A Smart Home Guide for Newbies

You may be thinking that joining the smart home revolution will cost you an arm and a leg. Well, you would be wrong, because there are some smart home technologies that you can consider right now for your home that are relatively cheap and easy to install.

The smart revolution is unstoppable. Indeed, as the World Economic Forum’s so-called “Fourth Industrial Revolution” shows, world leaders in business and politics are embracing the inevitable smart revolution and are preparing the way by encouraging everyone, from businesses to private citizens, to think about these technologies and how they will impact their lives. Many new developments, such as JQ Rise in Birmingham, have smart technologies built into the home ready for when you move in or let the property. 

To begin converting your home into a “smart home,” you don’t have to go overboard and spend a small fortune, such as saturating your home with copious amounts of components and then connecting them all to a central hub so they can all communicate with each other. This takes time and money to invest. For some, this is the way to go but to get started, consider some relatively inexpensive products that will give you a taste of what high-end smart homes can deliver.

Smart Light Bulbs And Systems

Smart lighting is a good place to start since smart lighting systems operate fine without having to be connected to a hub but can still communicate with other smart home appliances. Some bulbs communicate via wi-fi, while others communicate over Bluetooth radio on a smartphone or tablet.

Your lights, like in many homes, may be located on the ceiling and controlled by a switch on the wall. It may be better to swap them for smart switches and dimmers because smart bulbs can become “dumb” when you turn them off. There are several smart bulbs available that work through the wi-fi network that doesn’t require a central hub to connect them to.

If your main lighting source is using lamps, however, then smart plugs will be the way to go by giving you the ability to turn the lamp on or off via your smartphone app. You can also set a timing schedule that fits your own schedule.

Smart Sound Systems And Speakers

Controlled by your smartphone or tablet, you can have your smart speaker linked to your smart lighting system. Of course, you can get remote-controlled music systems but, as you’ve probably noticed, you can end up with so many remote controls that it’s hard to find a place for them all. Using a smart system, however, you can have them all operate from the same device.  

Because smart speakers are now widely embraced by numerous manufacturers, they now act as a de facto hub, acting as a nexus point for a whole range of smart gadgets like security cameras and TVs.

Smart Thermostats  

Smart thermostats are becoming increasingly popular due to their strong convenience factor. They afford the user both comfort at the touch of a screen and help save energy and thus money. Given the significant rise in energy costs in recent times, especially with gas prices, all savings are a warm welcome.

These devices are simply amazing and transcend the basics of heating and cooling schedules. They can know if you are at home and when you are not, ensuring that your HVAC system only is used when needed. Some thermostats have built-in speakers and can receive voice commands.

It’s also possible to connect sensors to the thermostat and place them in rooms that are used the most often. This will allow the thermostats to operate based on where you are in the house and not, as they usually do, on where the thermostat is located, often in places where you will walk past constantly, like a hallway.

Home Security Cameras

Most people recognize how useful and important home security cameras are; they can enable you to keep a close eye on your house while giving you peace of mind. There are internal and external set-ups, each with its own focus and purpose.

Cameras come in all shapes and sizes these days and with a multitude of features, like two-way audio capability, lighting, and even night vision. Some security cameras can be integrated into doorbells and can monitor you from the porch and allow you to talk with people at the door without having to be there in person.

Smart Safety Detectors

Although conventional smoke and carbon monoxide alarms make a racket, you can only hear them if you are at home. But what if you are away from home? A smart smoke detector will not only sound the alarm at the source, but it will also automatically send you an alert to your smartphone. It will also send alerts to anyone you have designated in the contact list.

Smart Garden Irrigation

Turn on the news any day and you will hear a story about dwindling water resources. Many places and regions now ration this essential resource, like Cape Town, South Africa, for instance.

A smart irrigation system can help you keep your garden looking great by getting enough moisture to maintain good health, and without wasting any water in the process. This smart system won’t benefit from a central hub and works well independently from your smartphone or tablet.

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