Imagine if all of the devices in your home connected to the Internet — from lights and heating systems to kitchen appliances and speakers. Imagine if all of those devices could respond to your commands and send you updates when you’re not at home.
You don’t actually have to imagine this — it’s a reality. Wireless home automation using “Internet of Things” (IoT)-based home automation is the technology with the aim of controlling all devices of your smart home through cloud-based computing. This technology is rising in popularity and IoT-based home automation technologies are popping up in homes across the country.
Ease and convenience are what make smart home systems so appealing, and with the ability to connect devices to one another, it’s even easier to manage more home functions. The primary issue people have when considering purchasing smart home devices is the cost. There is no doubt that these technologies are costly, but they will save money and energy in the future – which is important to factor in.
With the help of IoT smart home devices, it becomes easy to reduce energy and costs, all while saving time and increasing the value of your home by making it more technologically advanced. Interested in what smart home devices could work for you? Here is our list of the top five smart home technologies that will help you save time and money.
1. Smart Thermostat
Living in a city like Calgary, we all know how expensive heating and cooling can be. Smart thermostats, like the Nest thermostat, are an amazing option for controlling household temperature and saving on your electrical bill. The Nest thermostat has the ability to connect to Wi-Fi which means you can control your household temperature from your mobile device while you’re away!
2. Smart Outlets
These days, even the modest wall outlet is getting an upgrade! Once this smart outlet from Belkin is plugged into an outlet and connected to your home’s Wi-Fi, you can control it from your smartphone. All you have to do is plug the Wemo Switch Smart Plug into an electrical outlet, plug a device into the Smart Plug, and control your device using the free Wemo app.
When paired with Nest’s smart thermostat, Nest’s “home” and “away” modes can sync with your Wemo Switch for automatic control. The thermostat can tell Wemo when you’re home, so your fan, lights or anything else can turn off to save energy when the house is empty.
3. Smart Lighting
One of the easiest ways to dive into smart home technology is with smart light bulbs. Smart bulbs offer a degree of control and interactivity you just can’t get with traditional bulbs, like scheduled timers and remote control options. They’re also more convenient; it’s easier to tap on a smartphone screen than to get up and trudge over to a light switch.
We recommend the Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb. This smart light is great because it doesn’t require a hub, has multiple colours and ambience options and has the functionality for voice control via Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.
4. Smart Kitchen Appliances
If you love cooking and technology, connected appliances and kitchen devices are the ideal smart technologies for your home. Smart kitchen appliances can automate parts of the cooking process, keep you updated on the progress of your food, or simply make sure you’re following a recipe correctly.
If you’re a coffee lover, there are smart coffee makers that can be synced to your home voice assistant, like Amazon Echo. Simply ask Alexa to start brewing your coffee while you’re still in bed. In the middle of a kitchen renovation and looking for a new fridge? Consider the new Family Hub refrigerator from Samsung. This fridge has a tablet screen built into its door that is accessible from any connected device. You can create and share shopping lists, integrate calendars and schedules and even play your favourite cooking music.
5. Smart Home Hub
After looking through all of these devices, you might feel overwhelmed by all the apps and gadgets you have to monitor and manage. A smart home hub will solve this problem! Smart home automation hubs are your one-stop solution for unifying your connected devices and controlling them from one app, instead of many. When deciding on a smart home hub for you, it’s important that you know what protocol your devices use. The protocol is the method of communication used to control your devices (ex. wired or wireless).
One popular smart home hub is the Echo, powered by Amazon’s voice assistant, Alexa. Alexa works with a number of smart home devices directly. It’ll take some work, but you can use Alexa to control most of the gadgets in your house by the sound of your voice.
The future of home improvement and home renovations is SMART. These smart home technologies will improve your home whether you incorporate them into your current home, or as part of your next home renovation.