Since the arrival of smart home products over the past few years, we've seen technology arrive to automate anything from turning on the lights in your home to having your floss dispensed in the morning. Without a doubt, these time saving gadgets are here to stay. As this industry expands, you don't want to be left behind.
Not only does smart home technology add convenience to your life, it also adds value to your home. Consumers who are home shopping are often impressed by the luxurious features a well outfitted smart home can offer.
Today, I wanted to share my favourite smart home categories and products that add simplicity, convenience, and fun into your home:
Nest & Ecobee: One of the first product categories to enter the mainstream market of automation, both Nest and Ecobee take the thermostat to the next level. Not only do these devices allow you to change the temperature from anywhere with your smartphone, they can also be programmed to recognize when you are home or away to maximize energy efficiency and save you some change on your utility bills.
There are many companies that can assist in setting you up with remote controlled blinds. Perhaps the most long-standing form of home automation, this category has improved with time to accommodate all types of window coverings. Being able to control your blinds with the touch of a button is especially helpful with hard to reach windows in your home. Some of the newer versions of these products offer features such as timers to open your blinds as you wake up and close them before bedtime. The industry is starting to see retro-fit options which are lighter on the wallet and work with your current window coverings.
August Smart Lock: Control the security of your door with a smart lock. This device hides on the inside door handle and avoids the exterior appearance being altered. Lock or unlock your door from a distance or simply approach your home with your smartphone to have your door unlock itself. This tool is especially useful for guests or rental properties. With the August app on your phone, you can send guests digital keys that enable them to access the property for a set period of time.
Security Cams: Both indoor and outdoor camera systems have become readily and affordibly available to anyone who desires the added peace of mind. Camera owners can monitor activity in and around their home and have it recorded. Smart cameras allow you to use your smartphone as a viewing device to take a look into your home while away and ensure everything is as you expect it to be.
Alarms & Sensors: Smart alarm systems can be utilized in combination with smart security cameras or as a standalone product. They will help alert you and direct your attention to any unwanted activity within your home. Smart sensors exist to help detect dangerous levels of carbon monoxide in your home and smoke/fires. These devices can keep you informed via alerts on your smartphone as well as emit traditional alarm sounds to grab your attention.
Bonus: you can also silence the sounds from your phone! Finally, no more waving a blanket at your smoke alarm when you burn the popcorn!
Audio & Entertainment
Philips Hue & Smart Lights: Dimmer lights are so a thing of the past... enter products such as Philips Hue. With the swipe of a finger, you can set the mood of your room however you like. With over 16 million colour choices, you'll never find yourself bored of painting your walls with light. Smart lighting systems are also programmable to turn themselves on or off according to your schedule, switch on as you arrive home, and turn off when you leave.
Sonos & Bose Home Audio: Long gone are the days of CD's and downloaded MP3's. With low cost streaming services widely available, home audio is more accessible than ever before. With these speaker systems, or a Bluetooth-enabled audio setup, you have an entire music library at your fingertips. Wireless audio setups allow homeowners to have surround sound systems for movie nights fired up in just seconds.
Remote Switches & Plugs: Yes, these are as simple are they sound. Swapping out your light switches or simply adding smart outlets into your existing outlets can allow you to control them from anywhere using your smartphone. The functionality is as simple as turning off a switch from your phone, or setting some of your appliances, light fixtures, or whatever else you have plugged in on a timer.
Voice Control & Full Home Automation
Heard any of the following phrases recently: 'Hey Siri', 'Alexa', or 'Okay Google'?
The rise of smart home products has yielded way for voice controlled systems. All of the above mentioned categories and products are now accessible without even lifting your hand. With one of the voice controlled devices planted in your home, you can request your home to turn off the lights, start playing your favourite song, or unlock your door with just your voice. With a built in connection to the Internet, you can even order products off Amazon or search Google for answers.
Taking things one step further, you can integrate many smart home products to work cohesively with one another. For example, at 7:00AM you can have your audio system begin playing a gentle wake up alarm, have your lights slowly start to brighten, and catch the early morning light as your blinds open. Just before bed, simply wish your home a "good night" and watch the lights shut off, door lock itself, blinds close, and any audio or TV turn off.
The possibilities are amazing with what already exists in the sphere of smart home technology. With companies constantly improving and creating new gizmos and gadgets for our home, it's safe to say the sky is truly the limit when it comes to what the future of the home is.
If you are looking at modernizing your home and enhancing its value, I'm always happy to talk technology and real estate. Feel free to email me at firstname.lastname@example.org with your questions on how you can elevate your home to the next level.
Thank you for reading,