Do you know that virtually everything in your home can be controlled by your remotely? No really. Lights, thermostats, TV, radio, CCTV even your oven can be connected to the internet and controlled by a mobile device or smart speaker. Most people think turning their home into a smart home would be a difficult process, best left to technophiles. The reality is that it is easy to do. Read on for our tips.
1. Hello Alexa, Siri, GA
To get the best our of your smart devices, we recommend that you get a virtual voiced controlled assistant (VVCA) like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant or Amazon’s Alexa. Whilst you don’t need this, it makes it easier for you to run a smart home as all your devices can be controlled from one unit. If you decide to get a virtual assistant, you will also need a smart home controller which will help you control your devices. For Amazon this will be the Echo / Echo Dot, Apple Siri can be controlled using an iPhone, iPad or Apple Watch and Google Assistant is controlled by Android Smartphones or Google Home.
2. Control Your Lights
Use light bulbs that connect to your Wi-Fi connection. You can adjust your lighting system to turn on and off whenever you want. Since these light bulbs are typically energy-efficient, you won’t be hit with a surprise bill in the mail.
A wide variety of smart lighting is on the market. While some systems require a VVCA to operate, there are also smart light bulbs with built-in Wi-Fi connection allowing you to connect direct to the device. Lifx is one such device so its setup is relatively simple. The bulbs are multi-colored and dimmable, but because they rely on Wi-Fi, their reliability will depend on your Wi-Fi router.
3. Turn up (or down) the heat
Your home can be set to the right temperature every time and you don’t have to be in your home to do this. Smart thermostats, like Nest, connect to the internet via Wi-Fi so they can be controlled with a smartphone or VVCA. The main benefit of a smart thermostat is that it can detect when you aren’t home and determine when to shut off the heat or air-conditioning to preserve energy.
Setting up a smart thermostat with a VVCA gives you the extra perk of being able to set the temperature just by speaking a voice command.
4. Smart Security Cameras
For added home security, invest in a smart security camera. There are a wide variety of smart security cameras on the market such as outdoor motion sensors, smart locks, and surveillance devices. Most smart security cameras store hours of footage on a cloud-based storage, which means you can save it for the police.
You can even live-stream footage to your smartphone or tablet, so you watch your home while you’re away. Some of the larger systems require professional installation, but there are plenty of DIY options. The only thing you’ll need is a Wi-Fi password, the smartphone app, the security camera, and tools to place the camera wherever you want in your home.
5. Do your laundry and cook dinner Smart-ly
A smart washing machine like this one will let you control your laundry from your phone and VVCA. Smart washing machines look like other washers but come with lots of useful extra features that set them apart. You can turn the washing machine on or off – perfect if you forgot to press start, receive notifications when the wash cycle has ended and get the machine to diagnose its own faults!
You can also cook in a smart way too. You can control your oven from wherever you are. Turn it on, switch off, increase the heat and even view your dinner. Now you never have to miss a second of your favourite TV show. And if you have a VVCA even better, “Alexa, start dinner please”
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