Creating Your Smart Home
If your home is lacking in the technology department, maybe it’s time to consider bringing it into the future. You’ve probably heard the term “Smart” to describe different electronics and appliances. When a product is labelled as “Smart” it means that it has some feature or elements that allow for automation or communication between other devices and networks. For example, what transformed a TV into a smart TV was the ability to connect to your home internet through WIFI capabilities. Smart devices can expose a whole new world of possibilities to make your life easier. It can take a while to get used to the new technology out there, but like trying anything new, there will always be a learning curve to take you out of your comfort zone. This post is going to attempt to ease you into that change and leave you better prepared for the possible products and functions that are available.
Smart Home Assistant
A smart home assistant is a great investment if you are planning on making your home smart. With it you can control and sync different devices through your voice. Think of it like the main hub that bridges all your devices together. Smart home assistants do more than just sync and control devices, they can also play music, set alarms, make calls, set reminders, answer questions, schedule certain tasks, and much more! There are many different home assistants out on the market, but the two most popular and therefore probably the most compatible when buying other smart devices are Amazon’s Alexa, and the Google home suite of products.
You can install smart light switches, strips, and bulbs that can be controlled through your smart phone or home assistance devices. These lights and switches are made very easy to install and even easier to set up with your smart phone and home devices. Since smart lights are a relatively new product, they can be a bit pricey. However, smart lighting uses LED lights which means they are the most energy efficient light bulbs and will last 6 times longer than CFL bulbs.
Heating and cooling your home accounts for half of your utility bill. To maintain the temperature fluctuations of your home, your thermostat will switch your HVAC system on or off to compensate and maintain the temperature you have set. A smart thermostat can help reduce the amount of energy you use, and intern save you money on your bill. The charge you incur on your energy bill is based on how much energy you use to keep your home at the temperature you have set. The higher the differential in temperature, the more energy you use. For example, in the summer the outside temperature will be way warmer than the temperature you have set in your home, therefore maintaining that indoor temperature requires more energy. The opposite happens in the winter.
So how will the smart thermostat help?
For starters, the smart thermostat is easier to program due to its simplistic UI (user interface), this means that you will be more likely to adjust your thermostat’s programmable settings as your schedule changes. Additionally, the device learns from your behaviour and will help you set optimized schedules in order to minimize the amount of energy they use. The smart thermostat learns through your input and data. It will gather information such as when you are home, when you are out, how long it takes to change the temperature in your home, or in a room, what is your desired room temperature through your adjustments, among other things. These pieces of data will allow the device to better suit your needs while minimizing the amount of energy where possible.
There are several smart devices that you can get a hold of to integrate with your smart home devices. If you are looking for a TV you can control with your voice, there are many different brands of TVs you can purchase. If you’re using Alexa as your home assistant, it may be better to go with a Fire TV, however just because you are using Alexa doesn’t mean you are limited to only Fire products. There are many tutorials online on setting up smart TVs with your smart home devices. If you have a google home assistant but can’t get your TV to pair with it, you can invest in the google Chromecast device which will essentially turn your TV into a Smart TV ready for google home.
A smart Vacuum? Yup, you read that right. But why would you want a smart vacuum and what can it do? A smart vacuum can be scheduled to run at certain times during the day or specific days of the week. You can also control your smart vacuum through your smart home assistant and smart phone devices. Imagine you leave for work every morning and when you get back, your vacuum has cleaned your house. That sounds like something out of science fiction, but it’s not. A smart vacuum is a convenient and easy to set up device that will make your life easier.
Smart Security and Sensors (locks and Cameras, smoke detector, carbon monoxide)
An important feature of any smart home and one you should invest in is security and safety. Many home security system companies will pair with your home security devices so that they can be better alerted when emergencies occur. So, what other advantages can you expect when updating to a smart security system? Like other smart devices, all smart home security products are extremely easy to use and set up. You can access controls through apps and/or a smartphone so you can always monitor and make changes on the go. Additionally, smart security devices synergize well together, which means that you can purchase many different products that will only improve the security of your home. There is a huge inventory of devices you can purchase to help monitor and protect your home. Check out google’s suite of security products