I just saw the tiny smart home of the future

LG smart cottage interior living space features smart lights
(Image credit: Future)

Amid rising energy and housing costs, do tiny smart homes have what it takes to be a viable living space of the future?

I'd say so after having spent last week touring LG's new self-powered Smart Cottage plopped in the middle of Seoul. First announced at IFA in 2023, LG offers four models (Mono, Duo, Mono Plus, and Duo Plus) to choose from; you can pick either a single or two-story configuration with or without solar panels. The 628-square-foot model I toured in person was packed with some of the best smart home devices and an impressive solar power setup.

LG Smart Cottage in city

(Image credit: Future)

As we approached the home it swiftly opened its smart blinds and turned on the lights automatically. We entered the cozy main living space using a smart lock. Inside, a smart thermostat and air purifier regulated climate controls. 

I fell into a snug reading chair in the center of the room and took stock of the different gadgets around the house. My favorite of the pack was LG's Tiiun, a smart plant growing station that regulates water, temperature, and LED lighting to grow fresh greens inside. 

While small, this tiny smart home wasn't lacking in appliances or facilities. Smart lighting and full-sized appliances worked together to create a responsive relaxation and cooking area. These lights automatically adjust to brightness levels to save energy. I come from an Italian family and I can vouch that there's enough room to work on several trays of apps and a main dish in here. With that said, I couldn't imagine hosting more than six people at a time inside the home. 

As you head towards the back a set of stairs leads to an upstairs bedroom loft. An in-unit washer and dryer with AI-load sensing sat ahead of these stairs on the way to a fully functional bathroom.

LG Smart Cottage Bathroom

(Image credit: Future)

No matter which room you enter you get a sense of how streamlined the living space is. You just walk up to a mirror and the light turns on or water comes out of the sink faucet when it detects motion. From the ThinQ app, you can effortlessly control each appliance, manage the entire HVAC system, and monitor energy storage and consumption in real-time. 

While the automation is helpful, LG's smart cottage solves one of the biggest challenges in placing a tiny home, which is power. Each solar roof panel generates 4 kilowatts of power for a total of 15 Kw of energy—plenty enough for two people. Any extra power is banked away in an energy storage system or can be sold back to the electricity provider.

LG Smart Cottage power and HVAC

(Image credit: Future)

That's also enough to power the built-in electric vehicle charger. Meanwhile, LG's energy pack powers a compact air-to-water heat pump that heats and cools up to 200 liters of water without the need for any fuel or gas. Of course, you're going to have to figure out plumbing, but overall everything is compactly self-contained in a flat pack on the backside of the cottage so it looks sharp yet is easy to work on. Another plus is the maintenance-free aluminum and zinc alloy exterior that's corrosion-proof and easy to clean. 

While no pricing details have been solidified, the LG Smart Cottage will go on sale as soon as the second half of this year. While smart home gadgets are always nifty, it's the advanced energy monitoring and home controls that elevate the Smart Cottage over your standard tiny home. I'm excited to see how this design inspires the tiny home industry.

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Hunter Fenollol
Senior Editor, Smart Home

Hunter Fenollol is a Senior Editor for Tom’s Guide. He specializes in smart home gadgets and appliances. Prior to joining the team, Hunter reviewed computers, wearables, and mixed reality gear for publications that include CNN Underscored, Popular Mechanics, and Laptop Magazine. When he’s not testing out the latest cooking gadgets, you can likely find him playing a round of golf or out with friends feeding his paycheck to a QuickHit slot machine. Hunter started his career as an intern at Tom’s Guide back in 2019 while in college. He graduated from Long Island University Post with a degree in Communications and minor in Advertising. He has been vlogging ever since the iPhone 4 took front-facing cameras mainstream.