In a previous blog post, we looked at the top smart home devices of 2016.
But what if you’re looking to buy your first smart home device? Or, you want to build your own smart home from scratch? In this article, we take a look at the most important pieces of technology for setting up your smart home, and how they all connect together.
The best thing about building your own smart home is that you can make it as big or small as you like. If you just want to turn on the TV and play your favourite Netflix series with a voice command, then all you need to do is buy a Google Home and an Android TV device.
If you want more control over your house, and automate more things, then there are plenty of other devices that will connect with your Google Home.
Let’s take a look at some of them.
Smart home devices are a great addition to any home, allowing you to control things like lights, heating, and even your door locks from your phone. But with so many products to choose from, it can be difficult to figure out where to start. We’ll walk you through choosing the smart home devices that make sense for your house and your lifestyle.
The best place to start is by picking which aspects of your home you want to be smarter. A bulb is a good entry-level device because it’s relatively inexpensive and simple. Just screw it in and connect it to the app on your phone. It won’t offer a ton of features compared to some of the more advanced systems out there, but it will let you dip a toe into the smart home waters without breaking the bank.
My friends, colleagues, and family constantly ask me about setting up smart home devices. And frankly, it’s a fair question. There are so many iterations of smart home devices that it’s hard to know where to start. So I wrote this piece to help answer the most common questions I’ve been asked over the past few years. I hope you find it helpful!
I know what you’re thinking: “What is a smart home?” Basically, a smart home is a house that has devices that can be controlled by a phone or by your voice. This can include security cameras, thermostats, lights, doorbells, door locks, garage door openers, appliances, vacuums and even your blinds.
But there are two important things to remember when starting out with smart home devices:
1) Buy what you think will make your life easier and more secure. Don’t convince yourself that you need something because it’s “cool.” You will end up using it less than you think if it doesn’t actually solve a problem for you.
2) Buy one thing at a time and make sure it works before adding something else.
The smart home is a lot of fun to think about, but it’s even more fun to actually live in one. If you’ve ever visited an electronics store or showroom and thought “that looks cool”, then this is the guide for you.
Only you know your habits and preferences, so the devices in your home will be different from anyone else’s. But there are a few devices that everyone can use to make their lives simpler, safer and more comfortable.
Doors and Locks
The most obvious way to start automating your home is with locks and doors. There are two types of smart locks: ones that connect to your existing deadbolt, and ones that replace your entire lock. Replacing the whole lock will look better, but connecting over Bluetooth is easier.
If you’re renting, a Bluetooth-enabled August Smart Lock (from $100 on Amazon) might be a good choice for you. It installs onto your existing deadbolt and can be used with any phone that runs the August app (iOS and Android). The lock also comes with a keypad, in case you want to give temporary access to guests or friends who don’t have smartphones.
Not so long ago, the only way for homeowners to manage devices in their home was to walk from room to room and switch on/off items manually.
Today, that’s no longer the case. As smart homes become more mainstream and affordable, many homeowners are opting to automate their home to make it more convenient.
If you’re a homeowner interested in automating your home but don’t know where to start, you’ve come to the right place. Below, we’ll take you through the different types of smart home devices available, as well as recommendations for each type.
You can’t go to a tech conference these days without hearing about the smart home–futuristic houses where all your lights, door locks, thermostats, and appliances are connected and controlled by voice or phone. And while it’s easy to dismiss this as another case of Silicon Valley-induced hype, the fact is that right now you can buy all kinds of useful products that control the lights, locks, and thermostats in your home.
But which ones are worth buying? Which ones will actually save you time and money? And are there any potential downsides to these devices in terms of privacy or reliability?
I’ve been living with a bunch of these products for several years now, so I have some answers. Here’s a rundown of five of the most useful smart home products out there.