Here’s What You Can Do to Modernize Your Home Appliances
With every year that passes, homes become more and more modernized. They’re almost like people and smartphones. Within the last decade, smartphone use has skyrocketed, and even predicted as a beginning to a merger of people and electronics. But the real merger is happening at home, with lots of neat electronic devices built to make everyday living easier, more relaxed, and more secure.
If you want to know how to make smart home products work for you, read further. There are loads of devices and ideas for you to get started on this, with no linear way to go about the process. Find what you’re interested in the most, and get started!
DIY or Professional Integration
Smart home setup is easy to do, provided that you put the time and effort into finishing up the project. There are obviously people out there that can’t or won’t do it this way, and there are smart home setup options for them as well. But to start off, let’s look at the DIY setup first.
If you prefer to go the solo route for your smart home setup, it’s important to know what hardware works best for what you wish to achieve. The three biggest names for this are Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home Assistance, and Apple’s HomeKit. Each of these frameworks offers users the ability to control most electrical components in their homes, including smart locks, smart bulb devices, and even smoke detectors.
Professional integration is for people that aren’t planning on the creation of a smart home on their own. There are lots of companies for customers to pick with this, some of which are popular electronics retailers. This option is better for those with limited knowledge of electronic devices, or for those that want the most professional setup possible. Home automation in this way is often done with the help of platforms like Savant and Control4. They feature their own teams of assistants that personally go to residences and provide installation of their products with compatible networking devices. This applies to those provided by the company itself and the customer’s home appliances, such as motion-sensing lights.
Choosing the Core – Platform
Here’s more information on the home platforms available, and which are best for you.
- Apple HomeKit – HomeKit is a popular choice among Apple users considering a smart home upgrade. iPhones and MacBooks remain a popular choice of electronics among consumers, and HomeKit is a service familiar to many people. It integrates well with most electronics, particularly music and security appliances.
- Google Assistant – Google Assistant has great voice commands, and you won’t find yourself repeating things into your speakers for it to follow the commands that you want. It links up well with all smartphones and syncs well with most modern air conditioners, coolers, and light fixtures.
- Amazon Alexa – Amazon Alexa’s name is often brought up when the security for smart homes is mentioned. The service has outstanding compatibility with things like keyless deadbolt locks and video doorbells. With Alexa, you can set up a smart thermostat for multiple zones, so long as your hardware is compatible with the core.
Choosing the devices (by category)
Music is usually what people enjoy the most in a smart home setup. In order to carry this out, you’ll need a smart speaker, one that’s capable of linking with either Google Assistant, HomeKit, Alexa, or multiple cores. Whenever a speaker can link with more than one core, it’s usually advertised by the brand.
However, be prepared to acquire more than one speaker. There are products with several speakers included. Once set up with either core (or cores), you can listen to any music that you want by talking in any room that you’ve installed a smart speaker in. As for music choices, everything from digital files in your iCloud account to turntables linked via Bluetooth and a core are possible to control (by voice).
Media devices are what you use to connect your home entertainment system to a home assistant. For example, you can link your television to either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, allowing all aspects of the TV to be controlled by your voice.
Casting, a feature of Google Assistant, can control media content you look at on one device and send it to another device. If you see some breaking news on your smartphone and wish to view it on a larger screen, simply use Casting to turn on the TV and the content will begin to play.
Apple TV has a similar feature, though you won’t be able to use Siri to control your television set through HomeKit. Instead, the remote included with Apple TV can control all Apple devices, including smartphones, and send them to the smart TV for viewing.
3. Smart Lighting
Do you remember “The Clapper?” It was a very popular lighting device in the 1990s that allowed users to turn on and off their lights by clapping their hands two times.
Although they’re still made, there are much more sophisticated devices around now. Smart lighting keeps your room’s light fixtures in your hands, no matter what time of day or night you want them off, or even ]if you’re in another location entirely.
As for now, the big three names in-home assistant devices have no smart lighting hardware. While this could change in the future, there are plenty of manufacturers around to link your assistant to the light fixtures in your residence. There are two options for you to try. The first is by purchasing a smart bulb. Smart bulbs operate on their own but have no assistant capabilities with the light switches.
This means that a typical smart bulb is controlled by voices and app commands on a smartphone or computer, but cannot be manipulated with your on/off switch. On the other hand, smart light switches can control your bulbs, though you may or may not have the choice of using a smart light with the product.
Once setup is done, expect to command your home’s lights by voice or computer, including when you’re away. It’s a good way to save on electrical costs since you’ll always have a way to turn off everything no matter where you are. Smart lights sometimes contain a base or hub where you can control the configuration of your light or switch. When you see them, they usually connect a majority of the lights in multiple rooms.
It’s guaranteed that you won’t be feeling nostalgic about smart lights any time in the distant future. Smart lights are also great for presentation, given that it’s usually the first thing guests will notice about your updated home.
4. Smart Thermostats
With a home assistant, you can control the temperature in your home. Smart thermostats are plenty, with most name brand companies in the business now product thermostats capable of voice and device control over a home assistant.
Features can vary depending on the brand you have but expect to see options letting you automate the temperature in your home, to the point where you won’t have to bother with the thermostat at all. Some devices can even read the daily temperature of your area, and adjust your indoor temps accordingly. This could be important, especially if you live in an area that gets cold during the early and late parts of the year.
Climate control doesn’t have to be completely automated, however. There are devices that’ll let you manage your temperatures in a similar fashion to what you’re already used to. Only this time, you can do it from the comfort of your computer or phone when you’re not around.
Many smart thermostats contain sensors for you to place in your different rooms around your home. This will allow the thermostat to read the temperature in your room with accuracy. As a result, expect all rooms in your living quarters to stay at the same temperature, with no fluctuations regardless of open windows.
5. Smart Home Security
Security is where things get really interesting. Although the major home assistants haven’t invested heavily into specific security brands, there are a lot of products out there with compatible features to them. For instance, surveillance cameras.
There are loads of products and brands out there, and some of them contain compatibility over Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or with a direct connection to the home assistant. Smart knobs and locks are the same. In fact, you can link some cipher locks to your assistant, and control them with voice commands as you do everything else that’s synced to the devices.
Some home security systems now feature monitoring hardware/software that links with Alex, HomeKit, and Google. If interested, just check out their compatibility and whether or not it fits the home assistant in your possession.
6. Appliances & Accessories
If you’re a clean freak, then you’ll love the number of cleaning devices you can link to your home assistant. Everything from “smart Roombas” to holiday lights is managed by the assistant. There are even smart plugs sold. With them, any devices plugged in are controlled by your phone, voice, or computer. They resemble adapters used to convert 220 volts into 110, though you won’t likely find a smart plug with such capabilities.
IFTTT – Let Your Smart Home Devices Work Together!
Are you familiar with IFTTT? It’s automation software built to pair personal or business applications to social media and hardware, including home assistance hardware. IFTTT stands for If This Then That. Most of the applications and widgets on the site are from social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and most other popular media platforms. You can sync your favorite accounts with each other, where everything is automated to the point where you won’t need to open up your account to make new posts or messages, even into the future.
For example, set up your accounts, then post whatever message you want to send today, tomorrow, or 10 days from now to the site. It’s highly recommended for people with multiple accounts, influencers, people in business, and even personal single account usage. Making an account with IFTTT is simple.
Just sign up to the service as you would with any other platform, using your email address and [phone number prior to adding other accounts. After that, link them to your home assistant of choice, and everything will be controllable through voice commands, including current and future posts you wish to send from all of your accounts!
Expect to find other sites similar to IFTTT ]in the near future. It’s a great way to streamline the interactions you make with social media and is very easy to use. You’ll also see better compatibility with IFTTT-like sites as well, particularly with Apple’s HomeKit and Google Assistant. And if you were wondering, yes, it’s possible to manage all of your passwords from the site itself. they have a great reputation for security and are trusted with millions of current users. try it out and you won’t look at social media the same.
So, are you ready to find out if setting up a home assistant is the next big home project for you? getting everything done isn’t as difficult as it reads. Just have a plan, and execute it through your own research. If that’s not feasible, go the professional route and hire one of the trusted companies mentioned earlier to do the hard part for you. Most people love the interaction provided by smart homes, and there’s little reason that you’ll have ever gotten rid of the setup once it’s finished.
Best of all, most activities and tasks that were manually done by you are all controlled through the commands of your voice. Don’t think that your regional accent will get in the way of things; the software provided by all home assistants is built to accommodate the thickest of accents. Get the right home assistant, buy accompanying software (or make an appointment), and that’s it!