Smart home products have introduced us to innovative technology that’s specifically engineered to make our lives easier. In this rapidly evolving digital age, it’s no wonder we’re drawn to convenience.
Home automation has made it simple to save energy, secure our home, enjoy a customized media experience and do much more. However, smart home technology can also be a little intimidating.
But that doesn’t mean you need a tech wizard to tell you which smart gadgets to buy or how to use them. You can do this all on your own with just a bit of research and practice.
Let’s get into why smart products are useful and what products to start with.
Why Bother With Smart Products?
Smart home products were once a luxury that few people could afford — but times have changed. They’ve become increasingly popular and affordable to the point that it’s no longer uncommon for homes to have at least one smart gadget.
Here are the top four benefits of investing in smart technology for your home.
Most people know that their actions and lifestyle affect their carbon footprint, which has an impact on the environment. Fortunately, smart products are incredibly helpful in terms of conserving energy.
Many smart products have sensors and monitoring tools that notify you of how much energy you’re using. They also reveal areas where you can cut back.
One way they help people lessen their energy consumption is through automation. For example, smart lighting and thermostat products can automatically adjust settings to switch off the lights, heating and cooling when rooms are empty.
This makes it simple to reduce your carbon footprint and save money at the same time.
To put it simply, smart home products make life easier! They’re designed to bring daily convenience into your life.
With the touch of a button, you can essentially control all your home devices. Gone are the days of wrangling with remotes only to discover the one you actually need is missing or has dead batteries.
Rather than fussing with settings the old-school way — manually — to get the right setup, you can program all your smart gadgets to perform exactly how you want them to. Lighting, temperature, sound and more can automatically turn on or off (dim or adjust) at any point in the day with lighting control and climate control systems.
And don’t worry about having to get up. You can make environmental adjustments (even changing TV channels and music) right from the comfort of your couch. It just takes a few quick taps on your mobile phone.
Adding smart gadgets to your home also allows you to customize its technology. You can monitor, manage and control your smart home devices from literally anywhere in the world as long as you’re connected to stable Wi-Fi.
Do you prefer your lights to dim at 8:00 p.m. every night? Perhaps you want the temperature in your bedroom to drop to a cool 60 degrees while you sleep. Or maybe you want soft music to play in the morning as you get ready for work.
All you have to do is program your devices to match your preferences and lifestyle. Then, you can enjoy a streamlined routine sculpted for your and your family’s day-to-day life.
A wide selection of smart devices can also add security to your space.
Smart doorbells and cameras have video-monitoring capabilities as well as motion detectors to help ensure the safety of your loved ones and property.
Whether you’re out of the house at work, on vacation or simply wanting to check on family members who might be home alone (such as older grandparents or young children), you can keep an eye on them by accessing camera footage through your phone.
[Related: Why You Should Work With a Contractor and Architect Early on in Your AV Project]
What Should I Start With?
A smart thermostat is one of the most useful devices to assist with energy efficiency.
It allows you to control your home’s temperature using your mobile device over a stable Wi-Fi connection. You can also program it to automatically adjust based on weather conditions or your daily schedule.
2. Smart Doorbell
A smart doorbell is essential if you want to add security to your space.
A smart doorbell notifies you when someone is at the door by sending alerts to the devices connected to your home’s system. It also has a built-in motion detector. This allows it to record footage whenever someone is in camera range.
Additionally, when paired with a smart lock, you can enable a smart doorbell to grant access to guests remotely. For example, with the Control4 Chime Video Doorbell, you can speak to and view visitors directly through your phone or tablet.
3. Smart Speaker
You operate smart speakers through voice commands. In addition, you can integrate them with other smart devices and use them to carry out various tasks.
Smart speakers come with a virtual assistant that executes any instructions you give it. Sonos, a company that develops wireless home sound systems, makes smart speakers equipped with Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa and Apple Siri.
These speakers allow you to schedule appointments, send and receive calls, play songs and do much more using just your voice.
4. Automated Shade System
One of the most visually impressive smart home products is an automated shade system.
Automated shades are intuitive, functional and quite beautiful. With a Lutron shade system, you can choose from a variety of fabric styles, textures and patterns programmed to respond to your direct environment.
5. Surveillance Camera
Smart surveillance cameras record live footage of your home. Then, you can view the footage on your mobile device or tablet over a stable Wi-Fi connection.
Studies show that having a surveillance system can reduce criminal activity by 50%. Who wouldn’t want to have a more secure home? The ability to keep yourself, your loved ones and your property safe will put you at ease, whether you’re in or out of the house.
[Related: Design Considerations for Incorporating AV Into Your Home]
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
1. How Do I Maintain Smart Gadgets?
Carrying out routine checks is a must if you want to keep your devices running smoothly and efficiently. You should perform regular software updates to ensure your network connection is stable and secure.
2. What Is a Smart Home Hub, and Do I Need One?
A smart home hub is the central device that controls all your other smart devices (as long as they’re connected to it). It’s not always necessary, but we certainly recommend having one to increase your system’s overall security.
The AV Smart Solutions team will determine whether a smart home hub is necessary based on the products and features you want in your residence.
3. Do Smart Products Need Special Wiring?
It depends on the product. Smart lighting and automated shades typically require the installation of neutral wiring in your switch outlets. However, other products can function on batteries alone.
4. Do Smart Gadgets Need an Internet Connection to Work?
Most smart home devices require a stable network connection to perform optimally.
However, some devices can work without an internet connection. But to ensure your devices function optimally, it’s advisable to connect all your smart home products to the internet.
Contact AV Smart Solutions for the Ultimate Smart Home Setup
Smart home devices make life more comfortable, convenient and safe. And because of that, they’re becoming a necessity among modern homeowners.
If you’re interested in having these benefits but are hesitant to make the jump to a fully automated home, consider adding one or two smart products to see how they work. You can add more products gradually as you become more comfortable with smart features.
You can also check out our guide to room-by-room automation to see how to automate your home one room at a time.
When you’re ready to get started, contact AV Smart Solutions by calling (425) 655-5052 or completing our contact form. We offer a complimentary consultation to guide you in the right direction based on your smart home goals.
Featured image via Unsplash