Smarten Up Your Home
You may have noticed over the past couple of years there has been an explosion of smart home systems to hit the market. This explosion is due to consumer demand for products that smart-ify their home and make mundane tasks like turning on the lights, adjusting the temperature, or turning appliances on and off, accessible on demand. Let’s first start with understanding the different types of systems available.
First is your Off-The-Shelf or OTS consumer grade products. You may already be familiar with these systems as they are sold at most home improvement stores. These systems are sold a-la-carte and are easily installed by anyone with basic installation skills. The most notable names are Nest, Philips, and SimpliSafe.
Whole Home Automated Systems
The second variety are the whole home systems. Unlike the consumer grade products, these systems require professional installation as they are extremely complex and tie into your homes electrical box. They also carry a hefty price point compared to the consumer grade systems. But they do offer owners a much wider range of options and finite control of virtually anything in your home remotely. The big players in this area are Control 4 , Savant, and Crestron.
Now that we have a basic understanding of the different types of systems available, let’s look at what system will best fit your home and budget.
If you are building a new home it is worth looking into a whole home automation system. Be warned, sticker shock is imminent with these systems. But because your home will be new, current building techniques and materials have drastically improved and the upfront cost of the system can be offset by the energy savings over the life of your home. It is also much easier for the system to be integrated into the home when building from the ground up.
For home owners looking to add a smart home system into a pre-existing home, your best bet would be to start looking at the consumer grade off-the-shelf systems. They don’t have all of the fancy options of a whole home automation system but they cover most of the most desirable options like temperature control, door locks, security, and lighting. They are also much, much cheaper than whole home systems and can be installed without a professional. Another great highlight for OTS systems, is most manufacturers have realized their products must integrate with home assistants like Amazon Echo, Google Home, and Apple Home.
Over the next few months we will be reviewing some of these systems in action so stay tuned for more posts and reviews about smart home automation.
To sum it all up, adding any smart home product to your house can reap years of savings and the convenience of accessing them remotely whenever your heart desires.