What is a smart home?
There are no specific requirements to make your smart home, well smart. Installing one or more different smart devices into your home would categorize your home as a smart home. You can make your home as smart as you want it to be. There are many different devices that can be installed to enhance your home living.
How to turn your home into a smart home.
1. Choose Your Assistant
The first step to making your home into a smart home is choosing your assistant. The most popular voice-controlled assistants are the Google Home and Amazon Echo. These devices are similar but still have differences. The assistant will help you to use your other smart devices. Say “O.K Google, turn on the lights” or “Alexa, play music”.
When selecting other devices for your smart home, make sure that those devices are compatible with your assistant.
2. Smart Lighting
With smart lighting you can walk into your home and say “Alexa, I am home” and program which lights you would like to turn on once that is said. Some of the options can dim and have multi-colors. Smart lighting can also be controlled from a phone app which allows you to control your home lights even when you’re not at home. This is a great security feature if you’re away from home or on vacation but don’t want your home to appear empty. Some systems require a bridge to connect the device to Wi-Fi. allows you to control multiple devices all at once and when you are outside of your home.
3. Smart Plug
The smart plug is a great way to start turning your home into a smart home. These plugs can be found for as cheap as $15 a plug. You will be able to use an app to turn on/off what is plugged in or use voice activation from your assistant when you’re at home. For example, the app will allow you to turn off your bedroom light from miles away. You can control when your plug ins are using energy or not to stay energy efficient. Schedules can be created to turn on/off certain devices at specific times. There are also smart plugs designed for the outdoor elements so you can conveniently control your patio or holiday lights with ease.
4. Smart Thermostat
A smart thermostat is a great way to be energy efficient by tracking your usage. This thermostat will allow you to improve your energy use by sensing patterns in the home to adjust the temperature based on movement at certain times of the day. You can see on your app the daily and monthly energy history and where you can cut back to save energy and money. Read about the different options and which one fits best in your lifestyle.
5. Home Security
Smart cameras can be placed inside or outside of the home. These cameras connect to an app allowing you to watch what is happening inside or outside of your home wherever you are at. The app will notify you when motion is detected on the cameras. If you choose to install cameras, make sure that you are on a secure network to keep your private life confidential.
The smart doorbell has a built-in camera so you can see who is at the door and talk to them without having to go to the door. These devices are easy to install and inexpensive. This will also notify you when motion is detected.
Smart locks are keypads that allow you to lock or unlock your door without a physical key. Like other smart devices, there is an app that allows you to control the feature from your phone. Smart locks are a great convenience and safety asset if you are someone who forgets their keys, often has trouble finding them or simply doesn’t remember if you locked the door when you left the house.
Review your home insurance policy with your local agent to make sure you are properly covered.