What is a smart home?
Because of my advanced knowledge of technology, many people have asked me what a smart home is. Naturally I want to respond to this question in much more detail than what most want to hear so I thought of an easy way to explain. The term smart home simply refers to a more updated home with technology appliances. For example, it’s like the difference between an old razor flip phone and an iPhone. Both of these are meant to give you the ability to call and text, but the iPhone can do more than that, giving it the term smartphone.
There is no set limit of what your home has to have in it to make it a smart home. There are many different smart applications and other advancements in technology available for you to have and use in your home. I will list several of them below.
The first on our list is a smart thermostat. The company Nest has become the most popular seller of these. It was first released in 2011 and has since then had three updated versions, making it even better! Now if you’re wondering, why do I need a smart thermostat? Well, let me ask you, do you want to save some money every year? The Nest learns from your patterns of when you adjust the temperature in the house and will automatically change the temperature for you. Studies have shown it to save an average of 15% on cooling bills and 10% – 12% on heating bills. When you connect it to your Wi-Fi, it will display the current outside temperature or a clock along with the inside temperature when you walk in the room. A smartphone app is also available, giving you the ability to change the temperature from your phone, computer or smart watch. Installing the Nest doesn’t take a scientist. Instructions and how to install it come with the device and shouldn’t take more than half an hour.
Nest also has other smart gadgets available for your home that include a smoke detector, indoor camera, and outdoor camera. Check out more of their great devices on their website.
Another smart appliance gaining popularity are smart locks. There are multiple brands available today but they all revolve around the same idea, the ability to unlock your door by Bluetooth or even Wi-Fi using your phone or smartwatch. You can also give access to your house to family members or friends by giving them a virtual key. Access can be even restricted to certain times of the day or even for a couple of hours. Need to let the cleaners in while you’re at the office? Instead of leaving a key under the mat, just press a button on your phone, let them in, and lock up when they’re gone. My personal favorite is the Entr Mul-t-lock available here. Other good brands include August, the Schlage Sense, and Kwikset.
Next up we have have refrigerators. Now, I know what you are thinking, but hear me out. Have you ever been at the grocery store and forgotten what you need? Wouldn’t it be nice if you could see inside your refrigerator? Well, here you go. The Samsung Family Hub refrigerator has camera’s inside that you can access on your phone so you can see what’s inside while grocery shopping. It also has a touchscreen display on the outside of the door that contains features such as a calendar so you can keep with your family’s day, sticky notes so you can tell everyone not to eat your last slice of pizza, a photo album, an internet browser so you can look up new recipes, a look at the weather forecast for the day, and access to music streaming like Pandora. You can even mirror the TV screen if you have a smart TV (we’ll get to this next). LG also makes a refrigerator with some of the same features plus others.
The next smart home technology, you have probably familiar with: smart TVs. Smart TVs give you the ability to rent movies, watch Netflix/YouTube/Hulu, and listen to Pandora/Spotify. This can also all be controlled by your smartphone. Some popular brands of Smart TVs are Samsung, LG, and Panasonic. Also available is the Apple TV, Google Chromecast and Amazon Firestick, which doesn’t replace your entire TV but is simply an add-on with similar features. These ad-ons are often cheaper, plus you could use the TV you currently have.
Lastly, Smart light bulbs are gaining popularity in homes now. Smart bulbs have features like streaming music and changing the bulbs’ brightness and color. They are controlled by your smartphone via Bluetooth and/or Wi-Fi. Some of the available bulbs are: MiPow PLAYBULB, Pulse by Sengled, Hue by Phillips, Life, and the Tiktech.
Smart homes are the future of technology. This revolutionizes basic home appliances, while giving you affordable options!