When it comes to smart home technology, the sky is the limit. With today’s smart homes, you can control almost anything in your home from your television to your coffee maker. You’re already familiar with the term smart home. The moniker has been around for decades. But it’s being used more and more with devices that are picked up at the local big box store, and that’s a problem.
Yes, the big box store sells products that have smart features, from TVs to thermostats. But these devices are IoT (Internet of Things) products. They connect to the existing internet in your home and provide a single, basic function. The problem with IoT devices is that they don’t work together as a system. If you purchase a product from one manufacturer, it doesn’t communicate with a product from another manufacturer. That can lead to problems.
You don’t realize the magic of a smart home until all of the devices in your home work together as a system. That’s when the real magic begins. We’ve put together a list of 5 of our favorite things you can do with a smart home.
Smart Lighting & Shades
Once your smart lighting is installed by a professional, you can personalize your lights to turn on or off at certain times of the day. You’ll never walk into a dark house again. You can adjust them for the seasons, even alternate lighting when you’re away from home on vacation. You can set your lights however you like; When the door unlocks, then turn on the hallway light. On sunrise, turn off the outdoor lights. A smart home system from companies like Control4 gives you the ability to fine-tune your system until it’s perfect.
Home Audio and Whole House Audio
As smart home integrators, we love televisions. But there’s something magical about listening to music in your home without using a boombox, bulky stereo system, or earbuds. Done right, your integrator will install in-ceiling or in-wall speakers in any room you’d like to enjoy music. Some rooms are no-brainers. The kitchen is always a family favorite.
There’s nothing quite like cooking dinner and listening to a little Motown at the same time. But some rooms can get overlooked, and that’s a shame. One of my personal favorites is the master bathroom. When budget is a concern, it seems the master bathroom speakers are one of the first things to get the axe. If you’re in the process of building a new home, we caution against removing rooms from your whole-house audio plan. If the budget gets tight, you may opt to have the rooms wired during the building process, and speakers installed at a later date. Pre-wiring saves you time, money, and smart home integrators are happy to do it.
Outdoor security cameras are a great way to keep a watchful eye on your property. With options that include wide angle, long range, and night vision, outdoor security cameras are the perfect way to ensure your property is as secure as possible.
Discretely placed cameras help deter, or catch potential intruders. Want to keep an eye on your backyard? Consider using a wide angle lens to maximize the coverage of your entire yard. With Control4, it’s easy to check on your home from your television, touch screen, and even from your smartphone when you are at home or away.
Networking & WiFi
Before we start talking about WiFi, let’s take a look at the statistics.
- The WiFi router the local cable company provides can cover approximately 1000-1500 sq. ft.
- The size of the average home in the U.S. is 2300 sq. ft.
- By 2022 most homes in the U.S. will have 50-70 devices connected via WiFi.
- 76% of homes in the U.S. use WiFi as their primary connection.
Needless to say, WiFi is essential. Whether you’re on Xbox or a conference call, you’re probably using your WiFi. Using an inadequate router provided by your local cable provider is going to leave you with dead spots, slow speeds, and frustration.
When your smart home is designed by a professional, they’ll recommend upgrading your WiFi network to something that eliminates the headaches. Since you’re controlling your smart home with your smartphone, tablet, and TV, WiFi is the foundation of all of the technology in your home. Start with a strong foundation, and build up from there.
Today’s WiFi routers and switches from companies like Pakedge give you faster speeds, secure networking, they can even detect an issue on the network before it becomes a serious problem.
When you need to expand your network, your smart home installer will recommend Wireless Access Points. Wireless Access Points extend your WiFi anywhere you need connectivity on your property, even outside by the pool. Wireless Access Points keep you connected wherever you want to be.
Home Theater Installation
What can we say, home theaters are cool. They’re the adult equivalent of your tree-fort when you were a kid. A place where you can hide from the rest of the world, listen to your favorite music, movies, maybe even enjoy a beverage or a cigar. Your smart home installer can design a home theater that fits your lifestyle perfectly and makes it easy to use for the entire family. With a Control4 system installed in your home theater, you can dim the lights, drop the screen from the ceiling, and more with the press of a button. Home theaters are where home technology shines.
There’s a lot to consider when planning your smart home system. If you’re ready to get started with your very own smart home, it’s best to start by talking with a certified smart home professional like JBM Automation.