How to Get Started on Smart Home Automation?
The relentless strides in technology particularly after the 21st century have literally transformed the world. Just a century ago, no one could have imagined communicating face-to-face with a person located thousands of miles away, watching movies on a tablet-likescreen, or commuting on drone taxis.
Home automation is one such tech trend that has affected the lives of the average individual in the US. Also known as the Internet of Things (IoT) revolution, big companies that are in the thick of home automation or smart homes innovation include GE, Huawei, Hitachi Data Systems, Bosch, GE, Google, Apple, and many others.
At one time, it was thought to be a passing trend. However, today, nearly 30 percent of the US house owners have at least one of the smart home devices, according to a report by Parker Associates. By 2020, nearly 50 percent of Americans will own such devices.
If you want to avoid being left out of the smart home revolution, you should read this article on how to get started on home automation.
Home Automation: What Is It?
Home automation refers to the use of smart electronic devices in homes. The smart internet-connected devices are used to control different systems including lighting, thermostats, security cameras, refrigerator, and more.
But, what’s the benefit of using the smart devices?
Apart from the convenience, smart home devices result in increased energy savings. For instance, you can use your smartphone to turn off a house appliance or equipment when outside the house. This will result in great savings in energy bills.
You can communicate to the smart home devices through your voice. The devices can be managed by digital assistants such as Alexa or Siri. These devices are controlled through ZigBee or Z-Wave.
Smart home devices can be managed remotely through an app on your smartphone or computer, with many also responding to voice commands using digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. Smart devices often communicate with one another through protocols like Z-Wave and ZigBee to create a home automation network. Take our interactive smart home tour to see what automated homes of today look like.
How Do I Get Started with Home Automation?
Many people want to enjoy the benefits of smart home automation, but they’re not sure which products to buy. That’s understandable considering the dizzying number of smart devices on the market, and each one claims to be the best. Here are the steps that are required to adopt smart home automation that fits your needs.
1. Research the Devices
Find out about the different smart home devices. Become familiar with the features and benefits. You should initially focus on the devices that are easy to use. Understand how the device will provide more cost efficiency and convenience.
2. Establish a Budget
After you have pinpointed potentially useful devices, you should next determine how much you can afford to spend on the smart devices. The price of the smart devices ranges from a couple of hundred dollars to thousands of dollars. Decide how much you can allocate your income to pay for the device.
When deciding how much to spend on a particular smart device, you should keep the lifespan in mind. Spending thousands of dollars on a quality feature-packed device that will last for decades is a smart move. However, if the device has a shorter lifespan, of say four or five years, you should limit your spending to a couple of hundred dollars. In short, you should allocate the cost of the device over its useful life to determine whether it’s worth it.
3. Compare Prices and Features
Before selecting any smart appliance, you should compare the prices and features. Don’t make the decision based on the price alone. Your purchase decision should be based on both price and features. The more the features, the more valuable is the product. However, make sure that the features actually meet your needs otherwise you will be needlessly overspending on the project.
What Smart Devices Should You Buy?
The process of home automation doesn’t need to be expensive or complex. You can buy user-friendly, feature-rich smart devices for under $100. Here are some of the smart devices that you should consider buying to embrace the new lifestyle or the new ‘American Dream’.
- Smart Doorbells — With smart door balls, you can see who is outside the door. The smart device not only provides convenience but also ensures the safety of the household. These smart doorbells come with features such as motion sensing, two-way audio, night vision, and app connectivity.
- Smart Thermostat — A lot of people have already bought a smart thermostat that helps in increased energy savings. The smart device can connect to the Wi-Fi thereby allowing you to control the device through the smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Most smart thermostats work with Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa smart speakers. The best feature of the smart devices is that they can learn your preferred settings providing great convenience.
- Smart Lighting — Smart lighting is yet another cheap home automation device. The device allows you to control the lighting of the home using voice command or gestures. Also, you can use your mobile device to control the lighting. You can turn the light on or off, or dim the lightings with nothing but your gesture or voice command.
- Smart Locks — These smart devices can be a great investment that can help increase the safety and security of the family. The smart locks can be locked and unlocked using the mobile devices. You can also connect the locks to a home security system for added protection.
- Smart Outlets — The smart outlets can turn just about any electronic item into a smart device. The outlets are devices that plug into an electrical outlet and allow you to control the plugged home appliance via an application.
The above are just some of the ways you can embrace home automation or IoT revolution. The technologies allow you to reduce energy usage and gain greater control over the home appliance. Just make sure that you don’t get carried away with the home automation and overspend on the home devices. Before purchasing any smart device, think twice about how it will affect your life.