Everything is smart these days, your watch, your phone, your car, and now your house? The smart home trend that had ominous undertones of George Orwell’s “1984” is now in the mainstream, and they’re more accessible than you might think. As of 2020, an estimated 45 million smart devices will be used in homes across American, clearly proving that the negative stigma against these devices as continued to dwindle. Turning your home into a smart home is easier, cheaper, and less nerve-racking than it was just a year ago.
There was a certain amount of societal pushback when smart homes and devices first came onto the market. When Amazon’s Alexa was first introduced, the world seemed to pump their collective breaks. It was one thing to have a smartphone, but for whatever reason, the idea of a smart home seemed like one step too far. The fact of the matter is, smart homes in 2020 are convenient, affordable, and just a whole lot of fun.
Smart devices continue to change the way that we live. With all the options to convert your home, it’s time to explore your options and potentially improve your life. Whether you’re looking to adjust the thermostat from the sideline at your kid’s soccer game, let the cat sitter in while you’re on vacation, or even set the mood with color-changing bulbs; there is a smart home option for your wants and needs. Here are a few options to aid in your smart home remodeling, and a list of advantages to going smart.
Advantages to Going Smart
The limitless capabilities of smart devices make it difficult to decipher why one would want to convert their home with smart devices. Smart devices offer the user much more than simply being able to control your speaker through voice commands. Whether you are looking to convert to a smart home or building luxury cabins with smart capabilities, there are endless options for the smart consumer. The following is a list of advantages you may not think of when considering a smart home.
The first thing one thinks of when you consider a smart home is a convenience that they can offer. Smart devices make things easier, more fun. Whether you want to make sure you didn’t leave the oven on, or want to set the mood with music or lighting, its just a great party trick to be able to say “hey Alexa, dim the lights” and have it work.
Smart devices offer the user everyday conveniences that you wouldn’t normally think of. Let’s say your kid doesn’t have a key to the house and they beat you home from work, with a smart lock device they don’t need a key! You can let them in via your smartphone. With a smart refrigerator, you can check the contents of your fridge from the isles in the grocery store. And with smart lightbulbs, you can control the lighting when you’re out of town or forget to hit the switch on your way out of the house.
Much like solar energy, smart devices have the capability of saving money on electricity costs, up to 15% with smart devices. Much like going smart, going green is just as trendy in 2020. But more than just a social movement, adding smart devices to your home will save you money. Using smart light bulbs and a smart thermostat will help the user make more efficient use of their electricity. Using smart outlets on small and large appliances allows the homeowner to use electricity as efficiently as possible. They do so lowing energy levels when items aren’t in use and raising levels when they are in use. Converting to a smart home might give you the extra money you need to get the fine art, new roof, or sound proof glass you’ve always wanted.
Not only do smart homes offer the consumer a cheaper, more accessible home, but they also offer a more secure space for you and your family. With the use of smart security cameras and locks, smart consumers can control access to their homes from anywhere in the world. It doesn’t matter if you want to make sure the teenagers aren’t rummaging through the liquor cabinet, or to ensure there isn’t a break-in, smart security has a solution for you. Smart cameras can even notify the user when there is someone at the door, be it a loved one or an intruder, these cameras allow for an increase in physical and mental security of the home.
Devices to Consider for Your Smart Home
Once you’ve decided to convert to a smart home and start looking at where to begin, it can be difficult to find a starting point. Below is a list of basic smart devices that are easy to install and will offer your home the simple pleasures that you have always wanted.
Smart Speaker or Home Assistant
The device that comes first and foremost when you’re converting to a smart home is a smart speaker or home automation services device, also known as a Smart HUB. The two devices that are widely considered to be the best on the market are the Amazon Echo, which comes with Alexa and Google Home. Both the Echo and Google Home are stand-alone devices that can be linked to other smart devices around your home, both of which have been on the market longest, meaning they have the most developed and accessible operating systems.
If you’re in the market for something quick and easy, the Echo and Google Home are going to be the best options. Both the Amazon Echo and a Google Home device are all in one design. Some of the less popular HUB devices do not have a speaker built-in and require the use of a smart speaker in combination with the HUB device, which is another reason to consider either a Google Home or Echo instead. In combination with a HUB device, a portable waterproof speaker or an outdoor speaker system can be linked to a home assistant device.
Along with a Hub device, the use of one or multiple smart outlets can save a tremendous amount of money on the electricity bill and require no home remodeling or modifications. Smart outlets connect to your HUB device and are controlled via your smartphone. Smart plugs are one of the cheapest and easiest ways to convert your home. These outlets can be used to turn off large appliances like TVs when they are not in use.
Smart lightbulbs are a fantastic way to convert your home to a smart home. Smart light bulbs, in combination with the use of an Amazon Echo or a Google Home, allow you to control the lighting in your home with the click of a button or the sound of your voice. These bulbs do far more than dim; they can be color changing, set to a pattern, or even hooked up to a smart speaker and set to music. The possibilities of smart lighting are endless. Not to mention that you never have to worry about whether or not you left the lights on when you’re out of town. Smart bulbs make for a great addition to your living room, bedroom, or kitchen.
Once smart outlets and bulbs have been installed in your home, the next logical money-saving device to add to your smart home would be a smart thermostat. Like the conventional thermostat, these devices are in charge of the temperature in your home. However, unlike conventional devices, a smart thermostat will allow you to change the temperature from your phone, from anywhere. Along with real-time adjustments a smart thermostat allows the user to set up zones in the house which need more or less heat as desired.
When it comes to convenience, nothing comes close to the capabilities of a smart fridge. With built-in sensors and cameras that allow you to know what is in your fridge at all times is one step towards making the modern grocery list obsolete. You’ll never have to wonder if you’re out of the essentials again, take a peek at the smart fridge app on your phone and know exactly what you need.
What is the first thing you ask yourself when you’re in the car on headed on a family vacation? Did I turn the oven off? With the help of a smart oven, you’ll never have to ask yourself that question again. Not only does a smart oven allow you to turn your oven off from afar it also lets you turn it on, so when you’re in a time crunch and need the oven to be hot when you get home, just pull out your smartphone and set the oven temp from the comfort of your cubicle. And with smart locks on your oven, you never have to worry about little ones or the dog pulling the door open and hurting themselves. The convenience that comes with a smart oven is incomparable.
Think the Rumba, but the 2020 version. With the ability to tune into your smartphone, a smart vacuum can provide anyone with dependable house cleaning that they wouldn’t otherwise the time or money for. Many of these vacuums can also be linked to a HUB device, which allows the user to control their vacuum with simple voice commands.
The next few smart devices fall under the category of smart security. First of which are smart locks. Adding a smart lock to your door allows you to lock or unlock your doors from anywhere in the world. Replacing conventional locks with smart locks makes it impossible to be without your keys through the use of a personal pin or even a fingerprint scanner. With the ability to unlock your door from your phone the options are endless, whether you need to let in the dog or cat sitter in the house when you’re out of town, or simply check to make sure you locked the door behind you, a smart lock is a solution for you.
After you’ve installed a smart lock, the next step in smart security would be to add a smart doorbell to your home. The smart doorbell includes a small camera that allows you to see who has just rung your bell, and even lets you communicate with that person via your smartphone. Some of these devices even have the ability to recognize certain people’s voices and notify the user who it is that’s at their door before they even look at their phone. Smart doorbells make it possible to communicate with the UPS driver, your kids, friends, and even the in-laws!
Smart cameras are for the smart homeowner that wants to take every precaution possible when it comes to the security of their home. Amazon offers smart cameras that pair with the Echo or a Google Home device. These cameras can be monitored from your smartphone from anywhere in the world, and offer the user with peace of mind when they are not around to keep an eye on the home. Both indoor and waterproof outdoor models are available. Not only do these cameras come in handy when you want to make sure that your kids aren’t having parties when you are out of town, but they also offer recording capabilities that can help law enforcement in the event of a break-in.
Smart technology is no longer the way of the future. With smart technology more accessible and affordable than ever before, now is the time to turn your home into a smart home. With so many options, it’s often hard to know where to begin, but with the help of this guide, you are well on your way! No matter your budget or your needs, there is a smart device that can make your home safer, cheaper, and more convenient than ever before. So take the first step today, and make the change to the smart home you have always wanted