How to Make Your Home a Smart Home

How to Make Your Home a Smart Home

It’s time to live in the future! This guide on How to Make Your Home a Smart Home explores the wonders of home automation. Smart homes bring increased efficiency, security, and convenience to your fingertips, not just for tech enthusiasts.

Turn on the coffee machine from the bed, close the curtains from the couch, and turn on the outside light before you drive into the driveway. Sounds like the house of the future? If we were still living in the 1960s, this is 2023, and smart devices – even brilliant homes – are no longer a future thing.

What Is a Smart Home?

Smart devices are gaining more and more ground in and around our homes. They make our lives easier, more efficient, and safer. And some devices are just for fun. But let’s take a step back. Because what exactly is ‘smart’ about a smart device?

Nowadays, there are more and more smart devices in the home. At smarthomescare, we write about these smart devices daily, so we would like to give you more information about these smart devices. In this post, you will find everything you need to know about smart devices, which ones there are, what to look out for, and what our favorite smart devices are.

What Do We Mean By Smart Devices?

We mean smart devices connected to the internet that perform actions themselves without control. Let’s take an intelligent smoke detector as an example. When a “normal” smoke detector detects smoke, it will sound an alarm, and that’s all there is to it.

When a smart smoke detector detects it, it will also sound the alarm, but it can also warn you via your smartphone. There are also smart smoke detectors with other functions that make the product even smarter.

 For example, a smart roller shutter can be linked to a smart smoke detector. When the smoke detector detects smoke, it can immediately open the shutters to clear the escape route.

These smart devices provide more security in your home, but many smart devices provide convenience. By linking smart devices, you can ensure you no longer have to perform specific actions. An example of this is smart lamps and a smart door lock. When you come home and open the smart door lock, it knows it has to signal the smart lights to turn on. The hallway and living room lights will have to be switched on automatically. Even more simple examples with a smart door lock:

1. Smart thermostat: 

With the help of Smart Thermostat technology, you can easily control and set the temperature remotely. Set the thermostat to the desired temperature when you enter and lower the temperature when you leave the house.

2. Smart speaker: 

Put on your favorite music when you enter, and turn off all music when you leave the house.

3. Smart doorbell: 

If someone you know is at the door, open the lock remotely with a Smart Doorbell.

There are endless fun combinations with smart devices, each with its smart functions. It is essential that devices can communicate with each other. Nowadays, Amazon even has a smart oven that can be controlled by voice. All you have to do is ask how long a dish should be in the oven, and Alexa will answer your question.

4. Smart Camera:

Smart cameras have revolutionized our approach to security and convenience. Smart Cameras stand as stalwart guardians in this age of security. Smart cameras allow you to monitor your property remotely. With advanced motion detection technology, smart cameras reduce false alarms significantly.

You will receive instant alerts when unusual activity is detected so you can address issues as soon as they arise. Your security system will be more efficient and effective with this feature.

How to Make Your Home a Smart Home: What types of smart devices are there?

More and more smart home devices are coming onto the market. Almost every electronic product will have a new smart function, including smart ovens, washing machines, and refrigerators. For example, a function of a smart refrigerator is that while you are in the supermarket, you can see what is in stock in your refrigerator. Below is a small selection of smart devices:

Smart doorbells – Nest Hello is the most favorite; this allows you to see who is at the door, and you can communicate with that person

Smart thermostats – Turn your thermostat on or off remotely.

Smart speakers – A voice assistant that you can control with your voice.

Smart Switches – Turn on multiple devices with a single button.

Smart plugs – Make old appliances smart so that you can control them remotely with Smart Plugs.

Smart lighting – Control Philips Hue lamps with voice or with a schedule.

Smart radiator controls  – Only heat the room that needs to be heated.

Smart door locks – No more hassle with keys, and know when the lock is unlocked.

Robotic mowers – Robotic mowers ensure that your lawn is neatly mowed.

Robot vacuum   – The best robot vacuum can also be controlled by voice.

The above list is a small selection from the range of smart home devices. More and more smart devices are also being developed; view our overview of smart devices 2023 with our smart home advice here.

What are our favorite smart devices?

Every day, we research smart home devices and see which devices are worth it. Every smart device is ingenious. For example, turning a device on and off remotely is nice, but it only becomes exciting when devices are connected. Below, we have listed our favorite top 5 smart devices with excellent example links.

1. Philips Hue lamps:

Smart lamps are one of the best smart devices. Everyone has lamps at home, which makes the lamps easy to use in any home. Smart lamps are often the first smart devices purchased, after which we look at what can be connected.

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(Image credit: smartify)

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2. Google Nest Hub:

It would help if you had a hub with the same language to connect smart devices. With this Google Nest hub, you can connect devices that speak the same language, such as Philips Hue lamps. In addition, this is a smart speaker and display in one. We also think this Google Nest Hub overviews your smart home.

Google Nest Hub

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3. Smart door lock from Nuki:

We also find Nuki’s smart door lock very useful. First, you no longer have to take keys with you; you can also let friends in when you are still on the road and always know when your door will open. A smart door lock becomes especially useful when you connect it to a smart doorbell. For example, the Nuki smart door lock can be connected to the Doorbird doorbell.

Smart door lock from Nuki

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4. Smart doorbell Nest Hello:

We just discussed a connection between a smart doorbell and a smart door lock. A video doorbell and a nice gadget without a smart door lock are also exciting. You constantly guard your front door; for example, if someone is at the door and you are not at home, you can speak to that person. A smart doorbell can also provide more security.

Smart doorbell Nest Hello

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5. Shark ION Robot Vacuum AV 753:

Besides a robot vacuum cleaner being a nice gadget, the robot is also very functional. These devices are becoming attractive, especially because robot vacuum cleaners are becoming smarter and work better. With new functions, vacuum cleaners no longer get stuck or tangled; they now also see the dirt themselves and thus determine their cleaning route. Ideal when you leave work, the vacuum cleaner does its thing, and you enter a clean house.

Shark ION Robot Vacuum

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What should you pay attention to when buying smart home devices?

First, you must know that every smart home device communicates with a protocol. For example, Philips Hue lamps communicate with the Zigbee protocol. If you want to connect the smart lighting with other devices, these devices must also be able to speak the same language. Most common smart home protocols :

Zigbee

Zwave

Thread

Bluetooth

WiFi

Infra-red

So before you buy a smart device, always check which language it speaks. It is also always important to thoroughly research the company behind a smart device. Always read the privacy statement carefully and, if necessary, read news reports about the devices. Unfortunately, it still happens that the best-known brands do not handle sensitive information securely.

Important: always keep your smart home devices up to date:

Because all devices in your home are connected to the internet or in some other way, they are increasingly vulnerable to internet criminals. Most companies make it difficult for hackers to hack into devices. The company often releases an update if a leak is found, making hacking difficult again. It is essential that you, as the owner, continue to make and maintain these updates.

A government commercial on the radio warns people to keep their smart devices current. They also provide the following tips to update your smart home devices:

Search online for the correct software update.

Follow the manufacturer’s instructions and enable automatic updates if possible.

If you cannot update, please get in touch with the manufacturer.

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