Promising to bring convenience, a smart home is a new way of living that in years to come will probably be the norm. As yet, there are many competing technologies and brands but with many of the gizmos and gadgets within reach, it is possible to turn your home into a smart home. And here’s how…
CONTROL THE HEATING
A smart thermostat is more than a piece of kit that allows you to turn the heating down without moving from the sofa. This piece of kit, when combined with the app, makes for a fantastic money-saving device. Top end models can sense when no one is home, automatically turning down the heat. Some know when you arrive home (via sensors) and other thermostats track your movements via GPS app on your phone. They also monitor energy use and when used in conjunction with efficient heating systems, can lead to fairly substantial savings on heating bills. Most smart thermostats need to be installed by a qualified engineer, and you will need a modern boiler but work with central heating as well as the many underfloor heating kits coming to the market.
CONTROL THE LIGHTS
Imagine your bedroom light fading gently as you nod off, or all the lights in the home switching off when you leave the house… there are all kinds of ways that you can control the lighting in your home with smart technology. Smart lightbulbs complete with app are great for programming when lights come on and go off but with hubs and assistants such as Google Home, you can also have voice commands over lights in your home (as well as heating etc.)But it is more than just lights flicking on and off. There are apps that allow for the living room lights, for example, to switch to TV mode or movie mode, as well as sensors that detect when someone is at the door and so on. The great thing about smart technology is that it not only saves money but makes your home safer for everyone to enjoy. For example, you can programme the lights to flash when someone is at the door or the phone rings etc. great for people who are hard of hearing.
CCTV is nothing new, but the tentacles of the digital age have added even more to monitoring the security of your home…
- CCTV in doorbells – the intercom system is nothing new as is having a camera at the front door to see who is calling but the Ring doorbell allows you to see who is at your door even when not at home. And you can connect to have a chat with them whilst they are stood there too. You can also pay a small monthly fee to have all the ‘video’ recorded and stored in your own cloud folder, perfect for when you need to examine the footage.
- Door sensors – these are not just to monitor when doors are open and closed, either. Some models have temperature sensors which alert you via an app on your phone when the door needs closing. Clever pieces of kit, they detect movement and temperature, as well as vibrations on the door. If someone so much as taps it, it registers it and lets you know someone is there.
Smoke and carbon detectors are a must for any home and again, with the tentacles of digital technology having reached them, you are now even safer in your home. Nest Protect from Google, for example, is a smoke and carbon monoxide detector combined. Giving off two different sounds, it will alert you with a piercing alarm when you need to evacuate. It also detects problems, communicating these to the app on your phone when it needs attention.
This in itself would be enough, but the gadget is also equipped with a sensor so if it detects movements when it is completely dark, it switches on a small, but powerful light. As with all alarms, unless it is hard-wired to the mains electricity, you need to keep an eye on battery level – the app helps – and it also has a ‘steam feature’, handy for when the alarm is unavoidably fixed close to a bathroom door.
A smart home is one that is more secure, more comfortable and safer. Some technology such as smart thermostats from the biggest technology brands, save you money too. Better still, it is easy and simple to set up, a worthwhile investment for your home.
Smart thermostats are just one of the additions to underfloor heating that the expert team at Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies suggest for better control and efficiency. And with their know-how and experience, why not take a closer look? And thanks to Underfloor Heating Trade Supplies for collaborating with me on this post.