Smart devices save time and energy in many ways. Residents can monitor and control thermostats remotely, watch surveillance cameras and change lighting settings, while appliances like coffee makers, dishwashers and washing machines can automatically brew, clean and shut off.
Smart devices are easy to set up and use. Choosing those that work together is important, however.
Enhanced Energy Efficiency
Incorporating smart devices into a home allows residents to control multiple features with one app or device. This includes lighting, entertainment systems, security and even the thermostat.
Some smart devices like the IQ panel and hub from Z-Wave also monitor environmental and utilities usage. Using this information, they can make adjustments that save energy, for example, by turning off lights and appliances in an empty house or setting the thermostat to conserve heat in unoccupied rooms.
All this makes them a perfect investment. They upgrade your home, add value to your house, make you feel more connected and more secure, save your bills. Some of them are the ultimate high-ROI improvements.
Smart home technology also helps homeowners reduce energy costs with automated systems, such as those that connect to electric car charging stations in garages. These systems are able to predict and adjust power demand, providing residents with the cheapest available rate on their utility bills. Smart systems are often designed to operate in tandem with each other and share consumer usage data, automating tasks and tailoring settings based on user behavior.
Other smart home features that can help homeowners reduce energy consumption include connected security cameras, that provide a live feed when residents are at work or on vacation, and allow them to talk with visitors via intercom.
They can also automatically brew a cup of coffee or water the garden or lawn at a predetermined time. And, they can control the temperature of their homes remotely via a smart thermostat, or feed their pets on a scheduled basis with a smart feeder.
Often referred to as “home automation” or “domotics,” smart home technology lets homeowners control a variety of devices and appliances from a single smartphone app. Homeowners can use smart appliances, lighting, security systems and more to create a comfortable, energy-efficient, automated living space that works to their specific needs and lifestyle.
One of the key benefits is convenience. Smart homes are easier to operate and allow homeowners to control their technology by simply using a smartphone, tablet or other smart device with an internet connection. It’s also easy to add on or upgrade to new gadgets as time goes by, making a smart home an affordable and versatile addition to any household.
With a smart system, you can monitor and control everything from your security cameras to your thermostats. The ability to adjust settings remotely will help reduce your impact on the environment and save you money on your utility bills.
You can even get smart appliances that are designed to improve your health and fitness. For example, you can buy a connected refrigerator that tracks your food and alerts you when your milk or eggs are about to expire. This can help you plan your grocery shopping better and eat healthier meals at home. Other smart devices can track your heart rate and help you keep in shape.
There are a number of smart home devices that allow users to monitor and manage their security remotely. With a quick tap or voice command, residents can check in on their home via cameras and alarm systems, turn lights on and off to give the appearance of being home, and even control their thermostat settings.
Many of these gadgets also have automation capabilities, allowing residents to set their devices up to take action when they arrive or leave the home. A smart doorbell can alert you and let you know who’s knocking, for instance, while a smart pet feeder will activate when it’s time to feed the dog or cat.
Smart home technology can also reduce the amount of energy you use at home by managing your lighting and appliances. Smart light bulbs and plugs can be programmed to switch on or off at certain times, lowering your electric bill. And smart thermostats can help you create the perfect indoor climate and lower your energy bills, as well.
Improved Entertainment Options
If you’ve ever dreamed of living in a fully automated home, your time could be soon coming. Consumer electronics manufacturers are racing to put smart technology into everything from household gadgets to alarm systems and more.
Typically, smart devices communicate over the internet and allow homeowners to monitor their settings from mobile apps or online portals. Many of them also offer remote control and automation capabilities.
Smart security systems allow users to arm or disarm their alarms remotely and receive alerts on their smartphones if they detect activity.
Home lighting systems can be controlled using a smartphone app, or even by voice (thanks to the popularity of Amazon Echo and Google Home devices).
And some smart TVs come equipped with voice recognition and are designed to interact with other smart devices in the home, including smart speakers and displays that display video feeds from connected cameras.
In fact, you can now buy multi-room speaker systems from the likes of Sonos, Yamaha (MusicCast), and Denon (HEOS) that let you drop speakers throughout your home and stream music to them in sync.
This allows you to play a playlist curated by your favorite DJ in the kitchen, for instance, while playing soothing James Taylor in the bedroom. Some systems will even adjust the volume based on who is calling or the location of your phone in the room.
Expanded Automation Capabilities
Home automation systems can include smart gadgets that are designed to help people perform everyday tasks more easily and efficiently. Voice-controlled smart devices like the Amazon Echo and Google Home allow users to turn on or off appliances with a simple command or request.
They can also control thermostats, set alarms, light a path for nighttime bathroom trips and even create mood lighting for different occasions. Similarly, household system monitors can sense problems like power outages and freezing pipes and notify residents or call emergency services.
The most significant benefit of smart home technology may be its convenience, as it reduces the need for manual effort and allows occupants to keep an eye on their homes from anywhere they have access to a mobile device.
Smart devices can alert owners to problems with their refrigerator or freezer so they can run an online grocery store order and have the necessary food delivered when it’s ready. They can also save energy by turning off lights in rooms that aren’t being used and by reducing the number of times air conditioners are turned on and off.
However, it’s important to note that not everyone is ready for a fully automated home. Many smart gadgets require a steep learning curve and have numerous functions, which can overwhelm tech novices. In addition, smart devices are not foolproof, and a loss of connectivity with the Internet or Wi-Fi can render them useless.
Increased Productivity & Organization
Smart home devices enable homeowners to control their appliances and systems remotely via smartphones and apps. These devices also communicate with each other over a common network, using protocols like X10, Insteon, ZigBee and Z-Wave to transmit data, along with digital assistants such as Amazon Echo and Google Assistant (with some third-party manufacturers building products that incorporate those platforms into their own).
Those devices also can save homeowners a significant amount of money on utility bills and other expenses, especially when paired with sensors that track and respond to occupants’ patterns, such as turning off the lights and playing soothing music when no one is in the room or setting the thermostat back if a family is on vacation.
Technologies like artificial intelligence and machine learning are enabling devices and systems to learn their occupants’ preferences and service them without any human input.
While some are still learning to navigate this technology, it’s expected that most will eventually come to rely on smart home devices and systems to improve their quality of life and make everyday tasks easier. As a result, it’s important for home builders to embrace this trend and consider how they might incorporate smart home devices into new homes and even retrofit existing ones.
Incorporating smart devices into your home can provide a variety of benefits to make life easier and more efficient. It can save time, money, and energy while also providing convenience and improved safety for the whole family. Smart devices are becoming increasingly popular and accessible, so there’s never been a better time to see how they can provide value and convenience to your home.