First it was phones, then it was watches. Now, the homes we live in are becoming smarter with technology advances. While smart technology may seem daunting at first, these advancements can make your life easier, save you money and add value to your home.
The term “smart technology” refers to any appliance that has the ability to connect to the internet or have Bluetooth capability. This includes your coffee machine, air con, washing machine, TV, lights, security system, computer, mobile phone and more (the list is almost endless).
There are three ways to make your home smarter: apps, automation and assistants.
- Apps: Nowadays each white-label manufacturer has developed a mobile app for iOS and Android that will deliver the capability of operating appliances remotely. It is also a genius method of encouraging customer loyalty as each app will only work for that specific brand.
- Automation: Some smart devices (e.g. your apple watch) and applications can talk to each other. This allows you to automate applications to turn on (such as the coffee machine prior to your alarm going off) via the special instructions tab in your settings.
- Assistants: Almost every home now has an Alexa, Google or Siri that you can voice activate with commands such as ‘Hey Google, dim the lights.’ These smart assistants (AKA hubs or nests) can be the central touchpoint for making your home smarter.
In 2022, Choice estimates that a family of five will have 37 devices connected to the internet and this number will increase annually.
Why should I make my home smarter?
The convenience is phenomenal, but one of the biggest benefits is that a smart home saves energy and promotes sustainable practices. By remotely controlling your appliances and lighting, you have a 24/7 ability to turn appliances on and off. Most of these smart devices can also track how much energy and water you use, allowing you to consciously conserve energy and ultimately reduce your power bill.
Another benefit not often discussed about making your home smarter is that smart technology has so many accessibility benefits and enables people with disabilities to live autonomously. Simple voice commands can now unlock and open doors, dim lights and turn on ovens. A couple of buttons and you can remotely start the TV. The possibilities are endless.
How can your home get smarter?
Most obvious electrical feature you can automate is your lights. This is as simple as switching the bulbs in your home to smart bulbs. They will continue to function as normal lights but with some added benefits such as using voice commands to dim the brightness or switch the colour. You will also be able to automate when the lights on and get turned off via the Google Home app or Alexa.
Your ‘dumb’ standard switches can be the biggest energy wasters in your home as often we leave appliances plugged in and switches turned on. By switching them to ‘smart’ switches you will be able to turn them on and off with voice commands and your phone will get a notification when the activity is complete. Some smart switches can be installed without any extra electrical work but most switches will require some electrical installation so it is best to call our expert team at Albert Corn & Sons when considering switching your switches.
Security cameras are more advanced than ever. Even your basic model now comes with wifi connectivity and can be controlled remotely via a mobile application. This allows you to see who is at your door or in your front yard when you are not home and can capture footage of criminals if anything is ever stolen or damaged. Most security systems also now come with an internal camera option as well allowing you to monitor the inside of our home at all times.
Finally, you should make your appliances smart. It will make your life easier and more enjoyable. Internet connectivity and remote apps, you can see what is in your fridge and if you need milk from the office. You can even turn on the TV, record TV programs, cast and stream movies all from the comfort of your phone.
Considering Going Smarter?
If you are looking to make your home smarter, but don’t know where to start or require some electrical assistance, get in touch with us! We have an entire team dedicated to smart electrical design and have been servicing Geelong homes for over 70 years. We are a trusted and local electrician that just wants to make your home better for you and your family.