Smart Home Technology – More Comfortable, Convenient & Secure
Smart home technology promises to make your home more comfortable, convenient and secure. It may not be the home from the Jetson’s, but artificial intelligence is the hope to make it the home of the future which is available now and controlled from anywhere you have an Internet connection.
When Alexa appeared at Christmas-time two years ago, most people thought it was a novelty to ask what the weather will be or to play a song. Few people understood the vision of Amazon, and that you could be verbally purchasing everything imaginable and that your calendar, contacts, lights, and appliances could all be connected.
There are plenty of players in the market including Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Samsung Smart Things, Apple and others. It starts with a hub that acts like a brain for your system to connect the different home automation devices. You establish an online account with the hub manufacturer so that you can adjust settings and controls.
You can start simple with switch and plug receptacles that will allow you to control lights either vocally through your hub or from your Smartphone or tablet anywhere in the world where you have an Internet connection.
Programmable thermostats can lower your monthly utility costs while conveniently regulating your comfort by adjusting temperatures on your heating and cooling systems. These can be particularly effective in homes with zoned systems where you might live in one area during the day but sleep in a different zone.
Door bells with built-in cameras might be one of the next additions to your automation. Not only can you communicate with the person at your door, you do not have to go to the door to do it. The device cameras are motion activated so you can see who is there regardless of whether they rang the doorbell or not.
Door locks can be convenient because instead of giving someone a key, you can issue a temporary code to let them enter. You can give them permanent access and rescind it any time you want without having to change the locks. You know when they enter and leave your home.
Other security options can include door and window sensors, motion detectors and cameras for outside or inside the home. The homeowner is able to monitor from inside or anywhere else they have an Internet connection.
Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, as well as water sensors to determine leaking water around water heaters or in basements can also give homeowners peace of mind.
Most of these devices are available in wireless models so you do not have to string wire throughout the home. The Wi-Fi can introduce a potential problem of hackers who could illegally access your system. This is true with any home that has a Wi-Fi router and normal security precautions should be taken.
The big box stores like Lowes, Home Depot, and Amazon offer a wide variety of brands and modules. Many people prefer it as a do-it-yourself project and others would rather have a professional do it for them.
YouTube has a lot of videos that can probably show you exactly how to install the ones you select. A quick Internet search can open doors to lots of other options including local service providers who offer products and services for DIY to complete turnkey installations.
Just as other home renovations can be worthwhile or not so much, some smart home technology investments make sense while others don’t.