useful smart home tool ideas.
1. A laser distance meter
If you are still using an ordinary tape measure, you are going to like this. By aiming a laser light to a specific point, you can determine exactly how far it is away.
This is perfect for tasks like working out how much cable you need, or what size your new automated blinds has to be.
Some models can also measure in two directions. So it can give you the distance from each side and the distance from each side the measuring device.
2. A flexible bit with ball bumper
If you need a way to make a hole in a stud inside a wall, this is the easiest tool to help you accomplish just that.
You first make a hole in the drywall near the stud. The bit goes down inside the hole to allow you to drill a hole easily through the stud.
Now you can run cables inside your walls to allow a clean looking installation, with no cables in sight.
Use a power tester to make sure you aren’t working near power cables that are live. The last thing you want is to drill into a live cable.
If you want to know more about how this product works, go and have a look on YouTube and search for the title of this section.
3. Fish Tape
Fish tape makes it much easier to run cables through walls, ceiling areas or attics. They are designed to be easily fed through the route that your cable has to run. Once it’s threaded through the path you want your cables run, attach your cables to the end of it and pull them through.
This tool takes a lot of frustration out of running cables through awkward places.
Fish tape is manufactured out of a few various types of materials. They differ in thickness and breaking strengths.
So take a careful look at the different products specifications to decide which one is the correct one for you.
4. Network tool kit
If you need network cables installed for cameras or your home network, this toolkit will allow you to run your own network cable and put the relevant terminals on the ends.
Although I always try to use molded network cables to avoid man-made errors, having a quality network tool set is useful when this is not possible.
Some of these kits include a cable tester, which is awesome for testing cables before plugging everything in and discovering something is wrong and having to diagnose the fault from there.
5. A multimeter
If you’ve never worked with a multimeter before, don’t be alarmed. Multimeters are a lot less intimidating when you look at each section of the meter in smaller groups and understand what each function does.
So try and approach it from this mentality and you will be surprised how quickly you can learn how to use one.
A multimeter will be extremely handy to check your cables before wiring them up or turning anything on. This way you can avoid minor disasters with your products.
You can also check if a fuse has blown. Or you can see if a power supply is still working.
Seeing that this is not an in-depth training resource for multimeters, here is a YouTube video explaining how to use one:
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Although there are simpler individualized test equipment products to make testing easier than a multimeter, you won’t get the universal level of testing as you do with a multimeter.
Don’t be afraid to start exploring the usages of this incredibly handy device.
6. Infrared thermometer
An infrared thermometer is another versatile tool. From checking whether an element has heated up to the correct temperature to see if your air conditioner is up to good enough standards.
Other uses include checking for problems in your car, electrical cables or temperature differences in your home.
Just point the dot onto the item you want to be measured and a reading is displayed for you. This is done without even having to make contact with any surface physically.
A simple but often forgotten about the item. This is great for dark places, or when working at night to keep your hands free with a good amount of light shining exactly where you are looking at.
I find having a light shining in the area at which you are always looking at, takes away a lot of the frustration of working in the dark.
You can also find it handy if you do night time photography or when you are out camping or fishing.
8. A soldering iron
Soldering irons have more uses than soldering components onto circuit boards or electronic repairs.
I use mine all the time for joining wires that have been accidentally cut or that needs extending.
Joining cables this way is a sure way to avoid bad contacts caused other gimmicky products.
Obviously, there are so many ways a soldering iron can be handy. Once you have mastered the art of soldering, you will be surprised at the amount of work you can do with one.
I have even repaired jewelry for relatives. I also used it on repairs for eyeglasses, phone charging cables, key ring gadgets and a whole lot more.
Just make sure that you always have adequate ventilation when soldering and avoid inhaling the smoke or fumes altogether.
9. Heat shrink tubing
I always have a stack of all different size of heat shrink tubing. It’s so good for insulating cables after soldering a wire together.
It can also be used for covering damaged or exposed bits of wire.
It’s also available with an adhesive that melts when you heat it up. This will make sure that the repair is solid and the tubing won’t slide away from it’s intended location.
Cut the tubing to the required length and slip it onto your cable that it covers the join or damage. Then apply a little heat using a hot air blower.
Once it gets warm enough, watch the tubing shrink around the join. It’s way better than using insulation tapes or other adhesive products.
If you consider using any type of flame like a blow torch, match or lighter, please reconsider. It’s possible that you could damage your cable and the shrink tubing won’t look as good in the end.
10. Wire strippers
This is such a time saver. Unless you are incredibly skilled with a pair of side cutters, this tool will remove all the difficulties out of having to strip your cables.
It takes away the need to know exactly how much pressure you need on the wire to remove the insulation without damaging the actual wire.
11. Bondic instant plastic welding tool
This is an incredible invention that I don’t understand why it’s not far more popular than it is.
A plastic liquid is deposited onto the area you want to repair. After that, you trigger a light on the pen and it cures the plastic.
It cures to a very strong plastic. Can be sanded, filed and is even heat and water resistant.
This product cures in seconds so you don’t need long drying times as adhesives require.
12. Zip ties
It’s not exactly a tool I know, and yes, they have been around a long time. However, they provide an endless amount of uses that make it impossible to leave this off the list.
Especially when it comes to installing smart devices in your home.
Not only can it be used for grouping cables or attaching cables along with other fixtures, but it keeps an infinite amount of different things held together for you.
Personally, I keep several bags of different sizes in my home at all times. I find that I tend to go through smaller ties faster.
I’ve used them for a wide array of applications temporary key rings, to hole labels and to even tidy up excess cables for my Christmas lights.
I’m lots of entertaining videos are out there on YouTube about the useful ways you can use them.
13. Electric tester
While I’m a fan of the multimeter, having an electrical tester adds an extra layer of speed testing when working near electricity.
There are many good testers on the market. Many of them can detect power without having to make contact with exposed wiring or other contacts.
This allows testing for live power near your work area extremely safe.
14. Hot glue dispenser
There are a ton of uses for this tool. It’s great for small electronic projects, but also for holding a large of different types of items in place.
I like to reinforce wires that attach to small plugs to avoid too much flexing. Or to waterproof small electronic PCB’s.
You can also use it around the home to keep carpets from slipping, replacing feet on the bottom of appliances and shock absorption blobs for doors and drawers when they get slammed.
15. An electrician’s tool belt
This is an excellent way to have all your tools accessible from your waist. It’s particularly helpful when you are on a ladder, in a ceiling or up on a roof.
If you prefer to carry your tools everywhere, you would rather opt for a network technician’s bag. It has a lot of pockets and places to keep tools and various connectors etc.
To prevent your belt from slipping down your waist from bending etc, consider using suspenders with it.
This will make your life a lot easier and is one of the highly recommended items from our home improvement tools list.
16. Electronic screwdriver
These drivers are excellent for saving time and effort undoing or screwing in screws.
It comes in very handy for the occasions when there are many screws to do up or remove.
Some of them include an impact feature which allows you to drive in long screws into timber, with far less effort than it normally takes.
17. Network cable tester
If you have installed a cable and want to give it a test before you move onto your next task, this allows for quick and easy testing.
For fault finding, this tester can save you plenty of time by distinguishing whether you have a cable fault or a fault with your other products.
18. Keyhole saw
If you are needing to cut a section out of drywall, this tool makes that easy.
It has a single blade that you insert into a pre-drilled hole and allows you to cut out any shape you’ve marked out on the drywall surface.
So when you install light fittings or anything else that gets mounted into the ceiling or wall, this will be the tool of choice.
You can purchase a hand tool or a battery powered version. A RotoZip is a very popular tool for delivering a quick and easy cut out method.
19. A simple carpet cutter
I’m a fan of these kinds of disposable blade knives for the safety aspect. They have a shorter blade than other cutting knives and they lock into position much more firmly.
They are great for unboxing products. And when you are done, you can easily slice the box up into small squares of cardboard for easier disposal later.
Please be careful if you are cutting anything on the carpet and be mindful of your fingers.
20. All-purpose driver kit
Having one kit to be able to unscrew or fasten anything, is extremely handy.
Some of the drive bits you need include:
- Torx screw bits
- Tri-blade bits
- Allen key bits
- Robertson bits
And of course, a set of various sizes for flat bladed, Phillips and Frearson is a standard must have set of bits. Any extras you can get in the kit is always going to be helpful when you are least expected. So one kit to drive them all makes the most sense to me. It’s even handier if you can get a kit that can work well with your electronic screwdriver.
That’s my recommended smart home tools list for optimum DIY smart home project execution. Allowing you to more efficiently upgrade your home, the way you like it.
Other resources you could take a look at could be tools and gadgets used for home security installations.
Also, I would’ve included a camera tester or IP testing device, but seeing as you probably wouldn’t be doing regular installations, I couldn’t justify that expense.
Hopefully, this list has provided you with
Work safe, work smart and I wish you the best of luck with your installation projects.
Disclaimer: I do not take responsibility for any damages that you incur on yourself or on your property or equipment. Never operate machinery that’s beyond your limit of capability without professional supervision. Always wear the appropriate safety equipment.
Marlo is currently working full time as a professional computer programmer, electronics engineer and computer technician. Besides having a great passion for computers, he is fascinated by smart homes of the future.