Have you heard about smart homes? You don’t need to make everything smart, but having some smart hardware has its benefits. Here are four useful tips.
You’ve probably heard the term but what is it really? A smart home is a home where you can control your lights by the touch of a button, where you can change the temperature by voice, and where your devices communicate with each other.
The Internet of Things (IoT) has long been called the next big step in our digital world. In fact, it’s the merger between the physical and the digital. Smart homes are where IoT is most visible. Here are four ways to make your home smarter.
1. Smart lights
Voice controlled lighting used to be technology found in science fiction. Like a lot of other sci-fi tech, such lighting is now reality. With a light bulb like the Philips Hue, you can control the light with either your voice or an app. Look out for inbound “Let there be light” jokes, which are sure to overstay their welcome in no time.
The term “control” was used on purpose. It’s not just about turning the lights on and off. You can dim the lights, and you can even change the color entirely. Gone are the days where you had to decide between different hues when buying bulbs.
Having some friends over for a party? Make your home look like a nightclub by changing the lights to say purple. Are you celebrating Christmas with your loved ones? Red seems in order.
2. Smart speakers
Playing music becomes much easier with smart speakers powered by Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s Google Assistant. You’ll be able to tell when and what to play, and when to stop. You can also connect more devices, which you can control through voice, or through a smart display. Here you can go for Amazon Echo or Google Nest Hub.
Which brand should you choose for your smart speaker? Go for the one that fits your favorite voice assistant. In their list of the best smart devices for 2020, PCMag recommends the advanced Amazon Echo, the inexpensive Amazon Echo Dot With Clock, the powerful Google Home Max, and the simple Google Nest Mini. These devices are also recommended in CNET’s smart home list.
3. Smart doors
You might not be able to make a wood door smart but you can smarten up the lock and the door handle. You only need to get the proper hardware. One idea is to get a door with a fingerprint scanner. This makes it much easier to lock and unlock the door.
Another possibility is a smart lock. This lock connects to your wifi, and lets you control the door by using an app. You can get notifications if the door is left ajar, and you can give guests admission to your home by sending an invite on email or text. In other words, you don’t need your keys anymore.
4. Smart heaters and air conditioners
There’s a reason why the Ecobee SmartThermostat tops many lists – it’s quite simply a great addition to any home. It allows you to change the temperature of the room by using your phone.
One huge benefit of this is that you don’t need to keep the heat on while you’re away at work. By turning it on one hour before you get home, you can save money on your electrical bills. It’s also better for the environment to not waste energy when you’re out.
If you live in a place with high temperatures and a tropical or subtropical climate, you already know all about the wonders of air conditioning. When the summer heat comes and the humidity is total, they’re almost impossible to live without. A smart air conditioner will solve all of your problems.
It connects to your favorite voice assistant. You can even use your GPS location to turn it on when you’re getting close to home. Few things are better than coming home to an apartment or a house with a liveable temperature. When you’ve cooled off you can tell the air conditioner to stand down until its services are needed again.
How smart do you want your home to be?
Did you get any useful tips for your home? How smart you want your home to be, is up to you, of course. You could make some functions and devices smarter, but leave the rest like you’re used to. Perhaps you want to start small and then expand later.
Other people want every single aspect of their home to be smart. It can be quite expensive, but it’s possible to have a fully voice controlled home. This technology used to be sci-fi but isn’t anymore.