An Introduction to a SMART Home

April 4, 2018

We live in an interconnected world – most of us own a Smart phone and can access all sorts of information right from our hands. Carrying out a range of everyday tasks from checking in with family and friends on social media platforms, to organising our calendar and even operating the heating at home. SMART homes take advantage of today’s technology to make our lives a lot easier, efficient and in some cases, like controlling your heating and lights will even save you money. If the idea of a SMART home has you boggled, the good news is it’s relatively easy to introduce as much or as little technology to your home as you feel comfortable with.

An Introduction to a SMART Home

5 Great Benefits of SMART Home Technology

  1. Comfort: You can organise your home electronics just how you want. That can mean anything from setting your alarm via a device like Amazon’s Echo so that it plays your “Wake Up” playlist, to controlling the lighting and heating in your home.
  2. Lowering Costs: When used for controlling your heating. You can set your SMART heating system to only come on when you are within a certain range of home. These systems use GPS technology, so no more fretting if you are delayed in a traffic jam, set it to warm the house when you’re within 2 miles of home, of course this can be overridden by utilising the associated app. There are a few SMART energy devices on the market, you may find this guide from Tech Advisor useful.
  3. Security: SMART technology is also helping to improve home security. You can now get alarm and CCTV systems connected to your Smart phone. These systems will send you alerts and some will even connect to a local response unit. There are additional devices like video door bells that you can answer anywhere in the world.
  4. Greater Accessibility: If you or a loved one lives with a disability, having a SMART home can mean you get better accessibility. You can operate things from your mobile phone or simply by instructing a SMART hub like Google Assistant to do something.
  5. Greater Control: The more you connect your home devices to one central source, the easier life becomes. If you head upstairs to go to bed and forget to turn out the lights, you simply tell your SMART hub to turn off the lights downstairs.

How Make Your Home SMART

There are a few things to consider when setting up a smart home. Most people start with buying a central hub and then hope to add capability later. The four main products on the market are: Amazon Echo, Google Assistant, Apple HomeKit, and Works with Nest. Of all of these, probably Amazon’s Echo, otherwise known as Alexa is the most well-known and advertised. What you want to achieve or control with your SMART home devices will depend on which product will be best for you.

Once you’ve chosen your base, the next things you need to consider is what technology works with it. Compatibility is still a slight issue even though these devices have come on leaps and bounds. That’s why it pays to do a fair amount of research before you choose your device. The good news is that all of them are improving their accessibility.

Remember, you don’t have to get everything all at once. You might already have a smart TV, for example, that is ready to hook up to your hub. SMART home security systems are relatively inexpensive – you can install a high tech door system that hooks up to your mobile phone for a little over £200.

On the utility side there are options such as Hive and a range of wireless operated thermostats that can also be installed. Setting up a SMART lighting system is a little more involved but isn’t as complex as many people think. You can even buy kettles that you can operate through your hub system.

Whether you just like gadgets, want to impress your friends, or simply want to control your home environment better, there’s plenty of scope when it comes to SMART home technology. Invest in a SMART hub to begin with and you’ll soon wonder how you were ever able to live without it.

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