Happy Monday Everyone! I've recently had some clients ask about smart home technology. I decided let's put together a basic check list. This may not be all inclusive, but is a good starting point.
We have reached an era where smart homes and automated technologies are becoming integrated into our daily routine and the functions of our home. Smart home technology has now become pretty seamless. Integrating smart home tech with your home to enhance convenience, security, and energy efficiency is no longer for the upper echelon. Let's walk through some simple things that you can do if you've been thinking about making the shift to smart home integration.
1. Assess Your Needs: Before diving into the world of smart home devices, take some time to assess your needs. Identify areas where automation and connectivity can make a significant difference. Is it lighting, security, climate control, or entertainment, understand what things would make your life easier if they were automated.
2. Choose your platform: What do I mean by this? There are 3 major companies and brands out there that offer devices that allow you to build a smart home around them. Google, Amazon, and Apple. I have links below to the 3 major brands and the products that they offer.
Personally since I'm and Android user the smart home tech that I use at my personal home is all Google based products. (Sorry Apple and Amazon users please forgive me.)
3. Start with Smart Lighting: For the first time smart home user this can be a little intimidating. One of the most simple ways to start transitioning into a smart home besides picking the platform device to use and purchase is lighting. You can illuminate your home in a whole new way with smart lighting solutions. From color-changing bulbs to automated schedules. Learn to set the mood, save energy, and control your lights with a simple voice command or a tap on your smartphone. Most of your platforms will integrate pretty easily with the smart bulbs and lighting option. Generally each manufacturer will list which devices that it works with.
4. Secure Your Smart Home: If security is the reason you are building a smart home setup there are plenty of products that will integrate with the different platforms as well to enhance the security of your home with smart devices such as smart locks, doorbell cameras, and motion sensors. Discover how these tools provide real-time monitoring, remote access, and customizable alerts, allowing you to keep an eye on your home, even when you're away.
5. Climate Control with Smart Thermostats: This is probably one of my favorite reasons of going to a smart home was the climate control options. I was able to easily integrate my Google Nest product with my Google home setup to achieve the perfect temperature in my house. Many of these devices will even learn how you use your heating and cooling and design a schedule that tailors to your preferences. The smart thermostats will generally save you $$$ because of their smart programing to allow for energy-efficient climate control, personalized schedules, and the ability to adjust settings from anywhere using your smartphone. Save on energy costs while enjoying optimal comfort.
6. Embrace Voice Control: With smart devices you no longer have to use the traditional remotes and switches. Integrate voice control into your smart home setup with virtual assistants like Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Setting up the virtual assistants are super simple and often times they will learn as you go.
7. Create Smart Home Scenes: Combine multiple smart devices to create customized scenes that suit different scenarios. Whether it's a "Good Morning" scene that adjusts lighting and temperature or a "Goodnight" scene that secures your home, setting up keywords that automates multiple functions make it fun and easy. For example if I'm at home and I say "Hey Google Good Morning" my automated setup will turn on certain lights in the house and start playing the morning news for me. I even have a command that I give that will open my garage door as I'm ready to head to work!
Hopefully you find this information to be enough to give you that push to get started in your smart home journey. Don't let setting up these electronics deter you in any way. Generally if you can operate a smartphone then setting these things up will be a breeze. All the products have a plethora of online walk-throughs if you get stumped, but the turn by turn instructions for setup that come with them should make it just as easy.
This technology is constantly evolving and improving with those updates your setups will continue to get better as well.
Remember to research compatibility between devices, follow installation guidelines, and update your smart home system as new features and improvements become available. Enjoy the transformation into a smart home!