Products for the “smart” home may aid in the simplification of mundane jobs and activities. Learn the ropes from our helpful hints, and then read our in-depth analyses of the top items to see which ones are worth your money.
What are smart home products?
Connected to the internet, smart home gadgets like doorbells and thermostats provide enhanced functionality over their analogue predecessors. What’s more, they may be networked so that you can manage all of your connected devices with one interface, such as a smart speaker that responds to your voice commands or an app on your smartphone. All of your smart home devices can be managed from a central hub, allowing you to streamline your routine and save up valuable time.
Change your lighting.
Because it’s so simple and cheap to change, most people start by automating their lighting. It’s worth noting that “dumb” lighting may also benefit from and be controlled by smart outlets, with the latter often linking to an app to provide on/off and dimmer control.
Connect to a hub.
If you’re just starting out with smart lighting, choosing a hub is one of the first decisions you’ll have to make. One central device, called a “smart home hub,” may connect all of your electronic gadgets and may cost as little as $30.
A few examples of devices that may be linked to a hub include light switches and dimmers, blinds, vents, fans, door locks, leak detectors, a security system, smoke/carbon monoxide alarms, a thermostat, speakers, outlets, and a voice assistant. Once you’re wired up, you may establish your own habits, such as shutting off the lights in your home office and cranking up the music in the kitchen when you get home from work.
A smart home might be difficult to operate, but sometimes all you need is your phone. However, when additional components are added and integrated, it is advised that a central hub be set up. Some of the additional features of a smart hub with a touchscreen include the ability to view movies, make FaceTime calls, set kitchen timers, and cook while watching a video.
The wireless Control4 thermostats make it simple to adjust the temperature based on the time of day or the weather. Closing the curtains before the sun enters your house is the first step in conserving electricity.
A high-quality monitoring system will provide you peace of mind. Snapshots from your cameras may be sent directly to your pocket through IP control and the Control4 app. Receive instant alerts whenever anything occurs in your neighbourhood.
Replace your appliances.
You may upgrade your appliances in stages as your budget allows. Small improvements may have a big impact. Some variants of smart trashcans include odour filters and reminders to take out the garbage, and the price of these devices is often less than $100.
If you haven’t already, automating your cleaning process may completely alter the way you do things. Robot vacuum cleaners may cost anywhere from over $100 to over $500. You may have a smart vacuum connected to your hub and controlled by your phone or set to clean on a regular basis.
ENERGY STAR appliances do cost a little more than standard models, but the savings over time more than make up for the difference in price. Costs will rapidly be recouped via reduced monthly energy bills. Depending on its size and brand, running an older refrigerator might add $623 to your five-year operating costs (in addition to 1,774 pounds of carbon emissions).
What are the benefits of a smart home?
In terms of smart home technology, audio and video equipment are often considered good places to begin. The two types of speakers, the “smart” kind with an integrated assistant and the “connected” kind that can be controlled remotely through an app or a smart assistant via Wi-Fi, may be used together or separately.
You may use your phone or voice commands to make song selections, play/pause/stop the music, and skip songs.
Some televisions already have smart home functionality, although media players like the Google Chromecast or Apple TV are usually preferable. You can operate video streaming services like Netflix from your mobile device, transmit content from another device to the TV, or even use your voice if your smart speaker is compatible with the device.
Appliances and other devices now record how much power or water they use, helping you determine where you may make savings.
Most devices connected to the internet enable remote management.