The verdict is in, and it supports what tech-savvy homeowners have known for some time: smart home technology is changing the world, one smart speaker, learning thermostat, and home security camera at a time.

Even if you’re not one to wait three days in line for the latest smartphone, you intuitively understand the gravity of the moment. In the coming years, the insides and outsides of our homes will change forever — hopefully, for the better. These six increasingly affordable technologies are leading the charge; if you don’t have them in your house already, you’ll almost certainly bite the bullet soon enough.

1. Smart Speakers

For many homeowners, installing a smart speaker is a watershed moment: “Before Alexa” becomes “After Alexa.” The capabilities of Alexa-enabled speakers are legendary; even for those not inclined to push their speakers to the limits, the convenience of hands-free scheduling, searching, and systems administration can’t be overlooked. Alexa is a two-way street, too, with useful notification and reminder capabilities that help even the most disorganized homeowners stay on top of their duties.

2. Cloud-Connected Home Security Systems

No one believes they need a home security system until it’s too late. Fortunately, it’s easier than ever to find and set up a system that makes sense for your home, without the red tape and middlemen that once clogged up the process. Scan home security system reviews to find your ideal match, paying special attention to key features and capabilities like monitoring and user-friendly smartphone apps (which are essential for managing your security footprint on the go).

3. Learning Thermostats and Air Conditioners

What would you give to never have to adjust your thermostat again? That once-unthinkable reality is well within reach, thanks to increasingly intuitive learning thermostats that model their behavior on your own. The handoff won’t happen overnight, but within a few weeks, you should need to exercise virtually no climate control oversight.

Don’t discount smart air conditioners, either. If your apartment can’t accommodate a learning thermostat, a smart window unit might suffice.

4. Smart Lights

Smart lights aren’t just convenient. They’re an extension of your home’s security posture. Like smart thermostats, they learn when to operate, down to the room (or even the corner). And they’re easy to control from your smartphone. That’s a big deal when you’re out of the house overnight.

5. Smart Locks

Tired of misplacing your keys? There’s a lock for that. Whether you opt for a simple WiFi-connected lock or a full-spectrum smart doorbell system with video and two-way audio capabilities, you’ll rest easy knowing that no one’s getting into your home unless you want them to. (Including yourself and your family.)

6. Automated Blinds and Shades

When the sun goes down, so do the shades. Or vice versa — your call. In densely populated neighborhoods, automated blinds and shades are essential for privacy, and they’re not half bad at passive climate control either.

How Smart Is Your Home?

The smart home revolution is still in its early stages. From where you sit now, you might not see the use for some of these systems. Why automate your shades when you can just walk over to the window and lower them yourself? Why bother with a cloud-connected camera in a safe part of town where neighbors watch out for one another?

Only you can answer these questions. You’re the final judge of just how smart your home gets to be.