The future's smart
Our homes are getting a lot smarter, and with that comes the opportunity for a (slightly) easier life. As society becomes ever savvier and demands more from the everyday, technology is evolving to match changing needs, with the ability to control your lights, thermostat, appliances and more at the touch of a button now a common feature in many homes.
Smart home technology is available to suit most needs and budgets, with devices and software connecting everything together to allow homeowners to create something personalised to their lifestyle. We’ve gathered some information on the latest smart home tech to help you to build up your own smart home experience.
Start With A Speaker
Some of the better voice-controlled speakers on the market can act as a smart home control hub for your various devices, with everything available by voice command.
The best smart speakers available at the moment are the Echo or Echo Dot by Amazon. The retail giant have been hailed for the vast range of compatible devices, including Phillips Hue lightbulbs, TP Link plugs and Nest thermostats.
Google Home, the technology mogul’s equivalent smart speaker, is fast becoming a worthy rival of the Echo as the list of compatible devices and capabilities of the speaker is growing.
The benefit of having a smart speaker is that all your smart home devices can be controlled – by voice – from one central ‘hub’ rather than having to use individual apps on your phone or tablet.
Light Up Your Smart Home
Smart bulbs are a great way to start turning your home smart. They’re relatively inexpensive and can actually help you to save energy, therefore paying for themselves. You just need to purchase a small hub which plugs into a wall socket and connects to your router via ethernet connection, then you can add up to 50 smart bulbs. Or if you have a smart speaker, some bulbs connect directly to it, eliminating the need for this separate hub.
You can buy smart bulbs from most retailers in the same aisle as normal bulbs, or you can find them online. Be sure to check that the bulbs you choose will fit the lamps or light fittings that you want them for and don’t exceed the maximum wattage, and also check they’re compatible with your hub or smart speaker.
A popular brand of smart bulb is Philips Hue as it’s compatible with most popular smart hubs and speakers, and offers a variety of bulb options including dimmable and colour changing ones.
Your smart home can also be an even more secure home with the help of smart locks, doorbells and alarm systems that connect up to your mobile and smart home devices. Smart doorbells like Ring can be used to alert you when someone comes to your home while you’re out, and the built in-camera feed displays straight to your mobile. You can also speak through the bell with the two-way audio feature, giving delivery drivers instructions on where to leave a parcel or giving a thief the impression that you’re on your way to the door right away.
Smart locks can also be used to keep unwanted intruders out and let welcome visitors in all at the touch of a button, or by saying a pin code out loud when you sync the lock with a smart speaker. Some smart security cameras can be synced with your smart home hubs and devices, and allow you to monitor the inside and outside of your home and replay footage from the day.
These are just some of the many ways to create a home that is intelligent and works with yours and your family’s lifestyles. Technology is constantly evolving and it is an exciting time to be a homeowner with the possibilities available.