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Posts Tagged ‘smart home’

Benefits of Home Automation

Home automation is increasingly popular as technology improves and devices become more affordable. Smart home automation works by connecting various devices in your home to a central hub or directly to a network. These devices can then be controlled remotely through a smartphone app, voice assistant or web interface.
Smart home components like security or climate control can be integrated with other smart devices, like your home entertainment system. This allows you to create a comprehensive and integrated smart home system that can automate many different tasks.
There are tons of reasons you may want to invest in home automation, but they generally fall into four categories.
  • Convenience. This is one of the primary reasons people start down the smart-home path. It just makes life a little easier when your home automates all the mundane tasks you used to have to do on a day-to-day basis.
  • Safety. A lot of smart-home technology is centered around your home’s security system, and there’s a good reason for that. No one piece of security equipment will protect your home comprehensively, but a network of pieces of equipment all working and thinking together can.
  • Sustainability. A lot of energy is wasted when you leave the lights on or keep your AC running when you’re gone for the weekend. A truly smart home will adjust itself to your habits and make sure your environmental impact is a little lighter.
  • Savings. You waste a lot of money when you leave things running unnecessarily. Your smart home will improve your economic efficiency by helping you remember to turn things off or down when they’re not needed
Here’s some of what the marketplace currently has to offer:
  • Detectors – Smart detectors provide peace of mind, so you aren’t left worrying that you forgot something. Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors are vital additions to any home. Gas and water leak detectors are good additions as well.
  • Heating and Cooling – With the initial success of 2011’s Nest Learning Thermostat, this product category is most associated with home automation.
  • Lighting – With the ability to control lights through your tablet or phone, intelligent lighting has become the initial step many take in setting up smart home technology.
  • Security Systems – This area has taken home automation to the next level. A lot of the newer, more advanced smart home tech is in this category, with keyless entry, camera equipment, and more. D
  • Hubs – Hubs, for the most part, are what tie your systems together. .
  • Appliances – Get a text message from your washer when a load finishes. Have your fridge create your grocery list for you. Shut the coffee pot off from work. Smoke a brisket for a few hours while remotely controlling its temperature. All possibilities with smart appliances.
  • Energy Management – Track your energy use and make changes in real time, from any location.
  • Lawn and Landscape Care – Control your pool cleaner, mow your lawn or set the irrigation system, all via smartphone app.
  • Window Coverings – Automatic shades and blinds timed to open or close with your bedtime or wake up call.
Technology experts say that tomorrow’s smart homes will have more seamless smart home device integration, more intelligent home appliances and gadgets, movement into the virtual world, and increased customization, efficiency, and control.

Ways Smart Home Technology Can Save You Money!

Smart Home Technology
With most of us spending more time in our homes today, you have undoubtedly seen increases in your utility bills, food costs, and more. We are paying more to be entertained at home as well. Smart home technology is now a highly desirable feature to be added to homes and will not only save you money, but will increase your home’s value when you go to sell. Green homes are becoming more and more in demand, especially by Millennials and younger home buyers.
Save on Water & Electricity:
You can save money on your home’s utility bills all year round while also adding comfort, convenience and control.
LED Lighting: 
Replacing your incandescent or florescent bulbs with LEDs can greatly reduce the amount of power your home consumes. “Smart” LED lights cost more but can join your Wi-Fi network for automation and app or voice control.
Wi-Fi Thermostats: 
Smart thermostats let you easily adjust heating and cooling settings from your smartphone, smartwatch or tablet, and many can automatically optimize settings based on when you’re home and when you’re not.
By learning your schedule and detecting the weather, products like Google Nest ($249) or the Ecobee family of smart thermostats (from $169) can save you more than 20 percent on your annual heating and cooling bills.
Smart Switches, Power Strips:
Special switches and power strips also can cut off electricity on demand or via a timer. Belkin has a line of Conserve-branded switches, starting at $10, that shut off power to what’s plugged into it either with the flip of a switch or after a predetermined amount of time.
Conserve brand power strips ($39) can cut off any residual power to a device after a specific time or with a wireless remote switch. Supporting up to eight devices, these power strips include outlets you want on all the time while shutting off other plugs.
Smart Shower Heads: 
Smart shower heads eliminate costly heat-up time and also adjust water flow based on where you are in the shower. Evadrop, for example, says it cuts water use in half .
Smart Sprinkler Systems:
Smart sprinklers are designed to optimize your watering schedule based on local weather conditions. They also detect leaks and monitor water flow to reduce overall costs. Most come with a mobile app that allows you to control your watering efforts on the go.
Energy Monitoring
By installing an energy monitoring system such as Sense, homeowners can identify appliances that are quietly adding to the monthly utility bills. The Sense monitor is installed in electrical panel, connected to Wi-Fi, and viewable in real time via a smartphone app. The device automatically detects items in the home in order to identify vampire loads and see how much they’re costing.
Advanced smart home technology users can take advantage of integrations with Alexa, Google, IFTTT, TP-Link, and Phillips Hue to setup additional energy-saving automation. Sense will help homeowners form better habits, identify problem appliances, and reduce always-on device consumption that may account for up to 20% of energy use.