Imagine grooving to music that’s been turned on just because you stepped into the room. Or needing to satisfy those midnight cravings by asking your refrigerator to display what’s available. Or rushing into a dark room to look for your keys and commanding your switches to turn on. Or activating your front door camera from where you’re seated on the couch and are too lazy to get up and check who’s at the door. Or… well, you get our point?
This is what’s called a smart home. A home that’s been made “intelligent” via the use of modern technology to answer to your every whim. Kinda like something from the “The Jetsons” albeit a little less in your face.
Smart home tech or Home automation as we know it is what puts the “smart” in your smart home. A home that’s been built of, for, and by technology.
But what can one automate in a smart home?
With the right technology and expertise, there’s absolutely no restriction on the amount of functionality that can be made achievable. All it needs is for you to do your homework and decide what it is that you want.
But that aside, we’re here to tell you what exactly needs to be a part of your smart home.
Here are 5 features or “smarts” that your smart home cannot do without:
- Smart lights
It’s all about the lights. Smart lights are lights that can be controlled via an app on your smart device. These include everything from bulbs, plugs to switches.
- Smart bulbs are synced to the home network and operate just like your average LED bulbs.
- Smart plugs are plugged into outlets, after which your lamps get plugged in. You can use these plugs for the TV, stereo, kitchen and other home appliances etc.
- Smart switches follow your old light switches and are hardwired into your home. Smart switches control ceiling fans and other light fixtures via your smart device, or through the manual switch.
Smart lights also use sensors to turn on/off whenever someone enters/leaves the room. This is particularly useful for the hallways and staircases, where light switches are not easily found.
They can even be programmed in more advanced ways. For example, you could have lights that dim an hour before midnight.
- Smart Thermostat
Now that we’ve dealt with the lights, it’s time to set the temperatures. Smart thermostats are what let you programme your home’s temperature.
Regardless of your presence, a smart thermostat monitors both temperature and humidity inside and outside the home. Depending on you being there, the temperature of your home will keep changing; adjusting itself according to your behavior and room usage. The really uber thermostats adjust temperatures in such a way that they maintain your ideal temperature when you’re inside the room and then default to an energy saving mode when you leave it.
Some models even have the capacity to pick up on your schedule, based on which they determine the best settings for the home. This way you don’t have to worry about modifying the temperature every single day. Even if it slips your mind, a smart thermostat will do the needful thus saving you time and money.
This automatic adjustment is thanks to the presence of sensors that in turn identify and detect your presence. However, before setting up a smart thermostat, always make sure it’s compatible work with your current heating, AC unit, and other smart devices.
- Voice Assistant
How many times have you ever heard the sentence: “Alexa please do so and so”. In some of the best smart homes out there, voice assistants are like an extension of their own family. A home voice assistant allows you to develop a conversational connection between yourself and your electronic devices. You even get to yell at them and you’ll still get results! Such devices are paired with other smart devices across your home, letting you exercise complete control just with a few verbal commands. For example, you can let your voice assistant know the room’s too bright and it will lower the blinds for you, ask it a question and it’ll answer for you, turn off the lights, give you the latest news or even play a movie on the TV.
- Smart Door Locks
Find yourself losing your keys more than you find yourself using them? Worry no more! With smart door locks, you can lock/unlock your doors from anywhere with your smart device. Smart locks will lock the front door for you when you’re just too lazy to go to the front door, shut your garage door (there’s a device for that as well!), and keep you updated whenever anyone enters or leaves your home. They can even switch on/off the lights when the doors are opened or closed.
Embedded sensors are able to detect your smartphone whenever you arrive at or are nearby your home and automatically unlock your front door or open the garage for you. Unlocking your front door or garage can also activate a variety of other systems such as lights, music, and heating. These systems are also capable of recognizing different people and have different customized settings for each one of them.
- Security Cameras
Smart or not, every home needs to be safe and secure. Smart homes have just changed the rules of the game. With smart security cameras (both inside and outside), you can monitor your home’s security with an app on your smart device from just about anywhere. Add to that, motion sensors that detect and alert you to any movement within the area by sending notifications and live images, and you’re good to go!
Security cameras come with a range of features, including infrared (night) vision, HD recording, and motion capture recording. Once you find a model that works for you, you can connect it to your smart home network.
And this is just the tip of the iceberg! There are several other features that can find a place in your smart home. You have the sensor technology – smoke detection sensors, water sensors that monitor water levels, kitchen sensors around electrical appliances, motion sensors, etc.
A few years ago, smart homes might have seemed like the ultimate luxury but there’s no denying the fact that smart homes are here to stay and how!