More big tech companies are focusing their efforts on creating affordable smart devices specifically designed to make home living easier. With tech giants such as Google, Amazon and Apple creating devices, you can rest assured that the smart home trend isn’t going away any time soon.
Turning your home into a smart home can help you save money, be more efficient and create a more relaxed environment at home. In this article we’re going to discuss what it takes to make a home smart and some smart home ideas you can implement today.
What is a Smart Home?
Any home can become a smart home and there are different levels of smart homes. Smart homes have some level of home automation included and incorporate elements of the home into routines. These elements can range from, light bulbs, security cameras and even the blinds on your windows. Adding in smart plugs allow you to turn ordinary appliances into smart devices by remotely controlling the on/off switch.
Usually you’ll be able to control smart elements of your home from a single device; a smart phone or a tablet. Smart hubs allow you to remotely control these elements from voice commands from anywhere in the house.
All of the devices and elements in a smart home are all connected to allow seamless routines and automation, this is usually done via wi-fi but some homes are wired in for efficiency.
Smart thermostats have been around for a while now and they’re getting better and more affordable. Similar to traditional thermostats, a smart thermostats function is to control the heating at particular times. However, smart thermostats can be reactive to your daily movements without having to manually override the default settings.
Because the thermostat is managed via an app on your smartphone, it knows when you’re at home or if you’re away. You can also program in your daily routines, and if you deviate away from it, the smart thermostat will know and react accordingly. Smart devices can all talk to each other so if you have a smart hub you’ll be able to change the temperature via voice commands too.
Because of the reactive nature and the ability to remotely control the temperature, upgrading to a smart thermostat could actually save you money in the long run. Most smart thermostats will also tell you how long it will take to heat up or cool down to the desired temperature so you can see how effective your home is.
Smart Home Lights
Creating the right lighting in different rooms is important, for instance, you’ll want to create a softer lighting in the living room versus the kitchen. The ability to change the lighting to suit different rooms and different occasions can make a real difference in the home.
Using smart lights in your home gives you the freedom and flexibility to create different lighting profiles. These profiles can be automatically turned on or off depending on certain criteria or rules. You can also mix and match the profiles and control them remotely or via voice control.
Because you can control your smart bulbs with an app on your phone, you can create rules, so that when you leave the house, the lights go off. When you have several devices connected, you can create rules, such as when the TV is on, dim the lighting slightly.
If you’re going away on holiday, you can create an automated program, so the lights turn on and off at specific times, making it look like someone’s in. Smart bulbs can be fitted into existing traditional light fittings as well as lamps, so you can make your whole lighting profile smart.
Certain smart bulbs, such as the Philips Hue range, can actually change colour as well as being dimmable. You can also use the colour and dimming options to create patterns, such as a flickering fire effect or a party mode.
Smart Home Entertainment
Smart home devices such as TVs and speakers can talk to other devices around the home and create a network of home entertainment. Smart TVs allow you to install apps on them to stream or download films, TV series or even YouTube videos straight to your screen. These apps can also be installed on hubs and your smartphone allowing you to control the TV remotely .
Because devices are all connected, you can create profiles to automated everything. So if you’ve got a movie night profile, it might close the blinds, soften the lighting, and change the audio settings to suit all via a single voice command.
Smart speakers that make up your home entertainment system can also be controlled independently to the rest of your setup. These speakers can stream live radio or a specific playlist via voice command or remotely controlled via your phone. Again, you could create a routine in the morning to play your favourite songs to help you get out of bed.
Smart Home Security
Home security devices need to be reliable and secure, and when it comes to smart home security devices, they are. Smart locks allow you to access your home wirelessly using just your phone. You can add different levels of security to your smartphone access locks, such as using a fingerprint to unlock your phone, which in turn, will unlock the door. This stops anyone from stealing your phone to access your home.
Smart doorbells allow you to see when someone is at your door when you’re not at home. You can also communicate with visitors if they ring the bell. This is especially useful if you’re getting a delivery and you need to tell the delivery person where to put the package when you’re not in.
CCTV cameras can help protect your home by warding off potential home intruders. But smart CCTV cameras can do so much more. Use smart cameras to detect movement and even follow people around. If you’re worried about privacy, you can turn them off when you’re at home and only have them on when you’re away from the home.
You can control smart CCTV cameras remotely, from your smartphone or tablet. This means you’ll be able to see what’s going on at any time remotely as long as you have an internet connection.
Smart hubs are usually placed around the house and talk to different devices. These hubs allow you to connect each device to one another and ultimately make your home a smart home.
There are a number of smart hubs to choose from such as the Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant or Apple Homekit. They all offer different features and depending on which devices you want to add, will work in different ways.
Smart Home Storage
When you invest heavily into a smart home, you may end up getting rack mounted units that help control climate, lighting and home entertainment setups. These can cause clutter and mess around the house. Being able to create a smart home that looks unassuming is key to creating a relaxing and automated environment in your home.
Our wide range of custom built sliding wardrobes can help you hide away any messy cables associated with your home automation. We can even build them into alcoves and chimney breasts to make the most of your space. Because we have a large range of finishes and styles, we can match your existing decor to compliment your interior design.