The term “smart home” has been a growing trend for quite some time. However, over the last 20 years, this technology has gone from being exclusively for million dollar homes to something that is already in almost everyone’s hands. With the introduction of such devices as the smart phone, Google Home, and Amazon Echo, our lives have become used to this type of technology and convenience. There have also been huge advancements in what smart home technology can do. Where once a timer on a lamp was considered advanced, we now have the ability to control all of our lights, shades, appliances, thermostats and security systems from anywhere. With all of this change, it can sometimes be difficult to know where to start.
First things first. What is a Smart Home?
The term smart home is used to describe a home equipped with network-connected products for controlling or automating such things as lighting, temperature, security and entertainment. They can be controlled remotely by a phone or tablet or through a separate system in the home. In a nutshell, smart home products have some level of automation and can be controlled at home or through an app while you’re away.
What can I control?
While you can decide to make your entire home “smart,” you can also pick and choose which parts would work best for your lifestyle. For example, if you only want to control your lights, you could add a whole-home lighting system. Or if you want to be able to manage your thermostat while away, you can start with a smart thermostat. You can choose to add a piece at a time or go all out right away.
Is it complicated to use?
New technology of any kind is often viewed as complicated because it is unfamiliar. However, the truth is that this technology is intended to make your life simpler not more complicated. Once installed and programmed, smart home systems are usually simple to operate and, living up to their name, they are often smart enough to “think” for themselves and perform basic tasks for you. The complex part of these systems usually comes in the installation or programming but that can oftentimes be done by a professional so you can bypass the setup altogether.
Is it necessary?
There are more practical applications to smart home technology than you might think. Although convenience is a big part of it, they can also save you time and money, make your home more energy efficient and provide optimal levels of security and functionality. Just think about a garage door opener. At one time, that was considered an unnecessary luxury. After all, who can’t get out of the car and walk a few steps to open and close a door. However, when it is raining, snowing or icy it becomes practical. Smart home technology operates in much the same way. Yes, there is an element of convenience but it is also practical, money-saving and efficient.
Where should I start?
Once you know what features you would like, you can start looking at different systems. If you have an understanding of technology and aren’t afraid to experiment, a lot of companies that make smart home technology make it user friendly. They often have technical support and how to videos. However, if you would rather not install it yourself, there are professionals who are experts in their field. They can install everything for you and show you how to use it. Either way, you will be well on your way to your personalized smart home.