There isn’t an exact definition of a smart home as everyone has their own idea of what one encompasses. Generally speaking, a ‘smart home’ is a house that contains a communication network that connects different appliances, allowing them to be remotely controlled, monitored and accessed. For other households, they may define their home as smart simply by connecting speakers to a device and so on.
What a smart home means for you is entirely dependent on a few factors - you need to figure out what certain smart devices do, what you want to use them for and of course, your budget.
Using the technology within the house, you can control and see what is going on in your home, even when you’re not there by using a smartphone or a tablet.
If you enhance your smart home, you could see yourself saving money on your utility bills and you won’t have to worry about leaving the heating or lights on. You can simply turn these off remotely and by monitoring these things in your home, there is a far less chance of being faced with a hefty bill.
- Saving energy
For many homes, the most attractive feature of a smart home is the potential to save energy and money with automated heating, air conditioning and lighting systems. For example; lights can turn off automatically when not in use and heating systems can be adjusted to set times so that heat is not being wasted when nobody is at home. Having these automated controls, combined with smart technology helps save on electricity, water and gas.
- Safer and secure home
Smart homes can add an extra layer of security with connected lights, camera and doorbells. You can access home cameras and doorbells via your mobile where you can capture everything happening around your home.
This is yet another great benefit of having a smart home. Households can have remote access to many systems like heating, music and cameras. The minimal effort this requires is what homeowners love! Who doesn’t want to be able to turn the heating on/off without physically moving to do so?
For elderly or disabled residents, a smart home may feature accessibility technologies. Voice command systems like Alexa, can control lights, make calls or lock doors which is extremely useful for those less capable or mobile.
With hundreds of smart equipment available, you may be wondering where is best to start your smart home setup. We’ve chosen a small selection of technology to kickstart your smart home and for you to experience the benefits of having one. It’s great that many smart devices all interlink with each other so you can truly utilise them.
Amazon Echo and Google Home - The two most popular voice activated personal assistants. Both products allow you to ask for weather updates, play music and are now compatible with smart technology devices too.
Philips Hue Lights - This is a great Wi-Fi enabled lighting system where you can turn your lights on/off from your mobile or other devices such as the Amazon Echo.
Ring Doorbell - Featuring a camera within the doorbell allows you to see whoever is outside your house via a smartphone or tablet. There is also a speaker included that lets you talk to those outside your home, even if you’re not at home yourself. Receiving instant alerts when there is a visitor, you’ll never miss a parcel delivery again!
As mentioned above, smart thermostats can help save you up to 25% of your heating and cooling bill. Households spend up to half of the average household budget just on these bills, so saving as much as possible on this is a bonus!
Smart lighting is yet another feature that can save you money as with a smart lighting system you can dim, turn off or change the colour of your bulbs to maximise your energy savings.
Smart power outlets allow you to monitor and restrict energy via the sockets so that you aren’t wasting unnecessary energy and expenses.
Now that you’re aware of what a smart home is, you can decide from here if a smart home is for you. With technology continuously evolving, it is exciting to see what new smart home technology is yet to come!