03 Mar Home Automation Devices Can Save You Time & Money
Not long ago, to most people, the notion of a “smart home” felt like something straight out of a sci-fi movie. Even now, home automation devices may still feel a bit futuristic and out-of-reach to the everyday home owner, but as usage increases and technology improves, it’s clear that the smart home is here to stay and the devices used to power them are becoming more affordable and user-friendly.
Home automation devices (also called smart devices) are used to automate certain functions of home appliances or utilities. Most devices are connected to and managed by your smartphone and work with your routines. For example, if you turn the heat down when you leave for work in the winter and then turn it back up when you get home, this can be automated with a smart device. If you listen to the news and check the weather while you make breakfast, your automation device can start this up at the same time every day.
But where to start and how to get the biggest bang for your buck?
First, you consider your personal lifestyle and needs. Do you have a consistent work schedule and routine that requires you to commute every weekday? Are you out of town a lot and need more security and around your home? Do you have a lounge space in your home where you spend a lot of time and want to customize the lights and sound? Make a list of areas or zones in your home and what you do there consistently on a regular basis that could be “outsourced” to a device.
Now that you have a sense of what would make your life easier and areas where you could save money with automation, you can look at the specific options available. Keep in mind that as with most technology, options change rapidly. And don’t forget to check the specifications, especially whether or not a device works with Apple or Android products.
Here are some of the most popular and accessible aspects of your home that can be easily automated in most homes.
Thermostat management – these devices control the thermostat in your home to keep it at the temperature you want at various times of day and through different seasons. They are sleek and don’t detract from your home decor.
Google and Amazon voice controlled devices – these devices are viewed more as control centers or hubs for a variety of tasks and are voice controlled. You can use them to control media in various areas of your home, connect with smart bulbs to manage the lights with your voice, or ask certain questions to get information about topics of interest.
Curb energy monitoring allows you to passively manage energy consumption. They are devices that are installed in your breaker system that will monitor your energy use and provide information. It helps you make smart decisions and control your energy use. If you’re looking to use something that saves you money, this is a great system to look at.
Home security – there are many options available for home security based on your needs and layout of your home and usually involve simple installation of cameras.
Light control – you can control lights in your home by connecting a standard light to a smart plug or by installing smart bulbs which can either be controlled via voice command using an Amazon or Google device or via app (or both). Most bulbs allow you to turn them off and on, control the brightness, and often even the color.
Home entertainment remote management – if you’re not a fan of voice activated tools to manage your entertainment options, there are other options available that give you control using your phone and bluetooth hubs around your home.
Outlet switches or smart plugs are one of the easiest ways to automate your home. These connect to an app on your phone allowing you to control when the outlet is “on”, thus controlling anything that is plugged into that outlet.
Smart homes are not just the homes of the future providing entertainment value. They can give you peace of mind and save you time and money.