Imagine you are in your home. You have finished work for the day-you want to listen to a little music while relaxing. You ask your built-in assistant to play some classical music. Suddenly, Mozart’s Rondo Alla Turca fills the room. You wonder about Mozart’s birth and death dates. Again, you turn to your smart home hub. A pleasant voice tells you that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from January 27, 1756, to December 5, 1791.
Congratulations! You have the beginnings of a smart home.
Many people have welcomed a bit of smart technology into their homes-like a single home assistant or an internet-powered security system. However, with so many individuals working from their houses these days, 2021 just might be the right time to step forward and fully embrace smart home technologies.
There are a multitude of ways to equip your home to make it more comfortable, convenient, and more “connected.” All you need to do is find the smart home devices that you want to incorporate into your home, as well as getting in touch with an electrical company like Aardvark Electric (https://aardvark-electric.com/electrical-services/electrical-repairs-upgrades/) and you’ll have everything you could ever need right in front of you. That being said, in this article, we’ll discuss some of the most trendy smart home technologies on the market.
What is a smart home?
A smart home is a residence furnished with devices that automate household tasks. These “smart” devices can be built into the structure of a house or can be added later. Homeowners control these devices with apps, voice commands, or automation.
Their smart home is simple for some people-maybe they have a home assistant or a connected speaker. For others, their house may be equipped with several connected products, such as cameras, computers, tablets, smartphones, TVs, appliances, security systems, and more.
There are an almost endless array of smart devices available on the market today. Let’s look at a few.
Smart Home Automation Devices
Home automation devices are a large part of the Internet of Things (IoT). These smart devices and appliances can be networked together to provide control over almost every aspect of your house. Here are a few of the numerous home automation devices available:
Smart Home Hubs
A smart home hub is the nerve center of a smart automation system. It connects all smart home devices. You can control security cameras, dimmers, keypads, light switches, thermostats, door locks, and more using one app with a hub.
With smart lighting, you can set your lights to turn on and off automatically. The brightness of the lights can be set appropriately: bright for reading, dim in the evening, and they can turn on in the morning to help wake you up.
Smart locks are keyless door locks that allow you to open or lock the doors of your home without a physical key. Smart locks can be controlled remotely by using a smartphone app. Some smart locks require a complete replacement of the existing lock system, while others simply fit over the current system or require a few minor modifications.
Smart outlets are simple. Here is how they work:
- Plug them into an existing outlet.
- Then connect them to your Wi-Fi network.
- Next, plug a device or appliance into the smart outlet.
- From there, the item that was plugged into the smart outlet can be controlled from an app, smart home hub, or your Wi-Fi network.
Smart Carbon Monoxide and Smoke Detectors
You can keep an eye on your home even when you are away. With these smart devices, should carbon monoxide or smoke be detected, you will receive a warning in real-time via your smartphone.
More Home Automation Ideas
The possibilities for home automation are never-ending. Here are a few more home automation ideas:
- Door and window sensors tell you immediately if a door or window is ajar
- Robotics, such as robot vacuums, pool cleaners, and window washers
- Motorized Control of curtains, shades, or blinds, which can be adjusted without you having to do it physically
Smart Home Security
Smart home security systems are not new. However, in 2021, there are some exciting advances in this technology. More and more security systems feature facial and voice recognition. Also, we are seeing the first systems on the market that stream and record videos in Ultra High Definition (UHD), have automatic zooming, motion tracking, color night vision, integrated spotlights and sirens, one-click 911 connectivity, a 180-degree field of vision, and more.
Why should I consider having a smart home?
There are five fundamental reasons to consider “smartening up” your home.
- Saves energy and money: Smart thermostats automate the heating and cooling in a precise and efficient way, which reduces both energy use and the electric bill. Other products, such as connected lights and appliances, use less energy as they power down when not in use.
- Makes life simpler: Life is complicated. Anything that makes it simpler, more efficient, and more comfortable is worth considering. Even something as simple as being able to turn your lighting off and on using a voice command can enhance your quality of life.
- Makes life safer: Equipment like connected lights, security cameras, and even smart doorbells help keep you and your family safe. Devices like these often scare off intruders who prefer to move on to houses without this type of protection.
- Handles tedious household tasks: Think about things like a robotic vacuum-or a washing machine that automatically starts a wash cycle-or how about a refrigerator that orders milk online when it senses you are running low?
- Makes your home a good place to hang out and relax: An AI-based digital assistant can play music, the news, or help you find a good movie to watch.
How should I start to make my home smart?
There are simply tons of smart devices available; it is hard to know where to start. Following is a list of five products we feel are appropriate to begin your smart house journey.
- Smart Speaker: Smart speakers can get a bit complex and expensive. We believe it is best to start with the small, more affordable options.
- Smart Light Bulbs: Smart light bulbs are an easy first smart device purchase. Once you purchase the bridge and first lights, this option is relatively inexpensive.
- Smart Thermostat: Smart thermostats efficiently control your home environment and keep it just the right temperature to suit your preferences. Some models can respond to voice commands through Google Home and Amazon Echo speakers.
- Smart Doorbell: When a visitor comes within the range of your smart doorbell, it sends an alert to your app that lets you see just who is at your door. Many smart doorbells are moderately priced, and the peace of mind this device can give you is certainly worth the cost.
- Smart Hub: If you already have a few smart devices, or you plan to purchase several, the purchase of one central router to connect everything is a “must.”
According to ABI Research, the smart home market is predicted to reach $123 billion by 2022 (up from $56 billion in 2018)1 Smart homes are on the increase for good reason. Smart technology makes your life safer, more efficient, and just plain easier-and you do not have to spend thousands. You can start with a few well chosen, low-cost devices and gradually add more in the future.
1 ABI Research (2018): ABI Research’s Strategic Smart Home Ecosystem Infographic Uncovers Hidden Partners and Competitors