Imagine money being no object in your pursuit of the smartest home possible. What would you invest in? Are there any smart home devices that you would consider nonnegotiable? Are there any you would choose to not have in your home, for whatever reason?
Smart homes are no longer the stuff of dreams. They are not mere fodder for sci-fi adventures involving futuristic spaceships and homes that float in midair. No, smart home technology is for the here and now. And with each passing year, the market offers new devices capable of doing some pretty amazing things.
What Makes Devices Smart
Truly understanding smart home technology requires defining the terms. There is a difference between a smart device and an automated device. For example, a mechanical light timer is an example of an automated device. Such timers are still manufactured and sold today. They represent a cheap and easy way to control the lights in your house.
A mechanical timer works just as its name implies. It utilizes mechanical means and electricity to turn circuits on and off. When the circuit goes on, so does your light. Shutting the circuit off turns the light off.
Smart home devices do so much more. According to Vivint, a nationwide home automation and home security provider, smart devices can do more:
Artificially Learn – Some devices, like smart thermostats for example, can artificially ‘learn’ your routine and self-modify programming as-needed.
Remote Operation – Smart devices can be operated remotely. That same smart thermostat you can program while standing right in front of it can also be programmed with your phone from anywhere in the world.
Connected – Truly smart home devices are connected devices. They are connected locally through wi-fi networks; they are connected globally through the internet.
Mechanical timers are handy little devices that prove useful for some applications. But they are by no means smart. If you want devices that are truly smart, they have to be electronic and based on internet of things (IoT) principles.
Lighting, Temperature, and More
Understanding the differences between smart and mechanical devices brings us back to the question of how smart you would want your smart home to be if money were no object. A lot of people new to smart technology start with lighting. They purchase a smart speaker from Google or Amazon, then pair it with entry-level lighting fixtures.
Such a setup would allow you to control lighting with your voice. Tell your smart speaker to turn on the kitchen lights and it’s done automatically. Issue the command to change the lights from white to blue and you’ll witness the transition with your own eyes. It is all pretty slick.
Controlling the temperature with a smart thermostat is considered another entry-level practice. Thankfully, today’s smart thermostats are infinitely easier to program than their first-generation counterparts. From there, homeowners get into smart window blinds, door locks, home entertainment systems, irrigation, and on and on.
The More the Merrier
You might be the kind of person who lives by the old adage, ‘the more the merrier’. You are the kind of person who will openly embrace every new smart device that hits the market. You want your whole house to be smart, remotely operable, and voice responsive. You are the industry’s favorite customer.
On the other hand, smart home devices might terrify you. You have trouble checking your email and resetting your wi-fi router after a power failure. You are not likely to buy any smart home devices now, or in the future. That’s too bad. Smart home technology has a lot to offer.