The idea behind home automation has grown rapidly in the past few years, demonstrating a series of positive effects such as increased accessibility, improved safety standards, efficient use of energy and effective cost management. Here are five simple steps to transform your once-ordinary home into one that is intelligent.
- Buy a smart home assistant
It forms the foundation to help link your everyday devices to one network so you have control over them simultaneously. It acts like a control centre that comes in voice-activated hubs and can be connected to all your electrical appliances for easier communication so you can tell Alexa to turn down your Philips Hue lights or Google Assistant to lock the door with the August Smart Lock.
- Install smart plugs
These should sit in between the power outlet and appliance that can be connected to an app to be switched on and off according to your preference. For example, the WeMo Mini Smart Plug gives you full control of your lights and appliances, with additional features like predetermined on and off times and syncing based on external events all at your fingertips.
- Get a good Wi-Fi router
This will ensure a stable connection to your smart home appliances. A new range of home routers called mesh routers, such as Google Wifi and Samsung Connect Home, are the latest solutions. They are made up of multiple wireless nodes that you can spread out so there will not be any blind spots in your home and have access to smoother and faster Wi-Fi connection in every corner. The disadvantage is that these mesh routers can be costly to purchase, so an alternative – the Netgear AC1750 – is a powerful router option worth considering.
- Equip your home with the smart electrical appliances
Go room to room to figure what you need, from light bulbs to air-conditioners, motion sensors near the windows and doors, down to your home security system. Locks from August or Yale, light bulbs from Philip Hue and fans from Hunter are just some common brands in the market. The choices are countless, so be sure to do sufficient research to verify that your smart appliances complement your smart home system before purchasing.
- Protect your abode by introducing a smart home security system
This is something that will give you piece of mind when you are away on a work trip or vacation. Sensors can be placed at your windows and doors to alert you of any suspicious activity or intrusion and they can be specially configured to the needs of your house. Smart locks can be installed on your door and it will notify you when someone locks and unlocks the door, as well as allow you to create permanent and temporary access schedule for family and friends based on specific hours and days of the week. A smart home is nothing near unachievable in modern times and it can easily be yours too, with just a few tweaks.
This was adapted from an article originally written by Lynette Goh published in the January 2018 issue of SquareRooms. Photo credit: Studio FortyFour.