Our homes have evolved greatly over the past century, with the electrical and digital revolution transforming modern properties beyond recognition. Nowadays it’s rare to walk into a home that doesn’t have at least one television, laptop, electric shower and, more recently, a virtual assistant. This is just one part of what makes up a smart home and if you’re hoping to turn yours into one, there are a few interesting ways this can be done.
Choose Your Assistant
Firstly, you’ll need to choose who your virtual assistant will be. Currently there are three main options, each with their own advantages and disadvantages.
- Amazon’s Alexa: Amazon Echo is quick and easy to set up, and it can be plugged in almost anywhere. It’s broadly supported with more than 10,000 skills but does require linking the app to smart home products, which can be clunky.
- Apple’s Siri: Integration with iPhones and iPads makes setting up Apple’s HomeKit easy. It is exclusive to Apple products though, which means your home has to become a shrine to Steve Jobs.
Set Up Smart Lighting
Once you’ve chosen your assistant you can start linking it to other smart devices. One of the easiest and cheapest options to begin with is lighting. Smart bulbs are energy efficient, as you can turn basic lights into dimmers, change their colours and control them from outside. If you think you’ve left your bathroom light on when at work, check on the app and you can turn it off or satisfy your peace of mind.
Install Smart Plugs
For incredible levels of convenience, smart plugs can be used to turn a variety of everyday appliances into smart devices. These plugs use Wi-Fi to enable control of them from anywhere via an app or your virtual assistant. The catch is that they need to be appliances that only have an on/off function, or where other variants (such as the length of time for a toaster) are already set.
Get an Automated Cleaner
Save time and effort with an automated vacuum and/or mopping robot. These can be controlled and linked to smart apps and used in different rooms. Especially if you have pets, a robot vacuum cleaner can be great for cleaning up those everyday hairs and bits of dirt, thanks to their intelligent sensors.
Turning your house into a smart home doesn’t have to cost the earth if you build up bit by bit, while if you make all these changes and more at once it can soon add up. Decide what’s best for you and begin building your smart home for the future.