By Jonathan Deesing
Have you ever wondered what goes on at your home while you’re at work all day? Or wished you could remember whether you turned out the light before you left in the morning? If you’ve got a busy schedule that keeps you out of the house, it’s easy to feel out of touch with the security and well-being of your humble abode.
That’s why hooking up your home to your smartphone is the best decision you can make. It’s an easy and convenient way to ensure everything is in order, even when you can’t physically check in. But that’s just the beginning of the benefits. With the right tech, your smartphone can become a remote control for all types of home technology.
Single-Feature or Whole-Home Control—All Through Your Phone
There are plenty of smart home brands and systems that can give you easy mobile control. Some are designed to help you manage one specific product or function—the Philips Hue and its companion app help users manage lighting, while WeMo gives users control over smart outlets. Other systems, like ADT Pulse or Vivint Smart Home Security, offer more universal control, incorporating everything from alarms and cameras to thermostats and locks.
Whether you choose to start small with just one smart gadget or go big with a full-on security system with automation, mobile-connected smart technology comes with a lot of big benefits.
The Perks of Smartphone-Compatible Home Automation
If you haven’t thought of controlling your home through your smartphone before, here are seven ways you can use smart home technology to make your life easier.
- Locking the door from your office: This feature was made for anyone who has ever pulled out of the driveway wondering if they remembered to lock the door. With a smart lock, you can lock the door no matter where you are. Plus, you’ll never have to leave a key under the mat again. When you’re on vacation, you can let the neighbor in to feed your cat—even if you’re lounging on a beach halfway around the world.
- Closing the garage door after you’re long gone: Remote controls for garage doors are nothing new, but the same technology that allows you to lock the front door from across town can upgrade your garage door control range far beyond the driveway. Some apps also alert you if the door was left open or if someone tries to open it. And, if you opt for a smart garage opener that integrates with security cameras, you can take a peek and find out what’s really going on anytime someone triggers the door.
- Heating up or cooling down your home before you arrive: There’s nothing better than walking into a home that’s set at just the right temperature. Whether you’re coming in from the heat or escaping a snowstorm, your home can always be heated or cooled for maximum comfort with a smart thermostat. Just adjust the thermostat from your phone before you even start your commute, and you can make sure your home is heated up or cooled down as soon as you arrive.
- Turning on the lights from your car: Walking into a dark house—or across a slippery porch—can be hazardous to your health. Never fear the dark again with a smart lighting system that lets you turn on the lights before you even reach your street. And, best of all, it works in reverse, too. If you left the lights on in the morning flurry, you won’t have to waste energy all day—simply turn them off with a quick swipe of your phone.
- Checking out what the kids and pets are up to: With a smart home app or mobile-connected security system that includes cameras, you’ll be able to check in on the kids every day after school. No more worries about homework or healthy snacks when you can watch what’s going on right from your phone. Even if you don’t have kids, you can use remote viewing to make sure your four-legged family members are doing alright and staying out of trouble when you’re away.
- Seeing who’s at the door no matter where you are: Whether you’re giving the baby a bath, fixing dinner, or sitting in a meeting at the office, a smart doorbell lets you see and talk to anyone who knocks on your door—all through an app. You can let delivery people know where to leave a package or confirm that your front porch visitor is a friend before remotely unlocking the door to let them in.
- Staying on top of smoke and carbon monoxide levels: Smoke and carbon monoxide alarms are important and save lives; smart detectors take that safety one step further. A smart detector system that sends you mobile alerts and updates about smoke and carbon monoxide levels lets you relax. And, if something goes wrong, you can contact help immediately.
When you can’t be at home all the time, remote access through your smartphone is the next best thing. It’s time to take a look at how this modern convenience can make your life more convenient and more secure. Check out your options for security and automation, and upgrade your life and home in 2017.