For years, smart home technology has been touted as the next big thing. But now that it’s here, what do you need to know about smart home devices, and which ones do you need? They’re not all created equal. You can’t just buy a dozen random gadgets and expect them to be magically compatible.
It’s important to choose devices carefully, so they’ll work well together and provide you with the most benefits possible. Plus, some products have more features than others — and some are more costly. So, before buying smart home technology blindly (or impulsively), think about what you need and don’t need. Let’s look at some smart home devices that can make your life more convenient.
A Smart Thermostat
For a hands-off approach, consider a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats let you control the temperature of your home with your phone and adjust it throughout the day. Some even have remote access and others come with smart scheduling features that will help you save on energy bills by automatically adjusting temperatures based on a set program when you’re not at home or awake. Some smartphone apps also allow you to monitor how much energy your heating and cooling system consumes. One of the benefits of this is you can monitor whether there are issues with your system or if there are times when it runs longer than expected and may need repair.
Here are the main benefits that smart thermostats can offer:
Lower energy bills. A smart thermostat can learn your preferences and adjust accordingly, so you’ll never have to worry about turning up or down the temperature at home. Most people save around 15 percent on their energy bills with a smart thermostat.
Better comfort levels. Smart thermostats learn what temperatures make you comfortable, so they can adjust it automatically. This means you can spend less time fiddling with your heating or cooling system and more time enjoying your home.
Increased safety. Some smart thermostats automatically detect when no one is in the house and lower the temperature accordingly.
Smart speakers provide a better experience when you play music, podcasts, audiobooks, and more. Plus, they can control other smart home devices through voice commands. This means you can turn on or off lights, adjust the temperature in your home, and even lock doors and windows using just your voice. You can also use a smart speaker to make phone calls and get answers to everyday questions like “What day is today?” or “Where should I park at the mall?”
Smart speakers can also play music and podcasts and provide information on weather, traffic, and more. It’s the ultimate home assistant. They can control your music, answer questions, and tell you the weather. And it’s always ready to help, no matter what you need. Multiple people in one household can use smart speakers without confusion over whose voice commands will be heard. That’s because they use artificial intelligence (AI), which allows them to learn who is speaking based on their voice patterns, accents, and vocabulary choices.
Smart lighting is a system that allows you to control your lights remotely, either through a smartphone app or voice commands. Smart lighting can save you money on energy costs, and it can make your home safer and more secure. With smart lights, you can control the brightness of your lights with an app on your phone or voice commands with a smart speaker. Smart lighting also works with other smart home devices, such as thermostats and switches, so you can sync them all up for optimal automation.
Smart lighting products allow you to control your lights from anywhere — from across town or across the globe. This means that if someone breaks into your home or business while you’re away, they won’t be able to turn off the lights and hide their presence. Smart lighting can automatically turn on when someone enters a room or an intruder triggers an alarm system. For example, if someone breaks into your garage while you’re away from home, you’ll receive an alert on your smartphone telling you they’re there — even if they don’t break in or try to steal anything.
Smart Plugs and Outlets
Smart plugs and outlets, which you can use to control the power to devices plugged into them, are another must-have for any smart home. The most popular brands of smart plugs include Belkin and TP-Link; outlets are available from many different manufacturers.
You can use smart plugs in various ways:
You can schedule them to turn on or off at certain times of day — or even on specific dates, such as when you’re coming home from vacation or leaving for a trip out of town.
You can connect multiple smart plugs so that they all switch off when one is turned off (or vice versa). This is especially helpful if you have a lamp with a remote control that doesn’t have an outlet near it.
You can control the power to multiple devices plugged into them at different times; for example, schedule one set of lights (or other appliances) to turn on at 9 p.m., while turning on another set at 10 p.m.
Smart Door Locks
A smart door lock is something you want to add to your smart home. These locks can be used with a variety of devices and are very convenient.
Smart door locks work with other smart home products, such as security cameras and lights. For example, you can use your smart door lock when setting up a security camera on your porch, so it knows when someone is coming in or out of your house. Your door will automatically unlock if it sees that the person is one of its trusted users. You don’t have to worry about fumbling around trying to find your keys in the dark anymore (or even worse, getting locked outside).
Another benefit is that these locks are often voice-activated or use facial recognition software, so only approved people can get into their homes without having physical keys handy. This makes them great for families who want extra peace of mind knowing that only trusted individuals can access certain areas within their homes but still need easy access themselves (i.e., mom leaving early while dad stays late at work).
Smart appliances are the backbone of a smart home, as you can control them with your smartphone and program them to turn on and off at certain times. Plus, you can program them to activate under certain conditions. For instance, you could set up an air conditioner or heater so that it only runs when you’re away from home during the day or when it’s cold outside.
Smart appliances come in many forms: lighting systems, washing machines, refrigerators and freezers, ovens/microwaves/toasters (yes, they’re all different), TVs, and soundbars — the list goes on. For example, if you have a Smart Home, you may already have a refrigerator that tells you when something is out of stock. You won’t forget about anything since everything is connected through WiFi signals.
Putting Smart Devices in Your Home Is Smart for the Following Reasons
Convenience: Smart home devices make your life easier. You don’t have to get out of bed to turn off the lights or adjust the heat, meaning you can stay under the covers for just a few more minutes.
Security: It’s nice knowing that there is a camera monitoring what’s going on in your home at all times, such as when family members come unannounced or during an emergency like a fire or earthquake.
Energy savings: Having smart lightbulbs installed throughout your house means that instead of leaving lights on all day — or forgetting them when you leave the house — you can easily switch them off with a simple tap of your smartphone screen whenever it suits you best (and save money on electricity costs, too).
Safety: When you use them correctly, smart locks can ensure that only people with authorized access enter your home after dark.
The smart home of the future is already here, and it’s making life easier, more convenient, and more fun than before. If you’re thinking about starting your own smart home, now is the time to start. With so many affordable options available, it’s well worth considering.