Ultimate Guide to Make your Home Smart with Automation
You can apply smart home automation technology for various applications like controlling appliances, monitoring lighting, security, and climate; looking after the disabled or elderly, etc.
In this comprehensive guide, we will discuss ways of revolutionizing home lives with smart home automation. This article explores the fascinating world of smart homes and provides a glimpse of futuristic home living.
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home employs smart home automation technology for converting manual home systems to automated systems that can be operated efficiently, remotely, and automatically. Some popular smart home technologies comprise smart appliances, entertainment systems, automated lighting, assistive technologies, home security systems, smart climate control, etc.
A smart home includes various components for coordinating systems and appliances, including network hubs, Wi-Fi or wired networking, sensors, cameras, programmable controls, etc.
If implemented correctly, it provides you with a world of convenience, saves time and money, and improves system efficiencies. It is a collection of advanced technologies that use local area networks or the internet for seamless communication between devices.
Go through this guide to learn about various smart devices, the pros and cons of a smart home, and how much a smart home costs in India.
What are Common Devices Needed for Smart Home Automation?
A smart speaker is also called a voice assistant speaker. It is a wireless speaker that takes not only voice commands but also features an integrated virtual assistant. This virtual assistant provides various tools and hand-free activation via hot words like Alexa, Siri, etc.
A smart speaker is designed to have an open mic that works continuously for listening to any voice commands. Once it gets activated, it converts your command to text and sends it to servers for execution. It also receives the data back from servers and performs your task.
In addition to playing your favourite music, a smart speaker serves as a central control hub for your smart home system, searches the internet, works as your personal assistant, and provides news briefing, updates about weather, etc.
Smart TVs are innovative devices that allow you to watch your favourite programs with or without cable connectivity.
A smart TV supports video streaming services so that you can have tons of options for watching movies, TV shows, sports, music, etc.
A smart TV ensures amazing entertainment as you can enjoy streaming from popular streaming services like Amazon, Netflix, Disney Hotstar, etc. What’s more incredible is that you can also pair a smart TV with your central-control hub and smart speakers.
Pair your smartphone with your smart TV for watching videos, browsing the internet, looking at pictures, playing games, and much more on the big screen.
Smart lighting brings about a revolutionary turnaround in smart home automation. It empowers you to manage your lighting remotely and provides immense convenience.
Smart light bulbs offer efficient lighting and are suitable for replacing traditional bulbs.
Smart light bulbs are Wi-Fi controlled bulbs that can be controlled remotely without moving away from your bed or recliner.
You can also schedule these lights to turn on and turn off automatically at a fixed time every day for saving electricity.
Smart light bulbs have a longer lifespan than traditional bulbs. These are designed for saving a large number of electricity units in the long run. In general, a smart bulb serves you for 8 years with a minimum lifespan of around 15,000 hours.
Installing smart plugs or light switches provide excellent light automation that an app can control, and these plugs provide various lighting options like dimming lights.
You can use the smart plug for turning on and off the appliances via a trigger device.
Smart plugs come in handy when you want to control TV and console time in your home.
It helps manage external heaters, use tech to set a wake-up schedule, and switch off appliances when your smartphone is away from the geo-location area.
Smart plugs help you to convert your normal switch into its smarter version. All you need to do is simply plug smart plugs into your normal outlets and access devices powered by them from your smart device.
Video Door Bells
A smart video doorbell is an advanced version of your conventional video home recording system. A video doorbell automatically senses and alerts you whenever you have a visitor.
With this bell, you can watch the person’s video at the door and talk to him/her by using intercom technology. Thus, you don’t need to stress your vocal cords for shouting “who’s there”; every time you have a visitor.
A smart wireless video doorbell uses a Wi-Fi connection to communicate with the sensors on the camera and send or receive signals from/to the server. It is a cloud-based device that enhances the security of your smart home.
Bring a robot vacuum to your smart home to make it smarter.
A robot vacuum can be easily controlled from your smart speakers or other smart devices. It provides quick and efficient vacuuming for keeping your home clean and hygienic.
Smart Home Camera
Smart home security cameras provide excellent home surveillance for keeping you safe. These smart security cameras come equipped with various advanced features for recording the activities and movement of individuals around your home.
With an active internet connection, you can keep an eye on your home from anywhere in the world by accessing the live feed of smart home cameras through wireless and remote access apps.
Smart wireless home cameras give you peace of mind as you can ensure that you and your loved ones are safe. Pair it with an Alexa guard for making your home highly secure. In case of any security breach, these cameras record everything in HD and upload it to the cloud.
Smart Door Lock
A smart lock is a replacement lock that can be installed into your front door and connected with Wi-Fi or NFC.
This smart lock enables you to unlock your door automatically when you return home by putting your phone against the lock.
A smart lock authenticates your device by using an encrypted connection. It also gives you notifications when your door is opened when you are not connected over Wi-Fi. You will come to know which device is used at what time for unlocking your door.
The basic idea of home automation was conceptualized with the installation of a smart thermostat in homes. These are easy-to-program devices that keep your house at normal temperature and save you money.
Smart thermostats are easier to use than standard ones. It enables you to monitor your HVAC from any location connected to the internet.
You can also schedule the smart thermostat to save energy when you or your family is not at home.
Some smart thermostats feature a sensor option that automatically changes the temperature whenever they sense it is required. With a smart thermostat, you can set up programs that help you to save money and energy in the long run.
With a smart thermostat, you can save approx 10 to 12% on heating bills and 15% on air conditioning bills.
The dedicated smart smoke detectors for smart homes are useful devices for detecting smoke or carbon monoxide.
Pairing them with the Alexa guard allows you to receive notifications on your phone in the event of a smoke/CO alarm going off.
It’s easy to pair and set up an Alexa guard with any smart or normal smoke detector.
How Much Does a Smart Home Cost in India?
Nowadays, you don’t have to be ultra-wealthy to install smart home automation systems in your home. As the home automation system comes in various variants, some of these are affordable by anyone.
Generally, individuals adopt smart home systems for security control, voice-commands with an integrated virtual assistant for controlling devices remotely, automated & energy-efficient lighting systems, and climate control.
Depending on the areas and features of home automation systems, the costs of a smart home vary from one case to another.
A smart home with basic automation features in a 3-bedroom house may cost around Rs 1 lac. If you want to add more automation and security options, it may cost around 3.5 lacs for a 3BHK apartment. The smaller houses need fewer features and cost less.
Pros and Cons of Smart Home
Like every other technology, a smart home comes with its own set of pros and cons. However, the pros outweigh the cons heavily as far as convenience and comfort are concerned.
Pros of Smart Homes
- Increase the convenience in your house for making your life easier so that you can save time and energy for doing other daily chores
- Allows you to control multiple smart appliances with only one device from one central point (you only need access to your smartphone and active internet connection)
- Saves your time by allowing you to make changes to some settings at home while you are commuting so that you don’t have to do it by the time you return home
- Provides improved quality of life with enhanced security and comfort levels
- Allows you to receive notifications on your smartphone in the event of any unfortunate events like burglary at your house and take urgent steps in real-time
- Enables you to open the doors of your home remotely from your office to let the people into your house for repairs or maintenance
- Helps you to make lots of savings on energy in the long run by ensuring energy-efficient heating of your home at constant temperatures
- Provides cost savings by saving energy and time in the long term
- Enables you to customize your smart home as per your needs and preferences
- Provides significant safety improvements with security cameras and video doorbells as compared to conventional locks
- Facilitates the lives of the older generation and disabled people as they can use voice commands for accomplishing their daily tasks
Cons of Smart Home
- Installing home automation smart systems may incur high costs
- Requires reliable internet connection 24 by 7 and doesn’t give satisfactory results in areas with poor network connectivity
- Hackers can hack the smart security cameras and intrude on your privacy
- Complex technological systems that are vulnerable to technical issues
- Requires you to be tech-savvy and put initial learning efforts so that you can learn to operate the system perfectly
- Excessive reliance on smart automated systems leaves you helpless if smart technology fails
- Hard to find skilled personnel in remote areas for maintenance and repair issues
- Requires your devices to be compatible with one another for flawless communications
- Installation of various smart devices may lead to increased incidences of power surges