It’s fair to say that the first wave of smart home devices has ended. It’s no longer “mind-boggling” whenever we hear about a new home automation gadget; we have grasped the general notion of it, we have normalized it. We have no idea what the second wave of implementable home automation will be like – we can only bet it will definitely happen and it won’t be long until it comes – but now, having those smart home devices around for quite a while, we can already separate what’s really cool and useful from the unnecessary bandwagon-y smart house technology items.
First, to understand the concept of use to the smart home devices mania, we need to think of the benefits smart house technology brings. It’s basically two things: it saves the homeowner time by being super practical and money by being super-efficient, thus economical. Over this axis, here are the truly essential smart home devices to any real estate property:
Solar power system
If there’s a way that smart technology can save you money it’s via the whole solar power system of solar panels and solar batteries on your house. Actually, it’s not even saving money: you can make money! Some energy companies will buy the excess of energy produced by your solar power system.
There is only one setback: this one can be a little expensive. It should pay for itself in the long run, but the initial cost can be quite substantial, especially if you just moved in. If you can’t outright buy a solar power system, you could try doing a lease, but just watch out for two things: first, if you are still in the early installments of your mortgage, chances are your credit quota will be stuffed and you might have the lease denied hurting your credit score, and, second, if your credit score is fine and the loan does get approved, beware of The Solar Panel Trap.
Nowadays, however, with new developments happening in the solar energy market, we can see some costs decreasing. In time, the cost of installing a solar power system for your home will be equivalent to the cost of roof replacement. There is more than one company on the market striving to make these alternative energy sources more affordable. Innovative solar solutions are paving the way to what promises to be a much greener future for the generations to come. For home buyers interested in new constructions or may need to replace their roof, the cost of these solar systems is about the same, and for them, implementing solar systems is not the burden we think. Whichever way you take it, you need a roof for your home, and if a new roof is planned already, go that extra mile and install a solar roof system. You will only be reaping benefits after it’s installed.
The energy consumption of smart home devices is crazy! More and more solar power systems and innovative solar roof technology will come with built-in monitoring devices, making them cheaper and efficient and showing you the “leaks” of your energy consumption. But right now, monitoring devices like CURB are a must to any home automation adept who wants to improve their smart home. It can help you have a more precise overview of where and how your energy (your money!) is being poorly spent.
Monitoring devices usually give you a detailed energy stats analysis broken down by each appliance and room, so you can even figure out beforehand if your fridge or blow-dryer needs repair. Their monitoring devices become much more user-friendly through the company’s collaboration with Samsung and the process integration they enabled. As they can be connected through Samsung’s SmartThings platform, you can control your appliances connected to SmartThings from Curb’s app or web portal and decrease energy consumption when it’s not needed. Unlike Nest and Samsung hubs and controllers, Curb’s monitoring device won’t be in charge of singular devices but will monitor all of them and be your home’s electronic symphony conductor.
Voice recognition devices
Those are the ones people think of when someone talks about smart house technology, right? And, while people love to make fun of it – indeed you feel a little dorky talking out loud with a machine – voice recognition devices are not a prop; they are essential.
What most companies promote in connection with voice recognition gadgets is usually the possibility of asking for entertainment options of your location, and all sorts of Google-able trivia, But voice recognition devices really come into play within home automation as the easiest way to remotely control everything. No wonder almost all smart home devices are integrated with Alexa, Google Home, and whatever voice recognition technology you prefer.
Plus, you can control them from anywhere via your smartphone. That means you can control virtually any home automation you need while being away from home. How great is that? Sure, there’s a lot we need to figure out about privacy – because they are collecting data from us all the time – but voice recognition devices are definitely here to stay.
The Internet of Things (IoT) ecosystem is here to stay. It only just started being implemented in consumer homes, and it’s already making waves. If in 2020 it was reported by Statista that 40% of US households use smart home devices, that percentage is expected to reach 57.3% by 2025. What we know today is that over 80% of voice assistant users interact with their voice tech when they need weather or sports information. Around half of the users set timers and alarms through voice assistants. About the same percentage activate home appliances through this system.
Think of those as the smart home devices that control the overall “feeling” of the house. Smart thermostats like the Ecobee make their cooling (or heating) decisions by taking several things into account. They read the presence of people in rooms through sensors, they read the temperature outside and inside, they analyze the house’s unique energy profile and other smart data… they do it all and, in the end, you have much more affordable air conditioning in your house.
But also smart home devices like the Phillips Hue that provide your home automation lighting solutions. They are basically smart light bulbs. You can, via voice recognition devices or your smartphone, turn on and off each specific light bulb, dim it and even change its color! Plus, they are LED, so the energy consumption is minimal too. The only minor downside of smart lighting solutions is that every time it requires a system update (and it’s been surprisingly often) you have to go the old-fashioned way and turn the switch on and off.
But when you combine those two – thermostats and light bulbs – using voice recognition you understand how home automation is priceless: you can program it in a way where you just say something like “Alexa, movie time!” and it will set the air conditioning to sub-zero – so you can go under the covers – the lights will dim, creating that movie theater feel, and the TV will turn on and log into Netflix. All within seconds! It’s modern magic! In addition, all these will most definitely contribute to the soothing effects of light and color in your interior design!
Smart Home Security System
This is obviously an essential one. You have to look out for your family’s safety and you also need to preserve the investment you’re doing after buying all those sought-after smart home devices, right? There are several reliable home security systems, but the smart home security system and its gadgets are on the rise right now. You have several crafty individual solutions that are fantastic.
Ring Doorbell, for instance, is great. You can see, hear and speak to anyone who rings your doorbell. And you can do that from anywhere in the world, via your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. But you have also home automation gadgets designed to alert you to dangers of flood and freeze, children and pet monitoring, car and garage status, door locks, and a whole multitude of smart home security system solutions that, again, you can track from anywhere in the world and activate just by the sound of your voice or the GPS of your phone – like, say, the doors and windows will automatically lock and the house alarm will automatically turn on when you are 10 feet away from the house. Make no mistake, these gadgets will revolutionize home security systems!
Smart audio system
No household should be deprived of adequate audio equipment to enjoy the finest quality music in an ideal world! After a long day’s work, you arrive at home and hear your favorite piece of music play is an experience beyond any price! Why not go further, and set up a sound system using an intelligent loudspeaker for every room in your home? Therefore, you can listen to classical music in your living room, jazz while taking a bath, the Billboard Top 50 while working in your basement, and chill out music for your home aquaponics system.
Several top manufacturers produce intense multi-room amplifiers for Wi-Fi streaming, such as Juke. The system streams music to speakers connected to your network, placed in any room you wish! You can use Airplay from iPhones and Spotify Connect for Android gadgets. We can confirm that the advantages of such smart home audio systems are pretty numerous. First of all, the apps’ interfaces are straightforward to handle. Secondly, they save you lots of energy by being eco-friendly. And thirdly, they offer a much more powerful sound than your previous analog equipment. So, why not change it? This technology offers us a glimpse into the future of high-tech visual and audio equipment.
Coordinate gadgets using a smart hub
To synchronize all your intelligent devices, professionals recommend a piece of hardware or software so that they can connect to your network, much like in the case of LoRaWAN, new modulation technology. This network is what we call a smart hub or intelligent home manager. Some clever home gadgets come already preset, while others require being paired to a central network or hub.
Once you set up a network, devices connected can communicate with each other. For instance, you can define the exact time when your smart thermostat and intelligent light switches turn on/off. Establishing an intricate hub necessitates a Wi-Fi connection or a router. Subsequently, you can access your hub through an application installed on your tablet, PC, or smartphone. Nonetheless, you can have intelligent gadgets without setting up a network. Still, the truth is, they will not be able to run as efficiently.
The LoRaWAN system is different from any other automation gadget because it is the safest. While this system can not be 100% fail-proof, it is almost entirely hack-proof. Any other smart home appliances you integrate into your smart home’s ecosystem will need a Wi-Fi connection. However, the LoRaWAN ecosystem has only one element that is connected to the internet, the central hub. All the other devices are connected to the hub through radio waves that aren’t as easily hacked. If it is invested in, this system will have the power to revolutionize our entire network and energy systems. At the same time, making them more sustainable in the future.
The most common pairing software on the market today is supplied by tech giants, such as Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant. Another quite famous synching app is UltraSync SmartHome, available for Android and iOS. Via these easy-to-install apps and their extremely user-friendly one standard interface, you can coordinate your daily routine with the intelligent gadgets responsible for making your life and leisure at home as convenient and eco-conscious as possible. Manage the lights, thermostats, camera, door locks, and motion sensors remotely anywhere in your house, even from a greater distance!
On average, installing a smart home system to your home with a complete array of functioning gadgets will cost no more than $1,600. There are more cost-effective ways to achieve an intelligent home system with some smart devices available for $300. You can obviously choose to install fewer appliances at a time. Also, have in mind that the bigger your house is, the more powerful devices you’ll need to light and heat your condo up properly.
Let’s give you a rough estimation of the costs. The prices were based on Todayimhome’s estimates:
- Lighting costs an average of $60/room
- Security System (cameras) costs $1,300, covering the entire house
- Smart temperature system costs about $200 for the whole nine yards
- Intelligent sprinkling system (irrigation) costs $260 for your garden & backyard
- Smart TVs and home entertainment equipment cost between $250 and a couple of thousand dollars
- Refrigerators and other kitchen appliances cost on average $2,000
It will be helpful not to overlook discounts provided by insurance companies for smart home improvements. Most offer discounts between 5 and 20%, but it depends on the devices installed, so make sure to check with your insurance provider. There are also several federal, state, and local programs that push for the adoption of solar energy. Tax credits can go a long way, but you should know that these government programs are expected to expire by 2024 if they are not renewed.
We can not emphasize enough that though such an innovative home system may appear to be expensive at first, in the long run, it will most definitely prove to be a beneficial financial investment.
The advantages are simply overwhelming. Most importantly, they can make your life easier and convenient with remote settings through interconnectivity & monitoring through a standard interface and customization. Consequently, they can enhance your sense of home safety. Furthermore, you can turn them on/off anytime you please, even from a greater distance. Nevertheless, they are eco-friendly and will not damage your environment.
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