Information Technology News & Information Tech Tips

So, you have finally decided that the days of turning on your appliances yourself are ancestral! “I am no longer a caveman!”, you say to yourself as you yell at your Alexa to play that one song you haven’t been able to get out of your head all day. However, what you may not know is that those who have “home automation” have taken numerous hours planning, configuring, and testing to have everything work correctly and reliably. Home automation is the future, but if you want to take part, you must have a carefully laid out plan, as well as the tools and knowledge to do so correctly.

What makes having a “smart home” so wonderful is that at any given point you can decide to add or remove smart devices at your leisure! The possibilities are only limited to how far we have come technologically speaking! Many of the devices you find in a home today are made with the idea of setting up a “smart home”. Regardless if you have an iPhone and Android device, you can take part in having a “smart home”.  Even Amazon has their device, Alexa, that has been designed to be used with home automation. However, these devices are not plug and play. Time must be set aside in order to properly prepare your home.

If you are still reading, it probably means you are interested in learning about what you will need in order to take your lame home to “Smart Home”! Well, I have good news and some bad news. The good news is that today you will learn exactly what you need in order to do so; the bad is that it doesn’t come cheap (if you want it done correctly).

The following is what you’ll need:

  1. A Plan: First come up with a plan. What do you want to be automated? Do you want all the light in your home automated or just the ones in the living room? Do you want parts of your home left out, such as the garage, but have the rest automated? Figure out what you want to be automated and where before purchasing anything!
  2. Chose a Controller / Hub: Decide what you are going to use to control all your smart devices! You have many choices so make sure you pick one you are most comfortable with. Do you enjoy Amazon? Perhaps Alexa is the choice for you. Do you favor Google? Google assistant is a great way to have your Android Device as a controller! Maybe you fancy iPhone; Apple is another great way to use your phone with your “smart home”. Perhaps you want to use a different brand not associated with a major corporation; then you should look at Wink! Are you loyal to Samsung? Well, have I got news for you! Even Samsung has its smart hub controller for you to utilize: SmartThings. Make sure you take your time when decided on which controller you want to use! After all, this is how you will interact with your “smart home” once it is set up; make sure it is the product you are most comfortable with!
  3. Wifi-Network: You don’t need the $500 router that has 17 antennas and allows for the NASA quality download and upload speeds, but you will need quality! With quality comes a stronger, more stable connection with a wider range. Consider investing in a nice router from Asus or TPlink! We guarantee you will have a better experience if you do!
  4. Schedule: As we said earlier, setting up “smart home” takes numerous hours of planning, configuring, and testing to have everything work correctly and reliably. There is no easy road when it comes to home automation. If you want it done correctly, set aside time so that you can ensure it works! If you don’t have time, consider higher someone who can do it for you! I hear Hammett Technologies is good at setting up smart devices and networks!

What You Can Do with a Smart Home

Now that we have all a plan set in place, have decided which controller we want to use, have purchased a reliable router for our network, and have time on our hands, we can begin to play around with smart devices! There are countless devices out there today that can be used with a smart home. Everything from lights to those cute robot vacuum cleaners, just about anything can be set up for use in a “smart home.” Below are some of the possibilities, and this is just scratching the surface!

Possibly the most popular smart device to buy is the lights! Philips Hue lights are a great example of this, although there are cheaper options out there that do the same thing. Hue bulbs allow the user to set timers for when they come on and even have RGB capabilities; perfect for those “set the mood” moments.

Next, we have the thermostats! These are great for those who are often away from home for long hours and wish to keep the gas & electric bill low! You can have the thermostat lower the temperature while you are away and raise it while you are on your way home! This way, during those cold winter nights, you can come home to a warm house, without having to keep it warm all day! Or perhaps you are cold in bed and don’t want to get up! You can raise the temperature right from your bed and eliminate that chill in the house from under the covers!

Last but not least are Smart Locks! Do you worry about packages getting stolen? Do you want to see what happens to your home while you are away? Get a Smart Lock! You can feel confident with one of these installed on your door. Many come with cameras nowadays and allow you to create virtual keys for family and friends! No more trying to find your keys in the dark, hold your phone up to the lock, and you’re in!

This is just the beginning too! There are countless other devices that you can use in your smart home. Although, this can make it overwhelming. Therefore, make sure you take your time when looking into home automation. Smart devices are not cheap, and if you are not careful it can pricey quick! Remember to take your time when outfitting your home with smart devices, after all, Rome wasn’t built in a day!