Smart Home – All the Info You Need in One Essential Guide

Imagine being able to remotely control your household appliances from wherever you are in the world using your online app. Today, this is all a reality with a smart home.

Smart homes keep gaining in popularity of late due to their advanced technology. They are now considered inexpensive and are do-it-yourself. With smart home systems installed, you can now remotely control your TV, coffeemaker, security alarm, locks, lights and even the shower in your home. And with the quality of devices on the smart home market today, installing a state of the art system is easier than ever.

Smart Home Market

With consumer demand rising for smart home devices, the smart home market looks bright and, according to a research report, its forecasted value will be around $107.4 billion by 2023.

If you’re interested in the smart home market, then you should seriously consider smart home 2018 devices, as they help create a great smart home system that fits your needs. Pair the technology with some great smart home ideas, and you’ll find that it is relatively inexpensive to turn your own home into a smart home, 2018 style. Also, choosing any of the 2018 models on the smart home market usually allows you to take advantage of the ever-advancing technology used to make them. This allows for the best smart home system 1, 5, or even ten years from now.

What is a Smart Home?

So, what is a smart home? This is the name used for homes that have internet-connected appliances or devices installed. These appliances talk to one another, and you can control their functions remotely, via the internet using an app you install to your smartphone.

With smart home 2018 technology, you can now interact with your alarm systems, speakers, lighting, thermostat, shower, TV or any other appliance or device that contains the technology used to connect to the smart home system and app.

You can switch off your TV from another room, regulate your thermostat, and even lock your doors with just a simple mobile app or a voice command. Plus, you can manage any smart home device through a home network, mobile phone, Bluetooth, and other Internet-connected platforms. You can also set these appliances and devices to work at an exact time. All while controlling the system remotely.

Smart Home Systems

A smart home is made up of interconnected devices sometimes controlled and connected though a smart hub, using an app or your voice. The smart hub is the central command system that lets you manage multiple smart home devices. Examples of the smart hub include Amazon’s Alexa, Wink, Apple Homekit, and Samsung Smartthings.

Any appliances, gadgets, or devices that can be connected using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth can form part of your smart home systems. These devices and appliances are controllable automatically with just a voice command, touch, or via a smartphone app. Plus, some of these smart home devices can communicate or interact with each other.

Want to Make Your House Smart?

Whether you are looking to automate the door locks or adjust the thermostat remotely, there are tons of smart home ideas for you.

Room setup ideas

You might be wondering which room in your home is ideal to begin a smart upgrade for automation. There is no single best way to do it, but some setup ideas are better than others.

It depends on what areas you value the most and the budget you have for your smart system setup. But for the basics, you can choose a smart hub that will work for most of the devices (all-around hub) available on the smart home market. It will give you less hassle with compatibility among your devices once you start expanding your setup across on other rooms.

Starter kits

Then, narrow your option by selecting a home automation product that comes with a “starter kit.” Starter kits provide you with the basic items you need for your home automation. Aside from the smart hub, pieces included in the kit can be smart bulbs, door locks, and or motion sensors and alarms. You can save most of your time in buying them one by one since most hubs on the market come in kits.

However, when choosing a starter pack, you need to know what appliances and devices you need to remotely access.

Moreover, determine the appliances or things that you need to monitor continually such as the security alarm systems and camera systems as well as often forgotten actions, such as locking your doors.

By doing so, you prioritize the things in your home that you can automate or turn into a smart appliance or device. Then when you want to expand, you can work your way through your house by category: heating and cooling systems, bedroom, kitchen, toilet and bath, lawn, entertainment systems and security systems.

Next, think about your energy consumption for this automated system. Not all automated products are a wise buy. Learn to choose items that can save energy and money.

Looking for More Smart Home Ideas?

There are lots of review sites and other media that are worth checking for your home automation plans. Below are a few picks that we recommend.

HGTV Smart Home

HGTV Smart Home is a great smart home guide and resource. The HGTV program showcases modern houses and fashionable, smart home devices that make your life more convenient. You can check the airtime schedule on their site.

Currently, HGTV is holding a raffle and will award a new smart home to one lucky person. That home is in the haven of Palmetto Bluff, South Carolina.

CNET’s Smart Home Showdown

CNET is a known review site for the latest electronic products. CNET Smart Home Showdown reveals smart home gadgets on their website. They even created a model house for the test. Hence, if you want a detailed comparison between devices and the best deals for your smart home, their website is worth a visit.

8 Best Smart Home Devices

And to make it easier for you, we’ve rounded up the top eight smart home devices.

1. Best smart thermostat

A variety of popular smart thermostats showed up on the market, prompting the question, which is the best smart thermostat? That’s a tricky question, and the answer depends on your budget and the features you seek.

Below are some important considerations when you are shopping for the best smart thermostat:

  • Ease of installation
  • Efficient heating and cooling systems
  • Geofencing and sensors
  • Remote access
  • Easy-to-use interface
  • Integration with other smart devices
  • Can be controlled using your smartphone

The best smart thermostat should be able to control the temperature in your home, and also communicate with other smart devices. Plus, it remembers patterns of your settings over time and will adjust temperatures accordingly.

Among the best smart thermostats are Nest, Lyric T5, Honeywell, Emerson, and Ecobee3.

2. The best smart home automation controller

These smart home automation controllers or hubs let you control multiple smart home devices in one panel. The Smart Hub brings together all these smart devices for your control, adjustment, management and set up. It’s the central command system, making your house “smart.”

Some of the best smart hubs are Wink Hub 2, Amazon Echo, Google Home, Apple’s Homekit, and Samsung SmartThings

3. The best smart speakers

You can tell smart speakers such as Alexa to play a song or playlist and adjust the volume, check the weather, hear the news, find a restaurant, or place an order online. Plus, you can ask Alexa to tell you a joke. In other words, Alexa can keep you company especially when you’re alone by yourself during holidays.

It also responds to voice commands. And it usually comes with Echo and other smart home devices. Another great thing about Alexa is that it can work with other smart home devices such as lights, TVs, and other thermostats.

4. The best smart home locks and security systems

Those who often lose their keys will rejoice with a smart lock. With the best smart home locks, you don’t need to bring a key anymore. Smart locks come with either a keyed and keyless entry system. It lets you open the lock either through a code, a key or a smartphone app. Some smart locks also come with an automatic re-locker as well as the ability to alert security systems for burglar protection.

For example, the Kwikset Electronic Door Locks let you do this and more. Plus, it also comes with technology so it remotely interact with the security system, lighting, thermostat, and entertainment system.

5. Smart security cameras and smart smoke detectors and alarms

In addition to the smart door locks, you can also install smart security cameras. These smart cameras monitor the house when you’re inside or outside.

The Nubryte Total Home Control is a touch-screen, handheld device that lets you control the lights and security cameras in your home. Plus, you can access the smart home panel or control systems through an app.

If there are intruders in your home, Nubryte sends an instant video alert to your phone. At the same time, it flashes overhead lights and turns on a 100-decibel security alarm. Smart security cameras also record any movement in the house and alert you when there are intruders in your home. Even more exciting? You also have a live stream or recording on your smartphone or tablet. Some of the best smart camera systems to choose from are the Nest Cam Indoor and Outdoor, Arlo Q Plus, and Amazon Cloud Cam.

6. Best smart lighting

Smart Lighting has sensors that detect the amount of lighting in your room as well as motion sensors to detect movements. With this kind of intuitive technology, the light bulbs can immediately switch from bright to soft light, and grow dim depending on the brightness of the area. Also, it can also switch on when you enter the room, and turn off itself when you leave the house.

With smart lighting, lights are automatically switched on when you enter the room, by voice commands or a particular schedule. One of the best smart light bulbs is the Philips Hue Go Smart Lamp.

In particular, the Philips Smart Lamp synchronizes with other smart devices and smart hubs such as Alexa, Apple Homekit, and Google Home. You can also add smart technology to some of your existing appliances or devices through smart outlets. To do this, you can purchase the WeMo Mini Smart Plug and Samsung SmartThings Outlet. With a smart outlet, you can switch the connected appliance on or off. At the same time, you can also schedule when it turns on or off using a smartphone app or tablet. Smart outlets let you automate or remotely control the switches of your traditional, connected appliances, too.

7. Smart bathroom

With these technologies, the bathroom can turn into a comfortable high-tech retreat.

The HGTV smart home features smart bathroom technology in their newly-built smart home. The smart bathroom features faucets, shower, and a toilet that opens and closes using motion sensor. Plus, you can have toilets that can stream songs while you relax. You can also watch TV or movies and play songs while you take a shower.

8. Smart refrigerator

Are you tired of your old refrigerator? If yes, why not swap it for a smart refrigerator? The smart fridge is more than your typical and traditional refrigerator. In particular, it comes with a built-in touch-screen panel. This lets you surf the internet and watch Youtube videos, Netflix, and TV shows. At the same time, like a refrigerator, it also automatically adjusts the temperature to keep food in excellent condition.

Ultimately, choosing the best device for your home is a personal decision. Know that the best smart home devices are relatively inexpensive, are easy to install, and tend to have a modern, and sleek look and feel to them. The available devices on the market open the options up for ingenious set-up ideas, and the warranties allow the freedom to do it yourself without worrying.

Featured Image: CC0, by Pixaline, via Pixabay

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