Your First Home
18th June 2017
Are you Ready to make the Move towards Home Automation?
Smart technology has infiltrated all gadgets and services imaginable, making it one of the biggest trends currently in the tech world. But how can it work in your home?
Smart home technology is becoming increasingly refined, and with every passing year, new gadgets hit the market aimed at making the most ordinary home devices a little more efficient. But it can do more than that – smart technology can help quell certain worries that are all too familiar among homeowners. Did I switch off the lights before leaving the house? Did I set the security alarm? Did I forget to turn the bathroom heater off when I was done? With a glance at your smartphone or tablet, these nagging questions can be answered, and if necessary, resolved.
Start with the small stuff
Before diving right into the trend and embarking on a crazed shopping spree, begin dabbling with the basics to test the waters, and assess whether smart home technology is for you to begin with. Some of the most popular gadgets under this vast umbrella include cameras that track your home’s exterior, even in the dead of night when everything looks pitch black; a bed thermostat which can be controlled from an app on your device; LED lights which can be programmed to customise the colour and brightness through an app on your phone; motion sensors, which alert the user when there’s motion around your house, and can tell the difference between pets and intruders; light and appliances integration, enabling you to turn them on and off from your mobile device; as well as door and garage locks which can pick up a signal from your smartphone, and open as you approach.
Broaden your perspective
Your initial reaction to the more high-end automated home products is probably that they’re somewhat unnecessary, over the top, and too complicated to navigate and use. While this may be true of a number of products on the market, there are plenty of devices that will not only make life easier, and perhaps more comfortable, but also prove to be downright handy.
In the case of security systems, if you’re away and are alerted of a fire in your home, but are unable to do anything to protect your house from where you are, a neighbour or family member asleep within the house will be woken up with a fire alarm, smart doors will be unlocked and the fire department can be notified automatically, while those inside the house are ushered to safety, offering complete peace of mind to the user from a distance.
As for temperature control, smart technology enables users to control, schedule and monitor their home’s temperatures from the office or from the comfort of their very own bed. A smart thermostat can learn family members’ behaviours and adjust its settings accordingly for maximum efficiency. The more fine-tuned systems will also advise how much energy is being consumed to avoid nasty surprises at the end of the month, remind you that filters need to be changed, and even adjust the functions between different thermostat-regulated devices, such as heaters and air conditioning units.
Do your research
If technology isn’t really your thing but you’d like to take the first steps towards home automation, ask yourself a few basic questions first to ensure that, before buying anything, you find the right balance between complexity and usability.
Firstly, find out how intuitive the system is for a home user – navigating a basic light dimmer is easy, but a complex alarm system might be a whole other ball game. Ask yourself whether the device is actually fulfilling a need or filling a void, as a fancy gadget can prove to be a very frustrating toy if you cannot get it to work as you’d like it to. Find out whether the system, and its failures, can be maintained by a local agent, as it could prove to be very costly if no one is locally equipped to make the necessary repairs.