The way we interact with our homes is changing. That’s good news for anyone who’s ever forgotten their keys or come back from vacation only to find they left the air conditioning running at full power. Thanks to the expanding reach of wireless technology, the Internet of Things (IoT) and biometrics, we can now upgrade to smart homes without difficulty.
How to Make Your Home a Smart Home: What Is a Smart Home?
A smart home differs from a conventional home in that its devices are connected over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or other wireless network protocols, allowing you to manage and automate them remotely. The house is “smart” in the sense that it doesn’t need the homeowner to manually operate each function. Instead, the devices themselves learn from and optimize their performance based on the data they collect.
Each year, more homeowners are choosing to make their homes smart homes. The market is already worth $31 billion, and by 2026 almost 85 million users in the United States will be operating a smart home.
Creating a smart home is a home improvement idea that pays dividends once you’ve covered the initial installation cost. Typically, you’ll be able to automate the following systems:
- Heating/climate control
Automation reduces operating costs and energy consumption and improves efficiency. With smart devices, you aren’t heating or cooling empty rooms, leaving lights on unnecessarily, or letting devices run by accident.
Components of a Smart Home
To set up a smart home in which all your devices can efficiently communicate, you’ll need the following:
- A smart home automation system or “smart hub.” This includes both the network (eg. Wi-Fi) that facilitates traffic and the command center or dashboard that allows you to integrate each device. Ideally, you want a platform that works with manual inputs (i.e. from a keypad, tablet or smartphone), as well as voice assistants, such as Alexa.
- A Smart home app. From a single smartphone, you can view, edit and activate/deactivate the behavior of any device connected to your smart home system. You can also add authorized users and personalized settings according to each occupant while viewing tracked data for each device.
- Connected devices. Over Bluetooth, Wi-Fi or other wireless network protocols, you can add a wide range of devices to your smart home system and restrict unauthorized access behind a secure firewall.
Where should you start with your smart home system? The priority areas are usually surveillance, lighting and climate control.
Smart technology allows homeowners to move away from static, wired alarm systems operated by a third party towards proactive surveillance systems that are discreet, autonomous and more difficult for intruders to spot.
You can choose to install a single-purpose, standalone surveillance system (indoor or outdoor cameras), or upgrade to a smarter combination of both camera and lock like the Lockly Vision video doorbell smart lock. In that way, you’re not just using cameras to watch what’s going on around your property, you’re also using devices to actively monitor and record. If you spot unusual activity, you can respond immediately, wherever you are.
By installing a smart lighting system, you no longer have to enter each room in the house to switch lights on or off. You can either set lights to turn on at a certain time or trigger them only when there is an occupant in the room or on your porch, for example.
Moreover, you can personalize light settings for each occupant or room. If you want to switch to low-level lighting before bedtime or select spot lighting for reading, you can do so without having to move. Integrate your smart lighting with a voice assistant and you can activate lights with a spoken command or clap of your hands, meaning that you’re never far from the light switch.
With utility bills soaring, creating an energy-efficient home is a priority. Switching to sustainable or renewable sources of energy is only one part of the equation. You also need to consider smart heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) systems.
With a smart thermostat, you can set a target environment for each room and let the system take care of the rest. You don’t have to fiddle with a thermostat, heat or cool the whole house or leave systems running for any longer than necessary.
As with smart lighting, you can also personalize your climate control for each user, so your home is set to the most comfortable temperature for whomever is in the room at a given time.
Smart Locks and Home Security
Smart locks are revolutionizing how to make your home a smart home. At Lockly, we’re proud to be driving innovation with the world’s most advanced smart locks. Our locks combine the most uncompromising deadbolts with a host of intelligent features and options depending on the device.
- Multiple access options: Our smart locks offer mobile app contactless control, 3D biometric fingerprint sensor, patented PIN Genie digital keypad, voice-activated command, physical key as well as the latest Scan-to-Open QR Code access.
- Video monitoring and recording: Available on the Lockly Vision video doorbell smart lock, you can see (and speak to) anyone on your porch and grant access in real-time, as well as review footage stored on the micro SD card provided via the free Lockly app.
- Remote access: With network or Wi-Fi connected smart locks, you can manage your lock from anywhere via an app or voice assistant.
Installing a Lockly smart lock is straightforward and intuitive, and connecting devices via the app takes just a few clicks. In just a few hours, you’ll be up and running without professional help. If you do want advice, our support team is on standby to help.
Lockly Levels Up Your Smart Home
We’re living in a hyper-connected world and spending an unprecedented proportion of our lives online. As a result, it makes sense to take full advantage of technology that is readily available and to put it to use to enhance our well-being and secure our safety.
You don’t have to convert your home into a smart home in one single upgrade. Start by securing your perimeter with Lockly so that you can later integrate lighting, heating or entertainment systems with the peace of mind that your home is protected.
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