Thinking about getting smart with your home? You’re not alone. With the advent of so many new smart-enabled tech, it’s hard to not be a little curious or want to jump onboard.
WHAT IS A SMART HOME?
A smart home is a home that has smart products. These are home products that can be automated and controlled through connections made wirelessly (i.e. Wi-Fi or Bluetooth) or hard-wired (i.e. X10), and can be integrated with a central unit or smart home hub (i.e. Amazon Alexa, Apple Kit, Google Home).
There’s a smart device for pretty much everything you could think of.
Let’s jump right into it!
PROS – THE GOOD STUFF
If you compare the rates on your utility bills over the last 10 years, you’ll see a huge increase that’s happened, in fact, our electricity prices are going up faster than inflation. Having a smart home can help you significantly cut down on these costs by installing smart home devices that help make your home more efficient. You can program your thermostats to start up only when there are people in the house and keep it down when there’s no one at home (for example, during the weekdays when people are at work or school). Having smart blinds can also be set to open and close during the day to keep the house warmer or cooler. You can take a quick calculation on the Nest website to see how much you could potentially save using a smart thermostat. Homeowners can often see reductions of up to 15%, with the biggest money savers being smart thermostats, lighting, and plumbing/water monitoring.
How many times have you walked into the house carrying all the grocery bags, but have no free hand to turn on a light? With a smart home, you can turn your lights on from your phone before you pick up all your things from the car. Most tech can be connected via WiFi, which allows you to control your operations anywhere! Do you have a vacation property that you want to keep secure? You can control temperature, door lock, water, and security while being far away from the actual place.
It makes everything so much easier. You can automate everything so that you don’t need to think about it – set it and forget it! If This Than That helps to set even more things to work together. Just ordered a pizza? You can set up an automation to turn the porch lights on when the delivery guy is on the way. With a connected smart home hub, you can use voice command to help you with whatever you need, anything from Hey Google, play Top Hits on Spotify to Hey Alexa, what’s an easy meal I can make in under 10 minutes?
CONS – THE STUFF THAT MAKES US GO… OK, MAYBE
Not all gadgets work with the other gadgets you have, some only work with certain hubs – so you might not get to use this great product with your favourite assistant.
Your wifi might not have enough bandwidth to be able to support all the products in every corner of your house, plus have good internet coverage to browse with.
Professional Help Required
Most things are fairly easy to set up, but there are a few gadgets that will require some help – smart smoke detectors and video doorbells, for example.
You’ll need to give everything a name so that your voice assistant knows how to do what you want. “Turn off lights” can mean turning off kitchen counter under cabinet lights, or pantry light, or front entryway lights, or backyard deck lights. You’ll have to get specific.
Why is This Happening
There might be some lights that blink or functions that just might not work sometimes. It’s another thing to troubleshoot.
Now, what happens when the internet goes down? According to this article, some of your smart home products will turn back into a non-smart version – smoke detector, thermostat, locks, light switches. Others will not function at all, such as voice assistants.
Whether or not to make your home smarter? Make sure you make the smart choice for your home!