You can control almost anything in your home (lights, locks, security) from your smartphone.
But to get a smart home, you need to buy smart home devices, which can include smart thermostats, smart cameras and smart lighting.
Here’s a simple buyer’s guide for those smart devices.
What they are: Smart thermostats are just “smarter” programmable thermostats that can connect to the Internet via Wi-Fi. You can control them remotely on your phone, tablet or desktop.
You can also get a variety of smart features like:
- Smart scheduling — Using either your location (from an app on your phone) or motion detectors, smart thermostats can automatically schedule your thermostat for maximum energy efficiency and comfort.
- Automatic triggers — Advanced smart thermostats can tie into your existing security or home automation system, bringing even more benefits. For example, you can have your thermostat adjust the temperature automatically when your security system is armed or disarmed.
- Integration with your heating and cooling system — Some HVAC manufacturers’ thermostats are able to optimize your home’s comfort and energy efficiency because the whole system (air conditioner, furnace, thermostat, humidifier, etc.) can communicate together.
Things to keep in mind:
Ensure that the smart thermostat you want is compatible with:
- The brand of air conditioning/heating system you have
- The type of AC/heat pump/furnace/blower you have. (Two-stage condensers, variable-speed blowers, etc.)
- Your home setup. (Multiple stories, zoned systems, etc.)
What they are: Smart security cameras help you:
- See your home away from home—live
- Get instant alerts with smart clip capture
- Never miss a moment with continuous recording
- Nest Cam
- Indoor Wireless Fixed IP Camera with Night Vision
- LiveWatch Wireless Pan/Tilt IP Video Camera
Things to keep in mind: The features you want are closely tied to the equipment you need to buy.
- Live streaming: Camera and app only
- Video alerts: Needs to work with a security system
- Continuous recording: Needs a Stream Video Recorder (SVR)
Also, keep in mind where you want to install the camera. If you want to keep an eye on the babysitter inside, you’ll get a different model than if you want a camera for recording intruders outside.
Learn more here: The Beginner’s Guide To Smart Security Cameras For Your Home
What it is: Smart home lighting lets you:
- Turn lights on/off from any web-enabled device
- Set ‘scenes’ that automatically adjust your lights based on triggers (like turning all lights off when you go to bed).
- And much more
There are 3 different types of smart lights:
- Smart bulbs: LED bulbs that usually come with their own app and can be used with your current home automation system.
- Smart plugs: A special wall socket that lets you remotely control and automate your lamp to turn it on and off.
- Smart switches: A light switch installed into your wall. Can replace your old light switch.
Things to keep in mind:
Choosing the smart lighting option that’s right for you depends on your situation. There are pros and cons to each type.
Learn more here: Smart Home Lighting: 3 Options For Remotely Controlling Lights
How to connect them all together
While you can buy these devices separately, it can be a pain to manage them all on separate apps.
Get a complete home automation system that allows you to control everything on one app.
Not only that, but you can also set “scenes” which are settings that help your smart devices work together like a team.
For example, you can set a “scene” called “Wake up” that helps you ease into your morning by:
- Telling the smart thermostat to slowly turn up the temperature
- Telling the the smart lights in your bedroom to slowly turn on
So, how can you build that kind of home automation system?
First, you can check out our this blog post: Home Automation: 3 Simple Steps To Getting Started. This will tell you what all you need to buy and how it works.
Second, we can help build a home automation system for you. Just contact Britebox for a custom home automation system.