Smart homes have become so popular in the last few years with the rise of technology. Smart upgrades are often referred to as “the internet of things” based on the fact that they’re usually wi-fi enabled. Eco-friendly homes have been very popular in the last few years but smart homes are on the rise and they’re expected to generate 3.8 billion US in revenue by 2023.
How do smart homes work?
A home that’s been outfitted with various electronic devices that are designed to make things easier and more efficient is typically considered a smart home. Let’s have a look at some of the most common items that you can integrate into your own home to improve the value and make your day easier.
A virtual assistant is a voice-controlled system that responds to your requests and uses AI (artificial intelligence) to recognize the commands. The most popular ones (Alexa from Amazon, Siri from Apple, and Google Assistant from Google) can do everything from adjusting your lights, making a shopping list, and even telling you a joke. These can be found accompanying smart speakers and they’re often sold at electronic stores.
Smart light bulbs
Dimmer switches are so outdated when you look at the impressive range that a smart light bulb can give you. These bulbs are LED, wifi or Bluetooth enabled and they’re usually able to change color and brightness at the touch of a button. They also have the added benefit of saving your home some money on electricity with their low energy and the ability to turn them off from your phone. If you’re looking for smart bulbs, many online retailers carry them, along with hardware stores and some electronic stores.
Home Security Systems
To give yourself a bit of extra security from intruders or even just package thieves, install a home security system that includes cameras on the exterior and possibly interior if you choose. A doorbell camera is a great start and they’re relatively easy to install. These can be found at many hardware stores but you can also get a system professionally installed by a home security company.
Smart thermostats that are wifi enabled are the way to go if you want to be able to control the temperature of your home from wherever you are. Forgot to turn off the heat when you’re about to go on vacation? Did you open up your windows but leave your central air running? With a smart thermostat, you can turn it off using your phone which gives you peace of mind and lowers your energy bills. These are available at most hardware stores or they can be installed by your local HVAC technician.
A smart outlet is perfect for people who are always looking for a charger. They’re usually a combination of a regular outlet and USB outlets but they can also be a regular outlet that has Wifi capability. If you have anything that requires a timer (slow cooker, fish tank, or holiday lights for example) these are a great addition. They can be found in most electronic sections and at many hardware stores.
Benefits of living in a smart home
Lower Energy Bills
With the ability to control so many things in your home from your phone, it’s easy to keep your energy usage at bay.
Being able to control the temperature, lighting and even the music from your phone means you can make yourself comfortable without even leaving the cozy spot on your couch.
Peace of mind is a priceless thing but being able to check your security cameras and turn off your appliances from your phone gives you a great sense of security that you wouldn’t have otherwise.
There are so many ways smart technology can help you on a day-to-day basis. Stick a smart speaker in your kitchen paired with a smart screen like the Amazon Echo and you’ll be able to search for a recipe, turn on your crockpot, and order more spaghetti noodles without even using your hands.
Disadvantages of Living in a Smart Home
Expensive to start
If you want to start replacing some of your current technology then be aware of the costs before you start. Smart technology can sometimes cost quite a bit more so starting slowly with an item at a time is a great idea than doing an overhaul of everything.
Making your home into a smart home is great for reselling but you might be excluding a major market. Many seniors and even baby boomers are resistant to new technology and they might pass on buying because the upgrades seem too confusing for them to deal with.
Reliable connection is needed
Many of the technologies that are linked to your smart home require a stable internet connection to be used. If you are at work and the wifi goes off at your home then the fancy upgrades will be obsolete and you won't be able to check on things you would normally rely on. If you live in an area with a poor internet connection to begin with then the extra strain on your bandwidth from smart devices could make things run slow or not at all.
While it’s rare that it happens, you can put yourself at a security risk if your smart home system is compromised. Prevent this by changing passwords and codes often and keeping your login information for your upgrades as private as you can.
Tips for Building a Smart Home
When it comes to building a smart home, getting a system that works together is one of the best ways to make everything easy on you. Choose a company that has products you are familiar with and products you will likely use and stick with that brand as much as you can. This will make syncing your system, signing in and controlling everything so much easier if you don't have to mix and match your brands.
Another idea is to choose a contractor that specializes in building smart homes. These experts have the knowledge needed to build the home and smart tech upgrades to suit you and your family’s needs. They can also make things easy to use and run so you won’t be stuck poring through various manuals.
The final thing you should consider is safety and security. If you have issues with forgetting passwords, learning new technology or you always find your email being hacked from your faulty password choices then letting the safety of your home rely on that might not work for you.
Safe homes are great for anyone who wants to stay up to date with the latest gadgets, people who are looking for efficiency and anyone who doesn't mind relying on a robot to help you out. Ask your real estate agent today about the latest and best smart homes on the market.