A beginner’s guide to the smart home
Smart home (noun): A home equipped with lighting, heating and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by smartphone or computer.
How smart is your home? Once upon a time, we got quite excited at the thought of being able to change the TV channel without getting up from the couch. These days pretty much all our electrical devices have the potential to communicate with us (and each other. That is the reality of the connected – or smart – home.
There are lots of things to love about the smart home. Saving time is the big one – freeing up your spare time to do something more meaningful than chores. Home security is easy to monitor, even when you’re away. Saving money is also a draw; you can schedule appliances and lights to work only as necessary. And there’s a positive impact for the environment, too. Want to water the vegie patch? Hook up a sprinkler system that checks the weather for rain and responds accordingly. It will monitor the moisture in the air and the ground and won’t water unless your plants need it.
The average Australian home already has between 10 and 20 internet connected devices and that number skews higher in highly populated such as the inner west. By 2021 it’s expected there will be an average of 30 connected devices per person on the planet – phones, laptops, tablets, home appliances, lights and temperature controls all working harmoniously through your home wireless network. You can cycle home from work, knowing that the washing is done, the music is queued, the fish have been fed and the barbecue is fired up ready for dinner.
All you need is a smart home starter kit or voice assistant (Amazon Alexa, Google Home etc), and all compatible things will be linked and you can control them from an app. Over time some systems even learn your habits and anticipate them. Here are some of the most popular elements of a smart home.
- Lights and appliances can be turned on or off from your mobile device. If you have LED lights you can program the colour and brightness, too.
- Security cameras will track your home’s exterior (even in the dark) and motion sensors will send an alert if disturbed.
- Have a thermostat? You can cue heating or lighting before you get home.
- Door locks and garage doors can open automatically – handy if you have a trusted delivery service and you’re not home.
- Smart smoke detectors are able to identify the exact source and location of smoke or fire.
The good news for homeowners is that if you take time to install smart technology, the investment will be reflected in the sale price of your home, with some estimates adding up to 11 per cent.
For more advice on selling your home, give us a call. We’re here to help.
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