What is a Smart Home?
What is a Smart Home? Smart homes are the future, albeit not George Jetson’s future. Most people are aware of Amazon Alexa, Ring doorbells, and WIFI light bulbs which are smart devices. A smart home is a collection of
smart devices controlled by a central controller or a hub. Investopedia defines a smart home as a home setup where internet-enabled appliances and devices can be automatically controlled remotely using a networked device.
What are Smart Devices?
Smart devices in a smart home are everyday household items controlled remotely by a smartphone, tablet, or computer using Bluetooth or WIFI to communicate and control the smart devices. These smart devices can be thermostats, lights, power outlets, cameras, and appliances. A Smart Hub controls all the different devices in one unit and app. Smart Hubs use all or a combination of Bluetooth, WIFI, Zigbee, and Z-Wave technologies to connect to the devices.
Google Nest is a Smart Hub. Google Nest mostly uses Bluetooth and Wifi to connect to devices and has a proprietary technology called Thread that isn’t very popular.
Amazon Echo Gen 4
Amazon Echo is very common; however, they do not support Z-wave and Zigbee connections, limiting the devices you can use with your Echo.
Aeotech Smart Home Hub
Aeotech Smart Home Hub works with Samsung SmartThings and functions with Zigbee and Z-Wave as well as Bluetooth and WIFI. These hubs are great options for most people and work with many different smart devices.
Apple HomePod Mini
The Apple HomePod Mini is another excellent Smart Hub option. The HomePod is great for HomeKit devices, and it will also support Thread connections.
Smart plugs are used to supply or cut power to an electronic like a lamp.
Smart switches are used for lights, ceiling fans, exhaust fans, or anything operated by a switch. Imagine cooking dinner, and your hands are messy; you can use a voice command to turn on and off the garbage disposal.
Another way to control lights is with smart bulbs. Smart bulbs typically use Bluetooth and WIFI to connect to an app.
Smart Locks are incredibly convenient. It allows you to unlock the door for the dog walker, house cleaner, or even the kids after school. Having the ability to lock the doors from anywhere with internet connections is not too shabby either.
Smart thermostats are fantastic additions to your home. Being able to control your thermostat from your phone while you’re sitting at dinner is incredibly convenient. Another benefit is being able to create your schedule right from the phone app is much easier and more enjoyable than trying to schedule it from the thermostat on the wall.
There are many smart appliances on the market like stoves, refrigerators, pressure cookers, and dishwashers, to name a few. Stopping by the supermarket after work, but you forgot your shopping list? Some smart refrigerators have cameras that will show you the contents of your fridge. Laying in bed and suddenly you remember your coffee pot was not set for the morning? A couple of taps on your phone or tablet fix that for you.
What Makes a Smart Home Great?
Imagine driving home to your house from your car; you can turn on the lights in your house, drop the temperature on the thermostat, light the fireplace, and turn on the dishwasher that your kids forgot to start. Smart homes make everyday life much more convenient and, if we may, just plain cool.
Your home may already have several smart devices, all controlled by several different apps. A smart hub gives you the convenience of using one app to manage all your other devices. Additionally, you can create routines with a verbal command like “Good Morning” and set it up to turn on your lights, get the weather and news updates, and start your coffee pot making coffee.
What Happens When the Power Goes Out?
When the power goes out in a smart house, certain devices will not work, just like in a normal house. Some devices like smart locks and cameras have battery backups that will allow them to continue to work as normal. If the smart hub does not have power, you might need to use the app for that particular device. When choosing smart devices, buy items that have battery backups when possible. For everything else, you will just have to wait for the power to come back online or purchase a backup generator to keep everything functioning properly.
Other relevant articles
9 Mistakes Homeowners Make When Remodeling Their Home
Back to Blog