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it's an internet thing! est 1999
How to build the perfect ‘smart-home’ for 2020
Looking for ways to modernise the look and feel of your home, and future-proof it going forward?
22:16 06 December 2019
Here are a few quick ideas on ways to build the perfect smart home for 2020.
What is a ‘smart-home’?
Before we dive into some different recommendations, here’s a bit more information on the concept of the smart home for the uninitiated:
- The phrase ‘smart home’ refers to a to home that’s appliances have the ability to interact with each other and are typically controllable from one source.
- The ‘internet of things’ is another phrase that largely refers to the same thing, referencing the network and connectivity between the different devices. It’s through this new level of connectivity that people can do things like asking their smart speakers to turn on their central heating or controlling multiple devices through one central remote.
Choosing a smart assistant
One of the best ways to start building a smart environment within your home is to get yourself a smart assistant. These are the voice-controlled artificial intelligence programs that inhabit smart speakers such as the Amazon Echo, or Google Home Hub, and act as the hub that forms the basis of your smart home, linking in with each device and connecting them together. These sorts of devices are hugely popular and are expected to skyrocket in sales and awareness in the years to come. They’re easy to use, affordable, and a must if you’re serious about the smart home.
Tip – Depending on which device you decide to go with in the home, be it the Google Assistant or Amazon Alexa, for example, certain devices will and won’t be compatible. Check the compatibility requirements and specs on each new product before you buy them, and if you’re buying a new smart hub, see which of your existing devices will work with it best.
Smart home technology is great for accessibility and ease of use, or making your home look cool and stylish, but one of the other benefits is that it can actually help to slightly improve your homes’ eco-friendliness and energy efficiency, perhaps even saving you a bit of money in the process. Smart lighting, for example, in products such as the Phillips hue range, not only uses LED lightbulbs which are more energy efficient than traditional filament bulbs, but also can be set to turn on automatically, via voice control, and as alarms/timers.
Did you know? City homes and apartment buildings in general are among the first to adopt new technology and have these sorts of features pre-built into their designs, in preparation for the future. Take a look at buy to let company RWinvest and their different city properties for examples of these modern homes.
Smart thermostats and heating are another great feature of the smart home, again making it easier to control your home at the touch of a button, but also helping you to become more in tune with the inner workings of your house. By connecting them up to your phone you can set timers based around your daily schedule, only using your energy as and when it is needed. You can even control your heating when out of the house, turning it on in preparation for when you get home on a cold winter night, or turning it off on the way to work if you forgot to in the morning. Overall, it’s a lot more efficient.
Tip – If you’re interested in gaining more insight into where you’re spending your money the home, take a look at smart meters when you get the chance. The jury’s out on whether these devices are better or worse for your monthly energy bills, and they can’t really save you any money of their own accord, but at the very least they’re a great way of monitoring where you’re using (and potentially wasting) the most energy each day.