What is smart home technology? The answer to this ranges from total home automation where budget is limitless to a start point of just one or two operations perhaps voice controlled by your Google Home device or an Amazon Alexa unit.
Nowadays most of us use smart technology every day in the form of computers smartphones or just programmed functions like stop and start times on our air conditioning or reticulation. However more and more of our customers are asking for that next level of automation and control.
“We are being asked to design in capabilities that a few years ago were more science fiction than fact!”
Smart Homes are now all about using technology in ways that enhance and simplify your lifestyle through convenience, added comfort and better security. Planned well, smart homes add to the enjoyment of your everyday life, saving you time, that most precious of modern-day commodities, saving you money and by helping you conserve the environment too. Virtually anything controlled by power can now be managed using smart home technology from a simple voice station or one-touch control panel.
Examples of the most common smart controlled items are:
- Home security
- Interior and exterior lighting
- Music around the home
- Air conditioning
- Power usage
- Garden watering
Many of our clients love the ease of control from a single bedside touch panel which turns off or dims the lights all over the house, arms the security system and switches off the TV once they have gone to sleep. Hearing a noise at night? Another one-touch bedside button will flood the exterior with light and another might gently light the hallway if a child wakes up in the night.
Enhanced sophistication comes with light sensors that turn lights on and off as you enter and leave each room, globes that can adjust to be any of millions of colour variants or brightness levels, or controlling window furnishings to open and close for maximum heat and light control to suit your homes orientation, tracking the sun’s position throughout the day, and for those keen gardeners managing the permitted watering allowance based on the moisture content of the ground!
Smart home control on a budget?
By spending relatively few dollars once you have a device like an Amazon Alexa you can then gradually add smart controlled power outlets, thermostats, automatic door locks, light switches and individual globes all wi-fi connected to the device. This allows you to grow your automation and use of smart technology as money permits. A simple video doorbell can start off your smart home security for relatively little expense.
What type of smart home might you have if money was no object?
Integrated smart home technology should be concealed in the structure as far as possible. Wiring preinstalled or retrofitted must be future-proofed to allow for additions as new products become available and should extend throughout every aspect of the home design. Such systems will optimally use power, water and natural resources, such as the sun, based upon computerised logic programmed to suit your lifestyle and objectives.
Your home will be climate controlled with individual zoning room by room with remote control via your mobile phone so that when you get home temperatures are to your comfort. Your evening meal could be cooking for you, set to start by you from the office whilst you are still in front of your PC.
Vacuuming can be finished and the Robo-vac will even have docked and emptied itself. The pool can be freshly cleaned by the auto pool vacuum (maybe set in motion by you on your way home) and even the garden lawn can be cut using the remote-controlled auto mower.
If you’ve got guests arriving out of the blue don’t worry all the above can be handled by you and your smart home automation whilst you’re working or travelling.
This level of smart control is not cheap but one thing to remember is that homes with integrated systems have added value over those that don’t. Even the fact that you have a smart meter controlling your water and energy use might set you apart from a home that doesn’t have them making your home more desirable to a buyer.
As technology moves forward and costs come down most of what seems a luxury today will be a standard install of the future. When deciding how far to go with technology the best advice is stick to what’s useful to you and what will really enhance your life or save your hard-earned cash remembering always to future proof for new ideas as far as you can!
Article written by PAUL CHEVERALL