Home automation products, or smart home devices, are those programmed to perform tasks automatically.
This type of technology has been around for a while, but with the increase of smartphones and remote access devices, more products than ever offer smart home help. This includes products that help with your day-to-day life, and even control the amount of energy used in your home, saving you money on bills.
With the large number of products available, it is important to consider what you actually require from an automated home device. Buying an automated coffee maker, for example, is only be a practical purchase for a regular coffee drinker.
It is important to assess how much you need a particular device before purchasing it. You might choose a product that performs a chore you dislike, or solves a common household issue.
Consider the following categories of home automation products to give you an idea of what your most practical purchases might be.
Learn About Security Systems
For those who are concerned about the safety of their home and property, an automated home security system could be the perfect solution. There are many smart security systems available, including features such as cameras, motion sensors and alarms.
The different parts of the system are connected and controlled through your smart mobile device. Popular, well regarded systems include the Vivint Smart Home system and the SimpliSafe Home Security System.
If you do not need or want a full security system, individual smart security devices are also available. This includes products such as the Ring doorbell, a smart security camera and doorbell combined.
Another popular type of smart home security device is an automated door lock, such as the Kwikset Kevo. These allow you to access your door lock remotely, locking or unlocking it whenever you like.
Learn About Cleaning Devices
For many, cleaning tasks are among the most disliked of household chores. You might spend more time and energy than you can spare on regular cleaning, or you might find the repetitive nature of the tasks frustrating. Home automated cleaning solutions are available to help in this area.
Large tasks such as cleaning your floors could be delegated to a smart floor cleaning device. These move around your home in the spaces you have selected, cleaning as they go. A particularly popular product in this category is the Roomba Robotic Vacuum.
For mopping, some may be interested in the Braava. There are also products to help clean other areas of the home, such as the Winbot, which washes your windows.
A huge variety of other automated cleaning devices are on the market, each with its own features to consider. Automated cleaning could even be built into a product, such as the LitterMaid Self-Cleaning Litter Box.
Learn About Lighting
Smart light technology has been around for a while in the form of motion detecting light switches. However, there are now many new ways in which you control lights.
Smart lights could mean you access light switches remotely for time saving convenience. You also save a great deal of energy by turning off lights around the home when they are not needed.
Popular smart light products include the Philips Hue variety bulbs, which allow access and control from a smartphone. You even choose to change the color of the light.
As well as bulbs, you could purchase a smart light switch. The Philips Hue dimmer switch permits you to dim lights, lessening the amount of energy used whenever possible.
Learn About Temperature Control
These devices are potentially the most practical smart home product to consider. Many households might regularly spend too much on their bills as a result of inefficient home heating and cooling. A smart thermostat helps control your home’s temperature, saving energy and money.
Some features you might find on a smart thermostat include the ability to learn your family’s routines and habits. The thermostat adjusts the temperature in different rooms as needed, as well as at different times.
This means the temperature is always comfortable, but you do not waste energy heating or cooling an unoccupied room.
As well as being able to pre-program the smart thermostat, use your smartphone to access the controls, adjusting the heat or cold for maximum comfort. Most smart thermostats are very easy to access and use.
One of the most popular products is the Nest Learning Thermostat, which enables easy control and provides a variety of features for your comfort and energy saving needs.
Learn About Kitchen Products
A vast number of automated kitchen devices available for those who spend a great deal of time in the kitchen. The best way to find a practical product may be to consider the tasks you perform most frequently in the kitchen and decide which you would like to automate.
Personal preference should also be considered when looking at smart devices. For example, if you like to wake up to a cup of coffee as soon as possible, you might choose a smart coffee maker.
Products such as the Mr. Coffee Smart Coffeemaker allow you to select a time to start preparing the coffee in advance, either for early in the morning or when you arrive home later in the day.
What to Do Before You Buy
Although home automation products potentially save time and money, always assess any purchase beforehand. Each household has its own issues, concerns and requirements, and even an excellent product could be waste of money if you do not really need it.
When considering one of the above products, or another home automation device, make sure to ask yourself the following questions:
- What are my primary home concerns? Does this product help with one of these areas, such as energy waste or security?
- Will this product save me money? Does the amount it saves justify the cost of the device?
- Could this device same me time or energy around the house? How much?
- Is this device compatible with my home, or do I need to pay for additional changes in order to install it?
- Does the device offer a real, tangible benefit for me and my family?