What is a smart home? What does it take to convert your ordinary home into a smart home? Let’s explore some options.
In a smart home, your home appliances, systems, and gadgets can interact with each other and perform specific tasks on their own. A typical smart home system is connected through a mobile phone and a centralized Wi-Fi network. Through it you can control your air conditioners, lighting systems, garden sprinklers, security cameras, home theater, and any other device or appliance that has the ability to be connected to your smart system.
For example, suppose you have installed a smart lighting system that allows you to change the color of your light bulbs and manipulate their luminescence. You control it through Amazon Echo. Your hi-fi system is also connected to Amazon Echo. Through your smart home system, you can instruct your system to change the ambiance of the lighting based on particular songs. You can turn the lighting blue if you’re listening to jazz blues, for instance.
In a smart home, you cannot only automate repeat tasks, but you can also control them from a singular device such as a mobile phone, a tablet, or something like Amazon Echo or Google Home. You can lock your doors without lifting a finger just by voice command. You can switch on and off your security cameras or control their focus based on the time of the day. Your sprinkler can set off automatically if it notes that you have been asleep for more than an hour at night.
The motion detectors of your smart home can detect whether you are present in a room or not and accordingly, switch on or switch off the lights or even the AC or the heater. You can set your water heater to raise or lower the temperature based on the environmental temperature in the bathroom. Connected with your smart watch, the volume of your music system can be increased or decreased based on in which room you are at your home. It can automatically turn the TV off if you have dozed off or if you have left the room and haven’t returned for more than five minutes. This way, a smart home helps you create an energy-efficient home. There are many smart refrigerators that can automatically place an order if you’re running out of milk or bread.
Yes, you can. You may need to invest in some gadgets and opt for fittings and furnishing items that can be connected to a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth device.
The smart devices and gadgets inside your home can be independently smart, or they can be made smart by hooking them onto a central command system like Amazon Echo. A good thing about a device like Amazon Echo or Google Home is that you can issue voice commands and there are practically unlimited commands that you can either use or feed into the smart devices.
To be able to create a truly smart home, you will need devices that can be connected via Wi-Fi or Bluetooth. Even a single light bulb has the capability to connect to your Wi-Fi and respond to either your mobile app or a voice command. For example, if you install a smart bulb and then connect it to the app through the Wi-Fi, you can control the ambiance, the light color, the temperature of the light, or even switch on and off the light bulb. A typical light bulb gives you an option of more than 16 million light shades!
To turn your ordinary home into a truly smart home you first need to figure out what all functions you want to automate or you want to be able to control through voice commands or through a mobile app. The various aspects of your smart home can also be controlled by the IFTTT (if this then that) service.
Here are some standard features and gadgets that can be turned “smart”:
Almost all lighting solutions companies these days provide smart lighting options. With a single mobile app, you can control the lighting system of your entire house. With a dedicated mobile app you can control individual light bulbs, or you can create complex routines so that they can respond to various environmental factors or even based on whether you’re at home or not.
The smart home entertainment system can dim the lights when you are watching your favorite movie. It can even put your phone on silence automatically. Like listening to your favorite songs when you are in the shower? Your shower system, when connected to the smart device that is also connected to your hi-fi system, can automatically raise the volume when you turn on the shower. A multiroom audio system can start playing music or the podcast you are listening to on the speaker placed in the room you are present. This way you don’t have to play blaring music for the entire house.
Smart locks can lock your doors automatically at a set time. The status of your locks can be checked on your mobile device so if you have left home without locking your doors you can lock them remotely after checking the status. You can also control the security cameras remotely provided you have an Internet connection on your mobile phone.
Similarly, no matter where you are in the world, if you have an Internet connection and if your sprinkler system is connected to a smart device, you can turn it on or off from your mobile phone, or automatically at a set time. You can even have a tiny sprinkler system installed in your balcony to water your pots when you are out of station.
The sky’s the limit when you consider gadgets and appliances that can be used to turn your ordinary home into a smart home. You can begin with a single bulb or a single gadget. Gradually you can expand into controllable curtains, the entire lighting system, mopping and sweeping, your microwave and washing machine, and practically every appliance and gadget at home.
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