Dummies Guide to Smart Homes

What is a smart home?

A smart home, or one with home automation, is a home which can be fully or partly controlled using WIFI and remote monitoring. Most components of the home can be controlled via apps or software on the homeowner’s smart device, making life simple and easy. Some of the things which can be controlled at the touch of a button include:

  • The home’s interior climate, including heating, cooling, and humidity control.
  • Lighting – you could turn lights on throughout your house before arriving home at night so you don’t have to enter in the dark. This is also good to give the illusion people are home when you are not there.
  • Security – monitor and control your alarm systems from the comfort of your bed or couch using your smart device.
  • Home appliances including, but not limited to, ovens and microwaves, washing machines and dryers, refrigerators, and freezers. Imagine being able to control all of these things from your phone or tablet. Turn the oven on an hour before you get home so that you can walk in the door to a hot meal.

Why should you turn your house into a smart home?

The first question is why shouldn’t you? A smart home will make your life so much more convenient, so much easier, and will allow you to live in comfort and save time. Some of the main benefits of automating your home include:

  • The ability to lock and unlock your doors at the touch of a button from anywhere in the world. Your home has never been so secure.
  • You will be able to control your lights from anywhere, allowing you to save electricity and therefore money. You can also program your lights to turn on a certain times of day, turn off when you leave home, or wake you up in the morning.
  • If water or gas leaks begin anywhere in your home, you will receive an instant alert directly to your smartphone, allowing you to get on top of the problem before it becomes too big.

What are the problems with smart homes?

There are a number of things which are of concern when it comes to smart homes. The first main concern is that an integrated WIFI network could be vulnerable to hacking by criminals or cyber thieves. The second is that home automation technology is still very primitive and subject to change. There are a large number of different, incompatible platforms which could easily shut down, rendering your smart home ‘dumb’ again.