In the year 1900 people predicted that we would have flying postmen and robots to do all the hard work.
Although they were wrong about the flying postmen, they were right about machines doing the hard work for us.
Yes, after years of anticipation, the smart home is finally ready for action. You can now deck out your home with smart thermostats, smart lighting, smart home security, and more. These gadgets can make your average home a whole lot smarter.
As clever as you think you are, figuring out smart home devices can be a mind-boggling task. And we still don’t have robots to figure it all out for us!
But don’t worry, we’ve done all the research you need. Read on for our smart home guide and you’ll be ready to set up your futuristic home of dreams.
Choosing Smart Home Devices
Before you start building your dream smart home, you need to choose a system. Some of the major smart home systems include:
- Apple’s Siri
- Google Home/Google Assistant
- Amazon Alexa
- Samsung SmartThings
- IFTTT (If This Then That)
- And many more…
When choosing a system, it’s good to take a look at your current devices and needs. For example, if your smartphone is Android you might prefer Google Assistant. Or if you’re an avid online shopper, you may prefer Amazon’s Alexa so you can buy things online.
The most popular choices are Amazon’s Alexa, Apple’s Siri, and Google’s Assistant. Let’s take a deeper look at these popular choices.
Your Virtual Assistant
These top three smart assistants are voice controlled which makes them easy to use. You can control your home devices by speaking aloud simple commands. For example, when you connect your Amazon’s Alexa to your smart lighting you can say “Alexa, turn on the lights”.
Each tool has its pros and cons. Let’s take a look.
Amazon’s Alexa is super easy to set up and the starting prices are pretty reasonable. You can plug your Echo Dot, Echo or Echo Show pretty much anywhere in your home.
The device boasts up to 10,000 skills which make it one of the most broadly supported home hubs available. Alexa also works with both Apple and Android devices.
The app can be clunky on both Android phones and iPhones. And the speakers aren’t the most powerful. But it’s still a very popular and versatile choice.
Because it connects to your iPhone, iPad, and Apple Watch it’s super easy to set up. Just as with their other products, Apple has kept a “safety first” policy in mind which makes it the safest smart home device available. But Apple isn’t free from all problems.
Unfortunately, Apple’s Siri is still exclusive to Apple products only. This can make the set-up a lot more pricey. Siri sometimes has a hard time understanding what you’re asking too.
But if you’re a hard-core Apple fan, this would be a perfect choice.
Google’s Assistant is technically smarter than Alexa and Siri because it has the power of the Google brain (i.e. google search). This means you can ask a broader array of questions and will get better responses.
You can use Google’s Assistant through a home control center called Google Home. Or you can use it through new Android smartphones.
It’s generally cheaper but there seem to be fewer home products that support Google’s Assistant. The audio quality is not as powerful as it could be. But it is still a smart choice for Android users.
Connect Your Home
There are so many things you can do with your smart home device. They can make your home safe, secure, warm, and cozy.
What kind of things can you do?
Feel the Heat with a Smart Thermostat
Using a smart thermostat has two-fold benefits. First, it can help you to stay super comfortable as the devices can anticipate when you’re at home and establish a heating and cooling schedule.
Smart thermostat devices can also detect when you’re away from home. This can keep your costs down, as the system will only operate when needed.
Get Illuminated with Smart Lighting
Controlling lighting through sound isn’t anything new. The Clapper invention in the 1980s may come to mind. All you had to do was clap to control your lights.
Of course, back then the technology was rudimentary and many found themselves in the darkness often. But now you can control your lights through smart home devices. You can even buy some smart bulbs that don’t need a home hub to operate.
Through your smart lighting, you can program lighting scenes and schedules throughout the day. If you want to create a romantic atmosphere, all you have to say is “dim the lights”.
Get Secure with Smart Home Security
Smart home security systems can help you to keep a watchful eye on your home at all times.
This is beneficial when you’re away for long periods of time. You can see who’s knocking on your door or stealing your packages. Smart home monitoring can also help you to keep an eye on your children and pets too.
Doorbells can have cameras incorporated into them. Some doorbells can let you interact with visitors without even being at home.
Stay Safe with Smart Detectors
Smart home monitoring can also keep your house safe from fires and carbon monoxide poisoning. Traditional smoke detectors are useless if nobody is home to hear them. But smart detectors send an alert to your smartphone, as well as sound the alarm.
If there is a fire, your smart smoke detector can instruct your smart thermostat to shut down your HVAC system. This will stop smoke circulating and help keep the fire from spreading. Other smart detectors can connect to emergency lights to help you find your way out of a smoke-filled home.
As you can see, smart home devices have come a long way in the past few years. You can set up your home to be safe, secure, cozy, and super functional with a few taps on a screen.
So, what are you waiting for? Check out our eBay shop for a selection of smart home devices. Get smart and modernize your home today!