How to Make Your Home Smart: A Guide by Electricians
You’ve heard the term “Smart Home” before, but what does that really mean? Today, there are so many different smart home solutions available that it can almost feel daunting to get started.
We’ve created a guide to explain the benefits of smart home technology and help you figure out how to make your home smart. Whether you want to DIY or you’re looking for an easy, all-in-one solution, this guide will help you figure out what type of smart home technology is out there and how you can make it work for your family.
It can all sound very intimidating, but don’t be nervous. We’re here to help you get started installing smart home technology.
How to Make Your Home Smart
There’s several things you’ll want to consider before you buy your first piece of smart home technology. First off, what are you looking for? Convenience? Energy savings? Safety? The cool factor that will make even your teenager say wow? Understanding your family’s needs will help you decide what pieces of equipment to invest in first and it should all work together.
What are my needs today and tomorrow
You may have heard people talking about one piece of cool smart home technology, like a smart thermostat, and want to enjoy the convenience of such a device. But, before you run out and buy the most-advertised option, you should consider how you will want it to integrate with other pieces of smart home technology in the future.
What do we mean by integrate? Well, imagine at the end of a long day being able to turn on a “Goodnight Scene” and having your doors lock, alarm set, lights dimmed and air turned down with one simple command to Siri. That is all 100% possible if you invest in smart home technology that works together.
In order to save money (and prevent headaches), considering what your family’s needs are today, and what they could be in the future, will help you make the best decision.
Choose Your Assistant
After you know what type of smart home technology you want for your home, you’ll want to consider which virtual assistant you want to work with. No, you won’t be scheduling any interviews. We’re pretty sure once you hear these names, you’ll already know these assistants pretty well. Alexa, Siri, and Google are all smart assistants designed to work with voice controls. Below we’ll look at what makes each one unique and what smart home devices they can control.
Amazon’s Alexa is one of the most popular virtual assistants for smart home devices. One of the reasons for this is because this system is set up to work with a variety of smart home tools including lighting, sound, door locks, security systems, thermostats and more. Just say, “Alexa, turn on living room lights,” and you’ll no longer have to flip the switch as you walk into the room.
Apple’s Siri is another well known virtual assistant. Although we mostly think of her when we need help getting directions on our iPhones, Siri is also a fantastic smart home assistant. One of the biggest benefits of this platform is that you can tie your smart home setup into your other Apple devices like your phone, laptop, and even Apple watch.
Google Home was one of the first smart home assistants, which makes it one of the most popular. One of the biggest benefits is that it ties into Google’s search engine. Not only can you ask Google to monitor your doorbell and adjust your thermostat, but you can also ask it to search for a number of different things like the best Chinese takeout near you. “Okay, Google - where should I order dinner from tonight?”
Put it to Work
Okay, so you’ve decided which virtual assistant works best for your needs. Now you have to figure out how to make your home smart. You can start by incorporating a few components here and there, but don’t be surprised if you get hooked. Each smart device you add is an investment in safety, energy efficiency, and convenience. Below are a few individual components to build a state of the art smart home. You can piece together these options or you can invest in a total smart home solution that works seamlessly with one app.
The first piece of smart home technology many people invest in is a smart speaker. It’s pretty awesome to just say “Alexa, play The Beatles,” and have your favorite hits flow freely. Another benefit of starting with a smart home speaker is that you can then talk to the speaker to control other smart devices like the lights or thermostat. This is another reason why making sure everything is properly integrated from the beginning is one of many reasons why working with a smart home installation company on our smart home journey can be incredibly beneficial.
Once you’ve figured out the type of sound system you want to use, you can decide if you want a smaller speaker for music or a full surround sound setup. There are so many options on the market for every room of the house.
One of our favorite types of luxury smart home technology is smart lighting. Imagine walking into any room of your house and turning on the lights without touching a button. Or what if you could set the lights according to your mood? Or match the lights to the movie you were watching? All this is possible with smart lighting.
There are a few smart lighting solutions that are set up with bluetooth, but most work via WIFI. The real benefit of a WIFI setup is that you can control the lighting from your smartphone even when you’re away from home. This means you’ll never have to wonder, “did I leave the bedroom lights on?” ever again. If you incorporate your lighting with a smart hub, you can even program your lights to turn on and off at different times a day as part of a larger scene. “Lights out at 9pm, kids!” can now finally happen without an argument.
There are plenty of different types of smart lighting available including indoor, outdoor and even solar-powered lights. Depending on what you’re looking to achieve, this is another reason you may want to consider hiring a smart home installation company to make sure it all integrates seamlessly.
Smart thermostats are a type of smart home technology that have become very popular. With a smart thermostat, you can have the temperature automatically adjust based on the time of day or even motion in the house. Not only do these thermostats make life easier and your home more comfortable, but they are also great for energy efficiency.
There are certain models that can even detect how far away you are from home, so that as you get closer, your A/C and heat start doing their thing before you even set foot in the door.
Knock, Knock…. Who’s there? With a smart doorbell, you can know who’s at your front door every time your doorbell rings. Security, safety and peace of mind are some of the huge benefits of smart technology and ones that are delivered tenfold with a smart doorbell.
Certain models even send an alert straight to your smartphone anytime someone approaches a specific zone near your door. This means even if your visitor doesn’t ring the doorbell, you can see who’s at your home. Two-way audio options also allow you to speak to your guest, even if you’re all the way across town. Many options even allow you to record what’s happening in case you ever needed proof of an incident.
Water Leak Detection
Did you know the most common type of damage to a home is water related? Whether it’s from flooding, a burst pipe, or even a clogged toilet, water damage can cause thousands of dollars worth of damage to a home. An automatic water leak detection and shut off system can help prevent your home from devastating water-related incidents.
These systems work by sending out an alarm to your smartphone when water is detected where it shouldn’t be, like on the floor of your bathroom. Some models also monitor the flow in the pipe and alert you when it becomes irregular. Many systems also shut off your water automatically when water is flowing for too long.
Another benefit for this piece of smart home technology is a discount on your insurance! Many insurance companies will grant you a premium discount, up to 5-10%, if you have a water leak system installed.
Smoke and C02 Detectors
We all know the importance of a smoke detector, but what if you could take it one step further and get an alert on your phone when it’s going off while you’re at work? Even better, what if when it went off, it automatically alerted the fire department if not addressed? There are even models that will turn on all your smart lights so you can safely make your way out of the building in an emergency situation.
Smart smoke and C02 detectors are a huge step forward towards keeping your family and your home safe, no matter if you’re in the next room or across the world.
Say goodbye to the days of your sprinkler system going off in the middle of a storm. Smart sprinkler systems are like a thermostat for your yard and only work when you need them to. Many models even give you the option to tie into your local weather forecasting so it can help predict how much water your plants will need. Who said you didn’t have a green thumb?
We all know that ceiling fans help contribute to cooling our home, but did you realize that they do so at a fraction of the cost of your AC unit? Smart fans can help you control your home’s temperature by switching on and off based on preset temperatures and schedules. They can even link to your smart thermostat, allowing you to set your thermostat higher without feeling uncomfortable. This means you can save money by running your home’s cooling system more efficiently.
Have you ever had to rush back into the house to make sure you unplugged a device? Or stubbed your toe in the dark on your way to turn on a lamp? Now, with smart outlets, you can easily manage your environment on your smartphone or with the help of a smart assistant like Siri and Alexa. You can also program smart outlets to turn on and off at certain times of the day.
These outlets work over WIFI and can be utilized for essentially any device you would plug into an ordinary outlet. The possibilities are endless when it comes to designing your home. Whether you want your coffee to start brewing at a certain time, have your outdoor lights come on as soon as the sun goes down, or switch off your curling iron when you leave for work, smart outlets can provide convenience and safety. “Alexa, turn off the nightstand lamp.”
Keeping our homes secure is a top priority for all of us. Smart security systems can help you by allowing you to monitor your home, no matter where you are in the world. Or, for a monthly fee, you can have your home surveilled 24/7 by professionals who can contact your local fire and police department. Although it typically comes at a fee, this monitoring can make a huge impact when you’re traveling on vacation or the kids are home alone.
These security systems are typically made up of a variety of components including cameras, motion sensors, and smart locks. It all sounds overwhelming, but a smart home installation company can make sure all your technology works together and covers all areas of your home.
Now, you can have peace of mind knowing that your home and your loved ones are protected, all day every day.
Obviously, there are so many cool pieces of smart home technology on the market. But, the downside of that is that it can actually make life more difficult if you have to open 15 different apps to control your home. That’s why smart hubs have become so popular. They simplify the setup of smart home technology by giving you ONE source of control.
Smart hubs like Honeywell’s Lyric system allow you to manage your entire home, from blinds, to door locks, lights, thermostats, water sensors, and alarm system, all from one app. This single point of contact allows you to truly maximize on the convenience of smart home technology.
Of course, an all in one solution will cost a bit more than putting it all together yourself, so you’ll have to consider if the ease of set up (and future software updates) is worth the cost.
The Benefits of Smart Home Technology
There are so many benefits of smart home technology. One of the main ones is, of course, convenience. But investing in smart home solutions can also help you cut your energy costs, keep your family safe, and make access easier for everyone in your home.
One of the many benefits of smart home technology is its ability to make your home more energy-efficient. Devices like smart thermostats, fans, lighting, sprinkler systems, and outlets all contribute to your home’s energy consumption. By automating simple systems in your home, you can have a significant impact on your monthly energy bill - not to mention how much you can save by simply being able to turn off a light you accidentally left on when you rushed out the door.
Increasing the safety of the home is another reason why people are installing smart home technology. In fact, many smart home technology statistics show that family safety is the number one reason most people first begin adopting smart home technology.
Smart cameras were one of the first pieces of security equipment to become popular, not just for checking on your dog while you’re at work, but for truly keeping a pulse on what is happening at your home during all hours of the day. Smart home technology has now evolved even further to allow you to communicate with who’s at your front door through smart doorbells, detect water leaks and shut off your water flow , and even lock your doors from anywhere in the world. A safe home is now just an app away.
If you’re only living in a home part time, have an uninhabited rental property, or are sharing a vacation home with other family members, this type of connectivity can be hugely valuable for keeping your home safe and secure while you’re away.
The convenience factor of smart home technology cannot be overstated. Smart home technology has transcended beyond just a fad of asking your virtual assistant entertaining questions through a speaker (try: “Alexa, do you have any pets?”) and has proven itself as a way to truly orchestrate life. Remember when you had to run home to let a service man in? Now, unlock your front door for him through an app, and lock it up again when he goes. Forget getting up to adjust the air when you start to feel warm during your Netflix binge. Now, your home regulates itself to be at the perfect temperature, constantly.
Smart home technology allows us to live a better quality of life, with less manual effort. That is what we like to call a win-win.
Increasing accessibility in the home is one of the biggest benefits of smart home technology, especially for seniors and those with disabilities. It removes the hurdles of maneuvering around the house to perform daily tasks. For those with difficulty hearing, smart doorbells can provide ease of mind by showing you who is at your front door on your phone. Or, for those with difficulty seeing, smart outlets that control everyday devices means less chance of tripping on the way to turn on the light.
Families can also benefit from increased accessibility. Imagine being able to unlock the door for your child when they get home from school, and then being able to hit the locks from your phone as soon as they are in the house.
Connect your home with the Lyric family by Honeywell
With so many benefits of smart home technology, it’s easy to see why so many households are embracing the future. But, you may still be wondering exactly HOW to set up a smart home. Well, that’s where a company that has expertise in smart home installation can help. At Super Electric, we offer not only electrical solutions, but can also assist with smart home technology installation.
We’ve partnered with Honeywell to bring you high quality smart home technology with the Lyric family of products. With a range of products including thermostats, security systems, water leak detection and more, you can trust that the heartbeat of your home is now fully covered, no matter where you are in the world. Not only do we guarantee a fantastic product, we promise to provide a safe, efficient, professional setup that will make it easier to embrace new technologies from Day 1.
Contact Super Electric for your electricity and smart home technology needs.
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