Having a smart home is one of today’s trend in modern technology. It is not a shocker since smart devices bring nothing but convenience, energy efficiency, and improved security for your home. For starters who have no idea on what a smart home is, it’s a house that has automated appliances that could be controlled via voice or via remote by having a smart hub. A smart hub is the control center for the smart home.
How much does having a smart home cost?
In case you are wondering, smart homes can cost from a few hundred dollars (for few smart appliances such as smart lights and a few smart locks) to around $2000, just for smart home wiring system alone. If you are planning to have a smart home, consider having a massive budget, or you can look for alternatives that will give you the smart home lifestyle on a tighter budget.
How do you turn your home to a smart home?
Turning your ordinary shelter into a technologically-capable abode is like driving a car; you would think that it is too difficult until you know everything in operating one. Having a smart home is not as difficult as it looks. With proper planning and right budget, you can also have smart devices running on your house. To know more, here are the steps on how to make your house into a smart home.
Step 1: Choose the best smart home system compatible for your devices – The first step is a very important one in choosing a smart home system. This will be the basis of what smart devices you will buy. Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple’s HomePod, and Works with Nest are one of the top players in the smart system industry. These systems come with a smart speaker that are enabled to perform different operations with the use of voice command. To fully control your house, you can choose the Samsung SmartThings hub or Wink.
Smart assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa (Amazon) are available on some third-party devices like JBL, Sony, and Lenovo. However, some devices have limitations and work only with one device platform. For example, HomePod is supported only by Siri and is unable to play Spotify Music. In choosing a smart system, consider the smartphone you use and its compatibility to the hub as a remote device.
Step 2: Have smart wiring installed – Now that you have a smart system, the next thing you should do is to wire every smart appliance in your house for them to connect to each other. As we’ve said earlier, smart wiring costs around $2,000 but will cost more or less depending on the number of devices that need to get wired in your house. Smart wiring enables you to control your lights, entertainment and security systems, internet, and motion sensors.
Step 3: Have some smart lights for your home – Among all the smart devices that could be present on your home, smart lights are one of the easiest to install. Having a smart lighting system is better than a traditional light because it saves more energy, its brightness can be set, it can be controlled even without a switch, and lastly like other smart devices, can be voice-operated. Moreover, if you have bought color LED lights, you can also change the light color if you want to. Some even have a speaker for you to hear the music. Smart bulbs cost $15-$20 a piece.
To install a smart bulb, all you have to do is:
- Replace the traditional light bulbs with the smart bulbs.
- Usually, smart lights come with a hub. Plug it on a wall outlet.
- Connect the hub to the wifi using the provided network cable.
- Install the smart hub application on your phone (make sure that they are connected on the same network).
- Once the app is installed, open it to automatically search nearby hubs.
- Once the hub is found, tap the “set it up” button, there would be a push-link button on the bridge usually
- Tap “I accept.”
Step 4: Make sure that you buy yourself some smart plugs – Smart plugs are devices you can plug in wall outlets. It enables you to control appliances like a coffee machine or a lamp using an application on your phone. Having smart plugs also reduces your costs on electricity. With a smart plug, you can control every appliance without going to the appliance itself.
Step 5: Install smart home security features – Smart security devices include smart locks, smart alarms, motion sensors, and security cameras. With a smart lock, you would no longer have to worry about forgetting the door being locked. The application on your phone can do the job for you anywhere you are. Motion sensors are sensors that detect irregular movement from the door and windows. Once detected, this will send a signal to the smart alarm. Even footages of security cams can be viewed at your phone with a smart device.
Step 6: Replace older appliances and replace them with smart appliances- This might be the hardest and most expensive step on this list. Companies like LG, Samsung, and Whirlpool have made appliances that are automated and could be connected to your smart hub. Some of them can also connect to the Internet.
You can replace your standard television with a smart TV that can be connected to the Internet, which will allow you to stream music and videos, or even browse your social media networks.
Smart refrigerators, on the other hand, have a built-in touchscreen interface that lets you turn your ice maker on and off using a smartphone, connect to the internet, and have flexible cooling options.
Lastly, smart washing machines are washing machines that can be controlled anywhere and automatically doses with the needed amount of fabric conditioner and laundry detergent depending on the needed amount.
For more assistance, it is not wrong to seek the help of the experts, especially when buying for new smart items. With proper knowledge, you too can be a techno whiz and be an expert at your own home.