Home automation is no longer a sci-fi vision of the future; it’s finally here, and the good news is that it’s practical, simple to use, and a little smarter than you may think.
It might be intimidating, especially for people who are less tech-savvy, whether you’re seeking ideas for your home office or designing a fully digital house with smartphone-controlled lights, and voice-activated thermostats.
The hardest aspect can be deciding where to begin, but luck is on your side, as we’re here to make it all easy for you!
Choose an Internet Service
Your Wi-Fi network will be critical to your smart home’s connectivity. You’ll need a fast and dependable internet connection to keep things functioning smoothly. Fortunately, we provide internet suggestions at Reviews.org. If you’re not sure whether your current service will suffice, look up internet plans for home to see what’s available right now.
For a small family with average smart home use, 100 Mbps is recommended, 300–500 Mbps for a medium-to-large family with normal smart home use, and 940–1,000 Mbps for smart home power users, according to Internet experts.
Choose a Hub and an Ecosystem
Decide which ecosystem works best for you before you start looking for products. Third-party gadgets frequently support many standards, but sticking to one major ecosystem will make things smoother.
As your smart home grows, you’ll undoubtedly want to consider acquiring a hub so you can connect all of your gadgets. The most popular solutions are the Wink Hub 2 and Samsung SmartThings Hub. SmartThings is far more powerful behind the hood if you prefer to tinker, while Wink has a simpler, easier-to-use interface.
Choose a Virtual Assistant
This is a great place to start, because smart speakers can control other smart devices using simple voice commands. There are various popular smart speakers on the market, each with its unique set of advantages.
Each speaker responds to your commands and can be programmed to control a variety of home systems, including lighting, thermostats, and security cameras. The devices are useful not only within the four walls, but also for organizing personal and family schedules. The speakers can help you create, update, and remember events on your calendar, track your work commute, and walk you through recipes step by step.
Download The Apps
The majority of smart home apps are either free to download, or come pre-installed on your smartphone’s operating system. The Home app is pre-installed on iPhones and other Apple devices. Apple HomeKit-compatible smart home gadgets, such as the Apple Homepod smart speaker, employ this protocol. However, you can also get the apps listed below to use as a smart home hub. Except for Apple’s Home app, all of these apps are available on Android devices such as Samsung Galaxy smartphones.
Even if the speaker comes with a separate app for customizing the speaker’s settings, most smart speakers will use one of the following applications to operate smart home capabilities.
Grow Your Smart Home
As your smart home expands, you’ll inevitably need to discover workarounds to get specific devices to communicate with one another, such as using apps like IFTTT and Stringify to construct inter-device automation (like “When I unlock the door after 6 PM, turn on the lights”).
Furthermore, the environment is always evolving. For example, Amazon Key is a new service that allows you to control your smart lock from your phone—but only with ZigBee smart locks.
You’re out of luck if you have a different type of lock. If you can’t discover a workaround for a new service, there’s no guilt in ditching the incompatible equipment and replacing it with one that better suits your needs.
One of the advantages of home automation, is the ability to create your own security system that works in conjunction with other devices. This, like other smart home devices, needs a stable internet connection. Your security base should come with instructions on how to register an account and connect it to the internet.
Peel-and-stick equipment is found in several DIY systems, including SimpliSafe, Abode, and Ring. You’ll never need a hammer or screws, and you can remove the equipment without damaging the walls if you’re renting or selling your home. However, there is still a lot of home security equipment that has to be drilled or placed. If you’re not handy, you might want to enlist the help of a friend or hire a professional.
We arranged smart home components in the order in which we believe most people would install them, but there is no hard and fast rule. If you think a smart smoke alarm is more important than smart lighting, go ahead and install one.
If you think you’ll want to invest in a smart home hub to bring all of these devices together in one place, be sure everything you buy will work with one of the most popular hubs.