What is a Smart Home?
In the most basic sense, a smart home is a home with electronic devices that can be controlled remotely. A genuine smart home uses Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or other similar technology to control many of the utilities and appliances in your home. These utilities and appliances can include lighting, entertainment equipment, and your HVAC (heating & cooling) just to name a few. Remember that you can do all of this remotely from mobile devices and sometimes from a smart home hub. Here are a few smart home ideas to consider.
How to Build a Smart Home
First and foremost, a smart home doesn’t have to be 100% automated. You can choose from hundreds of different upgrades and products from numerous manufacturers. This gives you the ability to use smart technologies in a way that best accommodates your day-to-day life.
Smart Home Ideas: Technology Hub
If you’re planning on using many smart home upgrades, you may want to consider a hub. This is the ‘brain’ of your home and smart devices. A good hub will allow you to control all of your smart tech from one location. Popular hubs include the Icontrol Networks Piper, SmartThings Hub, and the Quirky Wink.
Smart Security and Safety
One of the most obvious ways to apply smart technology to home security is with upgraded door locks. August has the market all but cornered with its extremely popular Smart Lock. Through a phone app, you can lock and unlock your door, create virtual keys for guests, and keep track of who has entered and exited your home.
If you are away from home frequently, a smart camera system can help alleviate the stress related to home security. There are endless camera systems available that connect to your mobile device and include features such as motion sensors, facial recognition technology, real-time video monitoring, and notification systems.
A modern-day take on the peephole, video doorbells allows you to see who is at your door, even if you aren’t on the other side. One popular model by SkyBell allows you to not only see but hear and speak to the visitor at the door from your smartphone. It also comes with optional upgrades such as night vision and the choice to mute the chime.
Water Leak and Mold Sensor
Oftentimes, homeowners don’t notice water leaks until they have caused serious damage. Systems like this one from Wally use your existing electrical network and sensors located at key points in your home to detect changes in temperature and humidity levels. When these changes indicate a possible water leak, you are alerted to the location of the leak on your smartphone.
Another concern for every homeowner is preventing and responding quickly to fire. Many smoke detection systems now contain the technology to pair to WiFi and alert your phone when batteries are low or when the alarm is activated. A new product available for pre-order from Birdi detects smoke and carbon monoxide, while also monitoring overall home air quality. This system can be enabled to use Bluetooth and WiFi alerts, and can even let you know if someone is smoking in your home.
Closing Thoughts on Smart Home Ideas
Smart homes aren’t for everyone, but there is likely something on this list that can make your life easier, and maybe a little more fun!