We always love it when things are smooth and comfortable. We love it, even more, when ease and comfort blend with convenience. With how technology-driven the world is today, that convenience has now lashed into our homes.
A ready fresh brew of coffee the moment you wake up. Lights turn off on their own. Laundry gets done on schedule with no effort. Automatic locks. Efficient energy consumption. And all done through a few keystrokes and taps on your phone. All these things are now accessible thanks to the increasing popularity and availability of smart homes.
The advantages of having a smart home are indeed alluring. Hence, more and more homeowners are transitioning to join the movement. If you desire a smart home of your own, we can help you with the steps. But first, you must look into the things that you need to consider carefully.
Where Should You Start?
Before you start setting up your smart home, you must first consider the following:
1. Your Needs
Every smart home must fit the owner’s needs. You must first establish what you want in a smart home. Do you want everything to be fully automated? Do you want to automate the doors and lights only? Perhaps you only want some smart devices? Do you need alarms? Appliances that wake with you (coffee maker)?
Without a clear focus, you can easily get carried away buying items that you do not need. Knowing the purpose of the smart home will help guide and limit your expenses to devices that fit your needs.
Next, decide on your budget. How much are you willing to spend on your smart home? The average cost of a home automation system can range from $1000 to $5000, even more. Having a specific budget in mind will help you plan your expenses so it will not exceed the budget and grow construction costs. It will also help you become more creative by sourcing for affordable but reliable products.
Programs run smart homes. When something is programmable, there is a risk of getting hacked. Someone could top into your phone and cameras. Even an automated refrigerator can become a spy of your food expenses. However, you can increase the difficulty of hacking through layered authentication over all your devices. You can get two-step authentications. You can also switch to face ID, eye, and fingerprint scanners. But, they will be more expensive than the basic set of authentications.
Then, there is also privacy. Your smart home will be privy to sensitive information. Your name, birthday, address, and more. You must carefully consider how much data you allow your devices to share. Remember that they will constantly be “talking” to each other, so these pieces of information will be joggled between devices daily.
Start Creating in 8 Easy Steps
Once you establish the main things you need to consider for your smart home, you can now proceed with hooking it all up. Just follow the steps we outlined below:
1. Get your homework done
The first step to creating a smart home is research. You need to know that not every smart device works great together. The three leading powers in the field are currently Google, Amazon, and Apple. Amazon apps might not work well with Google or Apple, and Apple might also be the same. Check out what these three companies offer and how they play into your plan. There is also Samsung.
2. Mind the rules
Next, you need to mind the rules. If you live in an apartment, you may need to consult your landlord first before installing anything. If you have your own home, you may need to check with local laws to make sure you are not infringing on anything with your home upgrade.
3. Get assistance
If you plan to fully automate your home or cover a broad scope of devices, you will need help. You will not be able to manage everything with just your smartphone. The leading assistants today are Alexa from Amazon Echo, Siri from Apple HomeKit, and Google Assistant from Google Home.
4. Work with professionals
If you do not have much knowledge about home automation, it will be best if you hire an expert to do the work. They have the knowledge and experience to get the job done. It will also get things done faster and avoid mistakes that can lead to more construction and expenses.
5. Set up the network connection
Then, you need to set up your network. Choose a protocol to use. Aside from the popular Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, there are also leading ones like Z-Wave, Zigbee, Thread, and X10. Wi-Fi is the most popular, but it can be laggy when there is no reliable signal. You can also build an ecosystem of devices that works well with your chosen network, such as the Apple HomeKit, Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Samsung SmartThings. Zigbee, for example, works well with Echo and SmartThings.
6. Get only reliable and high-quality products
There are a lot of cheap alternatives for the branded smart home products out there. However, although they are more affordable, privacy and security can be questionable, and maintenance costs would even be higher. Hence, prioritize reliability and quality when you buy your items. They can be expensive, but they are also more cost-efficient in the long run. It is best to match your products with your chosen protocol.
7. Ensure better detection
Security is everything in a smart home. To enhance your home security, you can install detectors and scanners. Smoke detectors will alert you for a potential fire. Motion sensors will alert you of intruders. Leak detectors for unwanted water leaks and pipe problems. They take more work to set up and cost extra, but they will surely pay off well in the end.
8. Install suitable tools and stock items?
Most smart home providers offer stock products and tools with their services. Getting the stock items from them can help you save on the expenses. Just make sure that they suit your needs and the whole smart home ecosystem you are vying to get.
Smart homes are fun, convenient, and undoubtedly modern. However, if you do not have the know-how about it, it is best to consider things first. If you proceed with the idea, make sure to adhere to the steps that we mentioned above. We especially put emphasis on asking experts to do the job to avoid installation risks, work hazards with wiring, and security issues.
How Does the Future of Smart Homes Look?
With the increasing popularity of smart homes, it will not be surprising if many homes around the globe follow the trend. According to recent data by Statista, there are already over 30 billion devices that are tied to the internet. By 2025, the number could increase to over 75 billion. This number can turn fivefold in another 10 years.
There are also projections that more and more devices will be run by PoE and IoT, starting with an increase in smart locks, smart lighting, and house monitoring. Soon homes can have the ability to track who and where the occupants are inside via Artificial Intelligence just like with Bill Gates’ hub.
However, with the increase in automation, there may also be an increase in privacy concerns especially with the integration of AI and wider device freedom.