Turn Your New Home into a Smart Home

by Aaron Finch

Over the last ten years of living in my first home, I have completely upgraded it to be a smart home. My entire family is able to contact each other with ease, turn on lights and appliances on demand, and more easily manage our schedules with customized alerts.

It was not always easy, but I knew the flexibility would allow me to spend less time on technology and more time enjoying our new life together in this renovation.

What is a smart home?

A smart home is a domicile that utilizes new technology and intelligent design to give the homeowners better control over their appliances, safety systems, entertainment systems and energy usage. The idea was first designed to make living in the home more convenient. However, as time goes on, people who live “smartfind they save money on household bills, while increasing their quality of life.

 A simple example of this is having lights that automatically turn off when not being used. Another advantage would be being able to control the temperature of your room by just tapping a button on your smartphone without physically touching anything in your home.

How do you make your home smart?

Amazingly there are many options to consider depending on your needs, budget and lifestyle. In today’s article I will go over some important things to understand about smart home technology in order for you to get started on your new smart home journey.

From top left: Amazon Echo Dots, a Nest Learning Thermostat, a Roomba vacuum and the Philips Hue LED bulb which I am currently testing. Wireless lighting is very common these days and Philips has filled that need with their Hue lighting system (Pictured above). The app for these lights is also very user friendly and easy to set up.

I have personally invested in several smart home products over the last year and I am very happy with them. I will go over some of the main smart home technologies and how they benefit your everyday life as you live in your new home.

Smart Home Technologies

1. Smart Lighting –

 Lights, bulbs, and other devices that are controlled via an app on your phone to turn on or off automatically when needed. These lights can be connected to other appliances such as thermostats, thermostats that can control lighting, thermostats that can control heating and cooling systems (think “smart” HVAC) , cameras for security purposes or even just leave on via a timer or proximity detection. This is a technology that I am going to continue to invest in. It doesn’t require any work on your part and makes life easier. Why should you decide to say smart lighting?

2. Smart Heating –

– Home heating systems are not new technology but are becoming more common to be able to be integrated into a “smart home”. These systems have had a thermostat for years, but it is capable of much more. Why should you invest in a smart heating system? Ease of Use – Similar convenience to smart lighting. Control the temperature of your living space with your phone or fitbit. Less effort and less cost on your part.

3. Smart Thermostat –

Many of you have probably seen the Nest Learning Thermostat and wondered if it was worth the $250 to buy. I had a thermostat that worked well but was difficult to find when I moved into my house. The Nest thermostat is much more user friendly and allows for much more automation. Why should you invest in a smart thermostat?

4. Smart Home Security –

This is the area of home security that has been most exciting to me. I have installed a smart door lock and had some wonderful enhancements to cameras so I can see what happened outside. Smart home security used to require a lot more work by yourself as you would have to install components such as outdoor cameras, a door lock and possibly even an alarm system. Why should you invest in smart security?

5. Smart Ventilation –

My brother has some amazing smart vents (He actually built these himself). I have been very curious about it since we first installed it several months ago. I happen to know that these work well as he told me specifically how to adjust them to my liking. Smart ventilation systems allow for ventilation in your home when you are at home and turn off when you are not there. This means you will be saving on energy costs and reducing your carbon footprint.

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