Many tasks that previously required human intervention have been made easier thanks to automated smart home technology. But what is smart home technology and what can it do for you? Guest author, Matt Powell, from Broadband Genie lists a few ways in which smart home technology will help change lives for the better in 2016.
Saving money, not just time
Smart home technology is all about the automation or management of your home and daily life. This could be anything from lights that can be controlled remotely or on a schedule, to connected home entertainment systems for streaming media to multiple screens, or added features to enhance your home security.
To some, smart home technology might seem like an appealing concept for gadget-gurus. But in reality, a big selling point of smart home technology is that it can actually save money, in addition to making life more convenient.
For instance, a great way to save energy and reap some monetary benefits on your bill is by utilizing a smart thermostat. Rather than simply operating from a timer or standard temperature setups, a smart thermostat has adaptive scheduling and pre-sets which are programmed to match your life and always keep your home comfortable. They can even be controlled from your phone—or even from your wrist—while you are away.
Smart lighting control is also a great way to save money. This can be as simple as motion sensors tied that turn off all lights in rooms that have been unoccupied for a certain amount of time, to lighting pre-sets that never turn lights on at more than 75% brightness, thus extending bulb life and using far less electricity.
Smarter home security
In addition to making your energy usage more efficient, smart home technology is enormously beneficial for home security. Smart lighting can activate in patterns while you are away from home, making it appear that your home is occupied. Blinds and video entertainment can also join in on the fun, giving the house and even more lived-in feel.
For surveillance, indoor and outdoor cameras can be viewed remotely from a smartphone for live monitoring. You can even receive alerts when movement is detected.
Door locks can be made smart, too. Companies like Yale, Kwikset, and Baldwin offer locks with keyless entry and integration with your smart home. They provide a greater level of access control—so you can, for instance, set a limited use entry code for visitors coming to your home when you’re not there. You can even remotely unlock your door if you need to grant access for a delivery, and lock it right back up again.
It’s good to talk
A key aspect of any smart home is how well it integrates with other products or systems in the home. Control4 does this better than any other home automation company because of their focus on interoperability. There’s a growing amount of very cheap DIY smart home hardware, but you’ll find that anything which lacks support for a wider ecosystem of smart home technology is going to become quickly outdated, and oftentimes is much harder to install than you’d think. Not to mention that the plug-and-play devices do not work over one platform, often requiring multiple apps and devices to use each.