The idea of a smart home used to be purely science fiction. Now, though, thanks to some impressive technological advancements, more and more people throughout the U.S. are fully automating their homes.
In fact, the global smart home market is expected to reach a value of more than 138.9 billion dollars by the year 2026!
If you’re interested in turning your home into a smart home but aren’t sure where to start, you’ve come to the right place.
Below is your ultimate smart home guide to help you make all the changes you need to automate your home.
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What is a Smart Home?
First things first, let’s clarify what a smart home even is.
In its most basic form, a smart home is a home that is outfitted with various interconnected appliances and devices. These devices and appliances are usually remotely controlled to help homeowners save time, energy, and money.
Is a Smart Home Right for You?
Before you jump in and start outfitting your home with all the bells and whistles, it’s important to take these factors into consideration and make sure a smart home is the best option for you and your family.
Upgrading your devices to make your home a smart home doesn’t exactly come cheap. Take some time to research the price of smart home tech online and figure out how much you’re willing to spend.
Think about your budget, but also think about how much you really value home automation.
Are you just kind of interested in it, or do you think it’s just a passing fad? Do you truly want to see everything in your automated? Are you willing to push through the learning curve that comes with home automation?
Answer these questions honestly and, if you don’t think you’ll truly enjoy having an automated home, consider waiting to take on this project.
Think about the Time Commitment
Setting up and troubleshooting devices is probably the most time-consuming aspect of automating your home.
Before you decide to automate your home, make sure you’re willing to go through some frustration from time to time, especially when you’re setting up your system, figuring out the proper positions for sensors, and getting everything to connect to your WiFi system.
Think About Your Family
If you share your home with others, think about them and how they’ll respond to the changes that come with home automation? Do you have a technophobic partner who cringes at the idea of having to tell Siri or Alexa to turn on their lights? If so, full-on home automation might not be right for you.
Remember, home automation affects everyone, so make sure they’re all on board before you take the plunge.
Beginner’s Smart Home Guide
If the idea of a smart home is appealing to you, and you’ve decided that a smart home is right for you and your family, these guidelines can help you get started.
Choose Your System and Hardware
There are a few different tools you can use to start automating your home. Some of the most popular options are Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Assistant. There are pros and cons to each of these devices.
Google’s products are considered to be more powerful than Apple’s or Amazon’s, and they’re also more affordable. However, some people find the audio quality to be subpar.
Apple products are probably the best when it comes to privacy, but they’re also more expensive and troubleshooting can be difficult.
Think About the Devices You Want to Control
You don’t have to fully automate your home all at once. If your budget is limited, or if you’re still trying to get certain family members on board, remember that it’s okay to start small and automate just one or two devices at a time.
Many people like to start by automating their lights. They’re one of the easier devices to automate and automating them can help save you money.
When it comes to automating your lights, you can choose between smart switches and smart light-bulbs.
Smart switches tend to be more cost-effective than installing smart bulbs. But, smart bulbs can perform more functions. For example, smart bulbs allow you to change both the brightness and the color of your lighting.
Many people also like to automate their windows. There are companies that can help you find smart blinds that are easy to open, close, and reposition no matter where you are in your house.
Other Smart Devices to Consider
Lights and windows are great starting points. But, there are some other devices that you may also want to consider automating as your budget allows to make things even more convenient and help you save money.
A smart thermostat is a great option for reducing your energy bill, especially in the winter. Many models feature presence detection, so they can automatically turn down the heat when no one is home to help you save some money.
It’s important to note, though, that it can take a while to see significant savings from these devices. Because of this, they’re best for people who plan to stay in one home for a while.
Smart Kitchen Appliances
If you’re in need of a kitchen upgrade, you might want to consider outfitting it with some of the latest smart appliances. Smart microwaves and ovens can set timers, turn off and on automatically, and provide you with updates on your food as its cooking.
Smart locks are also helpful, especially when you’re walking up to the door with your hands full. You can also set these locks to allow certain individuals access to your house when you’re not there.
Of course, they can present a security risk at the same time. It’s important to do your research and make sure you’re comfortable with the idea of automated home access.
You can also install smart cameras to help you keep an eye on your children or be alerted when someone approaches your home. At the same time, there are some potential privacy risks that come with using internet-accessible cameras. If this is an issue for you, you may want to skip out on this particular device.
Looking for More Tips on Automating Your Home?
Thanks to this smart home guide, you’ve got the basics covered when it comes to automating your home. But, do you want to take things a step further?
If so, be sure to check out the home improvement section of our site today for all kinds of helpful tips and tricks.