Smart homes are rapidly gaining popularity. Being able to control numerous features of your home even while you are away is not only convenient, but it can increase security. There are all kinds of ways to turn your home into a smart home. Some are a little more expensive than others. The following five home automation steps can help you get started.
1. Controlling your appliances from your smartphone.
You can invest in new appliances that have this feature or you can replace electrical devices such as sockets or plugs with a smart version. A smart power strip is another option. It is as simple as plugging it in and connecting your devices or appliances. Each plug in the power strip works independently. Android and Apple are supported by the power strip and you can control these devices from anywhere. You can turn any appliance on or off, get notifications when a television, computer, or other device is turned on, monitor carbon monoxide levels, and more.
2. Know how to control the security system.
Although most people have security systems in place, it is very beneficial to be able to control them from anywhere. When automated access is used you can limit access to certain areas of the home such as your office. In addition, your phone can notify you in the event of a problem even when you are not home. Cameras can be used so that you can see every room in your home from your smartphone. Outdoor cameras will allow you to see who has been on your property when you are at work or elsewhere.
Related: Smart Home Revolution: 7 Ways to Take Control with Your Smartphone
3. Save energy by adding your heating and cooling to an automation system.
If you are gone all day and want to keep heating or cooling costs down, you simply lower or raise the temperature setting. Then you can put it on a comfortable level a half hour or so before you will arrive home. This gives the home time to warm up or cool down before you get home, so you are not heating or cooling an empty house. You can also control blinds with this system allowing sunlight in for your plants and helping to warm the home during the winter.
4. Learn how to communicate with your home.
You can control your home using technology similar to what is used when you talk to your smart phone to tell it to dial numbers or look up information. Microphones and a software program which is put on your computer are the simplest way to set up your home to respond to voice commands. The system is set up to recognize words or a phrase to perform virtually anything from turning on or dimming lights to opening drapes, turning on music, enabling or disabling alarms, and more. If you want to know what the weather is like before going out, simply ask. The systems can be set up to answer questions as well. There are many systems to choose from and with advances in technology they are doing more and becoming less expensive.
5. Install a home theater system.
An automated home theater system will provide you with the feel of a movie theater in your home. Movies, videos, music, and more can be streamed throughout your home and even in outdoor areas used for entertaining. An app for your smartphone is simple to use to control all of this and more. Control the lighting for optimal viewing of movies. The sound can be adjusted providing you with surround sound that is more like what is experienced in movie theaters.
These are just a few of the ways of making your home smart. Not only does an automated system in your home provide convenience and comfort, but it will also give you peace of mind.
Tablets (old and cheap new ones) offer a simple way to get started with a smart home. By installing free apps (i am using WhizScreen) you can build an always on screen that can be used as a picture frame or digital clock but the best part is that the screen can change based on automation rules (simple or complex). For example a “greeting” message can be displayed to someone that enters your house uninvited, or you can simply send a message to your screen from your phone (that what im doing when my wife does not pickup the phone when im calling her).
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