A Beginners Guide to Creating a Smart Home
A Beginners Guide to Creating a Smart Home
The times they are a’changing and our world becoming more tech driven. So, it’s not a bad idea for you to consider making your house a smart home. There are many ways you can convert and some can cost a pretty penny. But don’t worry! Growth has you covered on ways to make your home “smart” on a modest budget.
When searching for your smart home products, it’s important to find items that are compatible with other smart home devices so won’t have to rely on a smart home hub in the future to operate. The first step is to make sure you have a sufficient wireless router that can reach all corners of the house.
A great first step is to start with lighting. There are plenty of smart lighting systems that work well without a central hub and are still able to interact with other smart home elements. Lightbulbs such as Cree, LIFX and TP-Link communicate over Wi-Fi, while other like, Philips Hue bulbs communicate through Bluetooth radio on a smartphone. If your home has ceiling lights that are controlled by a switch on the wall, it might be a better idea to replace the dumb switches with smart ones and dimmers instead. Smart bulbs can become dumb the instant you turn off the switch controlling them. If you have lamps, there are smart plugs such as Wemo Mini and Lutron Caseta that enable you to turn the lamp on and off with a smartphone app and scheduling.
The Amazon Echo and Google Home series are both market leaders in this category. Since these two smart speakers have become such a phenomenon, they serve as a central interaction point for everything from smart lights to security cameras by displaying video feeds from connected TVs on their own display. Apple also has a smart speaker called the HomePod mini smart speaker, which is powered by Siri. The Homepod can also act as a smart home hub.
Not only can smart thermostats establish a heating and cooling schedule based on when you plan on being home, but they can also detect when you’re home or away so that your HVAC system operates only when needed. Many people equip thermostats with sensors that you can put in rooms that are occupied most frequently.
Home Security Cameras:
A good home security camera will allow you to keep an eye on your house, especially while you’re away. Indoor models can help with monitoring your children and pets, while outside models can watch for prowlers and discourage them from coming around your home. Cameras such as Ring, Arlo, Netatmo, and Maximus have lights that can illuminate on a schedule or by motion. There are also doorbells with cameras that can monitor your front porch and allow you to interact with visitors without approaching the door or be home.
Multi-room audio systems:
Speaker systems like Sonos, Yamaha and Denon enable you to drop speakers in multiple rooms in your house so you can stream music from your own collection or from online services. You can sync them or send different tracks to each speaker. Many companies have sound bars as part of their collections to improve your TV and movie-watching experiences, too. A few Sonos systems have included Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant, making it capable of controlling other smart home devices.
Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detectors:
Traditional smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are inherently dumb devices. The alarm will be loud but if you’re not home to hear it, what good are they? A smart smoke detector will sound a local alarm and send an alert to your smartphone and anyone else you authorize as a contact. Smoke detectors like the Nest Protect incorporate emergency lights that can help you find your way out of a smoke-filled home. Others like First Alert Onelink Safe & Sound include features that integrate a smart speaker. On the more affordable side, Roost is the best option. It offers smart battery that can make your existing smoke detector more intelligent.
Smart irrigation systems can help ensure your lawn receives enough water to be vibrant and healthy without waste. A smart irrigation system will benefit you the least from being included into your smart hub. Smart irrigation systems can be complex, which is why we recommend using a purpose-built app while using it.
Making sure all your smart home devices are linked together can help ensure everything is moving smoothly throughout your home which is why we recommend opening an IFTTT (If This Then That) account. This service offers an action by one device/service to trigger another or more devices/services to do their job. Essentially this system acts as a smart home hub in the cloud.
Growth hopes that these components offer you a great range of options to ensure you have what it takes to make your house a smart one. With technology advancing and giving us more ways to protect our home, take advantage of the opportunities!
Null, Christopher. “Home.” TechHive, TechHive, 12 July 2021, www.techhive.com/article/3297744/smart-home-guide-for-beginners-how-to-make-your-home-more-convenient-to-live-in.html.
Gordon, Whitson. “How to Set up Your Smart Home: A Beginner’s Guide.” PCMAG, PCMag, 27 Mar. 2019, www.pcmag.com/how-to/how-to-set-up-your-smart-home-a-beginners-guide.