Setting up a smart home may not be as easy as it sounds. It involves making smart choices when picking out the right products, understanding how voice assistants work, and getting familiar with different ways devices connect to each other. But once you overcome these challenges, you’ll discover the amazing benefits of having a smart home. This blog will guide you on how to set up a smart home even for beginners.
Imagine this: whether you own or rent your home, a smart home brings incredible convenience. Just think about unlocking your front door effortlessly with your smartphone. As you walk in, the lights automatically turn on, and you can even ask your virtual assistant to make you a cup of coffee. Even when you’re not home, your house stays efficient and safe. A robot vacuum cleans the floors, while a smart thermostat adjusts the temperature or AC to save energy and money. You can even keep an eye on your home with indoor and outdoor cameras, giving you peace of mind.
Luckily, setting up and managing smart devices has become easier than ever. There are plenty of products you can buy off the shelf, making your dream of a smart home achievable. So, let’s dive into how you can start your journey towards a smart and connected living space.
How to Set Up a Smart Home: Get in Control
Many smart home devices can be controlled directly by Wi-Fi using a mobile app. You can connect a product to your home Wi-Fi network, download an app, and then go on your way.
Some devices use more generic wireless protocols such as Zigbee or Z-Wave to communicate with a Hub. A Hub allows you to control all your smart home devices from one place, instead of having separate apps for light bulbs and thermostats.
Not all platforms are universal and open. Building a smart home can be overwhelming with so many products and ecosystems. As with any project, it helps to break the process into smaller chunks. Start with just one or two gadgets.
You might like the idea that you can turn on your lights using your voice, or unlock your door with your phone. You can find the perfect device for your needs if you focus on specific features. Choose products that are compatible with multiple standards, and at least your first few, so you can start building your smart home without having to worry about future conflicts.
Voice Control: A First Place to Start
Voice assistants enable easy control of your gadgets through voice commands, provided that the gadgets support voice control.
Smart speakers are the best way to have voice control at home. You can choose from popular voice assistants like Amazon Alexa or Apple Siri. Amazon’s diverse range of Echo speakers offers the most options, followed by Google’s Nest speakers and Apple’s HomePod mini. There are also third-party speakers that support Alexa, Google Assistant, and Siri. Siri is only available on the HomePod.
If your smart home device supports the voice assistant, you can connect it to one of these speakers and use supported commands such as “turn off all lights before going to bed” to activate the action.
Consider a Smart Display if you’re looking for a voice assistant with smart home controls at your fingertips. These devices are similar to smart speakers. They can play audio and support voice commands but also feature a touchscreen that allows you to control different smart home devices. Some compatible video doorbells and home security cameras can send video directly to the screen.
Apple does not offer smart displays. However, Amazon Echo Show models and Google Nest models are available in different sizes to suit your needs.
Use Smart Plugs to Automate Your Old Tech
Be sure to use a Smart Plug before you buy dedicated smart home devices. You can easily turn ordinary devices like lamps, coffee makers, and fans into smart devices you can control from your phone. Plug them into an outlet, install the app, and connect any non-smart devices. You can now use a smart outlet to add functionality that’s not already available. For example, you cannot make white light bulbs change color. You can set them to turn off and on at specific times.
Some smart plugs can be controlled by voice and will even show you the amount of power used over a certain period. Some models have weather resistance ratings, making them ideal for outdoor areas such as patios or decks. Many plugs are compatible with other smart devices. For example, you can set a light to come on when a security camera detects movement.
Replace Your Old Bulbs With Brighter Ones
Smart bulbs allow you to control individual or groups of light. You can control the brightness, color temperature, and color of the lights from your smartphone. This allows you to create the perfect setting for reading, watching movies, or relaxing. You can set them up to turn on or off automatically based on a variety of factors. They are just as easy to set up as normal light bulbs.
Consider a smart wall-mounted switch instead if you don’t like the idea of bulbs. It will allow you to control your existing lighting fixtures. This type of switch requires high-voltage wiring to install. Hire a professional if you are not comfortable working with high-voltage electrical wiring.
Keep Your Home Comfortable with a Smart Thermostat
Smart thermostats allow you to control your air conditioner and/or heater from your smartphone. They automatically adjust the temperature depending on the time, location, and status of connected devices. Some models utilize remote room sensors for uniform heating and cooling in your home. Installing smart thermostats is generally simple, but requires working with low-voltage wiring (and in most cases some light drilling).
Step Up Your Home Security
Smart Locks allow you to lock and unlock your doors from your phone. Most of them also let you manage the permanent or temporary access for family members, friends, and employees. Some smart locks let you lock and unlock your door using voice commands. Others allow fingerprint access. The majority of smart locks come in complete sets and are easy to install. However, a few models only require that you replace one interior component.
Smart Doorbells allow you to see who is at your door and to speak with them before you open it to potential danger. You can view the feeds from your smart display or phone. Some pair with cameras made by their parent companies and let you create a system of devices that can detect motion and send alerts and recordings. Some models require low-voltage wiring. However, battery-operated doorbells can be installed in just minutes and don’t need any wiring.
Indoor or outdoor security cameras allow you to monitor activity around your home. They use sensors that detect and record video of sound and motion events. Indoor cameras can be motorized to give a 360-degree perspective of the room. They also offer the option to save recordings locally or in the cloud.
Outdoor cameras can withstand harsh weather conditions and come with LED floodlights to illuminate driveways and yards. However, you will need to install wiring. You can also choose a wireless outdoor security camera that is easier to install.
DIY vs Done-for-You
If you’re looking for something simple like a doorbell camera, some exterior lighting or a basic home automation set-up, researching good products and reading the manuals can usually help you get that done with some elbow grease.
If you want a complete home security system that includes home automation, door and window sensors, cameras and monitoring, and even reinforced hinges, locks, and doors, along with a full professional security contingency plan and installation, you’ll need to contact a full-service Security company such as SafeHouse Security Consultants.
Smart Homes Are Still Getting Smarter
As smart home technology continues to evolve, it’s important to remember that even the most advanced devices may have limitations. While there isn’t a single app or device that can do it all, the goal of a smart home is to simplify your life, not complicate it further. Instead of obsessing over creating a flawless, long-lasting system, focus on identifying the challenges you face in your daily routine and finding solutions that work for you.
If you’re ready to take your smart home security to the next level, let SafeHouse Security Consultants be your trusted partner. Our team of experts is dedicated to providing tailored solutions that fit your specific needs. Contact us today to schedule a consultation and discover how we can help you create a smarter, safer home.