As Smart Home installation engineers we meet people at every stage of their Home Automation journey. From those just starting out to those who are fully cognisant with the tech but need help with the labour it takes safely and securely fit the Smart devices they want in their homes.
Many people still don’t grasp what a connected home has to offer. They see the devices fitted with Smart technology as simply gadgets, knick-knacks which you put around your house for entertainment’s sake, but have no real practical use. It’s only when we explain the many different applications these devices can be put to, the way they can be controlled and control one another that the potential benefits become clear.
The ideal place to begin is to explain what practical tools a Smart Home can be started off with. Once the concept and application have been grasped the possibilities explode! Everyone’s needs and wants are different, so the fact that Smart Home Technology can be so adaptive and expandable is just what the doctor ordered!
So, if you’re one of those people who’s heard about Home Automation, who likes labour saving, energy efficient tools, but you’re not sure what the Smart Home has to offer you, read on.
Intercoms are nothing new. From old buildings converted to flats to businesses in office blocks we’ve all buzzed and struggled to hear the voice coming from the panel on the door frame. But today’s Smart access control is very different. Now there’s no need to go to the handset on the wall to let people in, you can admit anyone you want from wherever you are instead. Not only can you speak to people on the doorstep, you can see them, but they can’t see you. That means that if you’re in the bath, in the garden, on the sofa, even away from home, you can see who’s calling and either let them in or ask them to come back another time.
Britain can be a funny place where weather’s concerned, especially at this time of year. You’ll want the heating on in the evening and when you get up, but the middle of the day can still get quite hot. Being October we expect cold and gloom, but still there are hot sunny days. In six months from now it’ll be the opposite, we want April to be a month of perfect spring days, but we get rain and wind instead. No doubt you’ve gone out on a nice day without a coat or sensible shoes and regretted it terribly. With Smart home automation controlling the heating you can turn the radiators on as you trudge home in the rain so that the house is toasty warm as soon as you get in. Smart home heating allows you to control which rooms get warm, and at what time too. Only heating parts of the house you’ll be in at a particular time is a great way to save energy, and it’s far simpler than running around adjusting the valves on the radiators or heaters. Smart home heating allows you to turn the heaters on in the bedroom and off in the lounge when you’re ready to turn in without even having to get up.
Another important part of environmental control is the ability to adjust the lighting throughout the home. Smart LED lights use a fraction of the energy filament bulbs use, and can be adjusted not just in brightness, but in the colour that they emit too. So if you want to enhance a mood chose from any colour you like. Smart lights can be programmed to come on when you want, at a particular time, when you turn other connected devices on, when you come home, when they detect motion, even when they hear a sound. Smart lightbulbs not only come with a range of adjustable colours, they are available with a range of additional features too. Features such as speakers, motion sensors, even built in batteries so you can take them out of the fitting and carry them around like a torch if the power goes out or you don’t want to turn every light in as you creep down to the kitchen for a midnight sandwich.
For many householders, the hub of their Smart Home System is going to be a Smart Speaker. Alone it’s a handy device for accessing all sorts of information, all you need do is ask it a question or tell it to play a tune and it will. However, what really brings them into their own is when they’re connected to a number of other Smart devices. Now you don’t just talk to the speaker, but you talk via the speaker to every Connected device in your home. Tell it to turn this light on, turn that radiator up, light those lights, in blue, and it’s done. Alternatively you can play songs or soundtracks from your phone or laptop on them adding a richness and surround sound quality to whatever you’re looking at. Some Smart Speakers, such as the Echo Dot are simply vehicles for the Smart Assistant built in. The sound isn’t HiFi quality and they’re not that loud. Other manufacturers, those known for making superior home audio equipment such as Sonos are now making wireless Smart Speakers which support not only the Home Assistant, but supply top of the range sound quality too, making them indispensable for the person who loves their Smart Tech, and their home entertainment too.
Security is a number one priority in any home and Smart technology makes it easier and more efficient than ever to secure your home against burglars and vandals. Smart CCTV lets you see whoever’s on your property throughout the day and night wherever you are. Just like video doorbells you can see and speak to whoever’s at your door or peering in through your windows from anywhere in the world, additionally they record and store footage so if anybody does break in or damage your property you have video evidence. Smart burglar alarms equally have the programmable features of many Smart devices, and because they’re connected you can use many other devices to act as sensors. Along with specific door and window sensors, you can use your light’s or Smart speaker’s mics to use sounds and alert you to activity when you’re out of the house. Smart door and window sensors, unlike the old fashioned type, can be programmed to only activate an alert if they’ve been triggered and left for a period of time, or alert you when you’re leaving the house that you’ve left an upstairs window or the back door open.