Of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen is probably one of the most important to you. The kitchen is a gathering place where your family comes together to discuss the day, work on homework and of course, eat! Smart kitchens are gaining a lot of attention in the world of smart home with new appliances and gadgets being released.

How Tech Can Help You Shop and Cook Better

Of all the rooms in your home, your kitchen is probably one of the most important to you. The kitchen is a gathering place where your family comes together to discuss the day, work on homework and of course, eat! Smart kitchens are gaining a lot of attention in the world of smart home with new appliances and gadgets being released from many of the major kitchen retailers. Smart appliances are great but they can be pricey and require a lot of additional help to get up and running. Here are a few ideas that you can quickly install and start using right away – no costly investment or complicated setup required. The best part? It's all available right from the Z-Wave website.

Lighting to fit your kitchen routine

Smart lighting in your kitchen can help make Monday mornings more tolerable and after work dinner prep simpler. Install a few smart lightbulbs, dimmers, switches or strips in your kitchen, then set them to turn on and off to best suit your mood. Set lighting to gradually become brighter for your AM routine and targeted over your cooking prep area in the evening. With LED strips you can even add color to your room (hint: yellow and red are known to be an appetite stimulant). And don't forget a hub! With a monthly subscription, the Nexia Home app will control your entire home from one place on your smartphone.

Get started: Smart LightingNexia Hub

Leverage voice control to make grocery shopping a breeze

Here at Z-Wave, we're big fans of using Amazon Echo voice control to easily access smart home devices. With Alexa, even the most mundane of chores – making your grocery list – become easier. Picture this: you're digging around your kitchen trying to plan out meals for the week. Instead of stopping to jot down milk and eggs, simply say "Alexa, add milk to my shopping list," and your requests will be entered immediately onto your Android or iOS device. In addition to making planning easy, Alexa can help you with hands off cooking – just ask her to turn on the kitchen lights or activate a "cooking" scene that turns down your thermostat, brightens your lights, and turns on your Crockpot. Learn more about smart home scenes with Amazon Echo here.

Get started: Amazon Echo

Staying safe

Besides making your cooking and prep routines simpler, smart home gear can also protect your home and family. Slow roasting a turkey in the oven while you run errands? Ensure that no dangerous mishaps occur with a Z-Wave smart home appliance module or a smart plug, coupled with a Z-Wave enabled smart smoke alarm that sends out immediate alerts whenever smoke or excess heat is detected.

Get started: Linear Plug-In On/Off Appliance ModuleFirst Alert Z-Wave Smoke/CO Alarm