Smart homes are aptly named, they’re homes that utilise smart devices to make our lives that little bit easier. Smart homes connect to Wi-Fi to control all of our smart devices via Bluetooth style protocols such as Z-Wave or Zigbee.
A smart device is typically something that can be linked to your smart phone and controlled remotely from anywhere. Things such as smart lightbulbs that change colour and brightness either by voice command, or remotely via a smartphone. Or smart lamps that you can turn on and off from your phone, even smart kettles, and smart heating that you can monitor and control from your mobile device.
The rise of smart products has even grown to include every room in the home. Smart kitchens feature smart dishes, such as smart plates and forks that can actually monitor your calorie intake with every bite you eat. As well as smart dishwashers that you can control from your phone, smart bins: you scan a barcode of the item you’re throwing away and it will add it to a shopping list. Even a smart oven that can be controlled via smart speaker such as Alexa, or your mobile phone.
Smart homes will utilise all the smart products and integrate them to be controlled from one device. This can be an access system, such as a fob, or your mobile device. But the bottom line is, everything will be controlled by one device. Thus, making your home a smart home.
What is a smart home security system?
Smart homes can integrate all its products for ease and comfort, but also for additional security. A smart home security system will typically include cameras that can be accessed remotely, as well as an alarm system you can control from your phone. Smart home security systems can also be upgraded to utilise fire alarm systems as well, making your home safer.
What is an access control system?
Access control systems are electronic systems that enable automated approval for authorised personnel to enter through a security portal, without the need for a security officer to review and validate the authorization of the person entering the portal. This can be a fob or pin coded system that only select people have access to.
How do burglar alarms work?
Burglar alarms can also be integrated into the smart home system. Burglar alarms typically work by motion detecting sensors. You can set your burglar alarm by activating them. Once you leave your home, activate your alarm system and rest assured if there is an invasion you will be alerted by an SMS or mobile alert if your burglar alarm is linked to your phone, as well as a shriek alerting your neighbours. You can also integrate your burglar alarm to trigger all of the lights to switch on if there is an alert to surprise the burglar. Once you return home enter in your password to disable the alarm and you’re done.
How to set up a smart home system?
There is no one system for smart homes, it is a collection of different smart devices. For example, a hub (Alexa, Google Nest, etc) will connect all your devices together. You can simply use your voice to command your hub what to do: turn on the lights, lock the front door, turn the heating off, etc. After this you simply need to buy whatever smart products you’d like and integrate them to your hub and/or your smartphone.
Which is the best smart home system?
There are a lot of smart home systems out there that work brilliantly, and it is recommended that you do your own research to find what will best suit your needs and budget before purchasing. However, if you’re stuck for inspiration, the below are highly recommended.
Apple Home kit – HomeKit is a software framework built into Apple devices. The idea is simple – instead of having a bunch of different smart home apps on your smartphone that don’t necessarily sync with one another, HomeKit brings them all together and offers exclusive control on all aspects of your devices.
With Home Kit, everything is controlled via the Home app on your iOS, iPadOS or macOS device, and it all works with Siri too. You can either boot up the Home app to change the temperature of a smart thermostat or just get Siri to do it for you.
Google Assistant – Similar to an Alexa, a Google Assistant can complete all kinds of tasks and respond to commands regarding the smart devices in your home. It can control all of your smart devices from the single hub and can be linked up to speakers to be voice controlled also.
Samsung SmartThings – SmartThings is an open ecosystem, meaning the technology is compatible with a wide range of connected devices. SmartThings is linked together with the SmartThings app.
As well as other smart devices such as Yonomi, Logitech, Control 4, and Smart Life.