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Smart Home Ideas

by Scott Zeller
 

604

 

Understanding and Choosing Smart Home Products that Are Right for Your Lifestyle

 

Figure out which smart home products can work best for you.

Guest post by Patrick Hearn

Many people are drawn into the world of smart home technology by cool features like smart lights and smart assistants, because they help make life more convenient. But it can also be somewhat intimidating for people to get started when they’re faced with a bevvy of technical terms and limitless options. Getting past the jargon and understanding how smart home devices can work together can all add up to a much more convenient lifestyle.

Here’s how to figure out which smart home products can work best for you.

Consider How Devices Communicate

When you’re selecting smart home devices, you may come across the terms Insteon, Zigbee, and Z-Wave. These are different types of networks that smart home products use to communicate with one another. Insteon can communicate over a Wi-Fi network or through the existing electrical wiring in your walls, while Zigbee and Z-Wave communicate only through your Wi-Fi network.

The main thing to keep in mind is that there are compatibility differences to consider. Not all smart home products are compatible with these networks, but the vast majority of smart home products will work with Zigbee and Z-Wave.

Choose Devices that Can Simplify Your Life

The number of available smart home devices grows with each passing day. Where once there were only smart lights and security systems, now you can purchase everything from a connected oven to a smart robot that vacuums your home for you. The majority of newer products are compatible with most existing products, and even those that don’t work together straight out of the box can be made to work together through smart home hubs.

1. Security

Take a moment and think about the conveniences you want in your home. If you invest in only one type of smart home technology, make it a security system complete with security cameras. Connected home security systems make it easy to keep an eye on things around the house when you’re away, and even the presence of a security system can be enough to deter someone with malicious intent.

2. Smart lighting

For people who work out of the home, go away on vacation, or simply want an easier way to manage their lighting, smart lighting can help. With smart lights, you can control your lights from afar with a mobile app. Because smart lights have been around for a while, there are a lot of different options to fit every budget and color range.

3. Smart assistants

A smart assistant is just what it sounds like — a voice-activated device that can tell you everything from the news to the weather, control your smart home, play music, and much more. Although each device comes with varying levels of complexity, most of the difference lies in the volume level of the speaker.

4. Smart appliances

These days, you can connect everything from toaster ovens to washers and dryers. Most of these alert you via smartphone when something is finished cooking or a load of laundry is ready to go in the dryer, but certain appliances offer different features. Any homeowner with a busy schedule and lots of chores can benefit from the conveniences of managing appliances remotely.

5. Smart power strips and outlets

Smart outlets are one of the easiest ways to add smart home tech to your home without breaking the bank. Smart outlets can control the flow of power to and from a device. You can monitor the status of an outlet from your phone and turn it on or off. Are you one to leave the house and panic over whether the iron was plugged in? Next time, plug it into a smart outlet and you won’t have to worry.

6. Smart thermostats

Many people are introduced to smart home technology through a smart thermostat. These devices learn how you like your home to feel. If you keep it cooler at night and turn up the heat in the morning, a smart thermostat will pick up on that after a few days and adjust automatically. Like other smart devices, these can be controlled from your phone or via voice input with a smart assistant. They’re also an energy-saver. Homeowners who are concerned with energy efficiency would benefit from this device.

With these devices, you can get creative and customize them to the needs of your lifestyle. Services like If This, Then That (IFTTT) make it possible to connect devices together in ways you never would have imagined. You can also connect them through a smart home hub, like one provided by your internet service provider. For example, program a smart light next to your bed to simulate a sunrise if you have to wake up before dawn, and trigger your heat to turn on. Program smart lights to turn a certain color based on the temperature outside. Set your smart coffee pot to be linked to a motion sensor so that it begins brewing the moment you get out of bed. Make your life smarter, and a lot easier, with the limitless options.

 

Patrick Hearn is an Atlanta-based tech writer for Xfinity Home. When not researching the latest gadget or home security solution, he can be found at the latest coffee shop trying the newest pour-over.  

Sharon is the Manager of Product and Content Marketing for Coldwell Banker Real Estate, LLC. She lives in New Jersey and holds a BA from Syracuse University. She loves pun-ny jokes, true crime documentaries, podcasts and she can watch adorable videos of puppies and babies all day!

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Smart Home Technology

by Scott Zeller
 

138

 

“Smart Home” Technology Is the Future. Here’s Why

 

Why should you consider upgrading to this increasingly prevalent technology? Let’s explore a few reasons.

Today’s smartphones go a tremendously long way in making some of life’s responsibilities easier to manage. Their ability to interact with home automation tools has contributed significantly to the rise of Smart Home technology. By making the move to this increasingly innovative tech, homeowners can reap significant benefits. It’s not unusual to come across listings these days promoting Smart Home as one of the several features of a home or a condominium residence. Why should you consider upgrading to this increasingly prevalent technology? Let’s explore a few reasons.

Control at the Touch of a Button

Smart appliances create an unprecedented level of control that simply makes life easier. Take for example something like an oven. Let’s say you were in the middle of baking a great meal for your family or friends but you forgot an essential ingredient, forcing you to head to the store. Instead of worrying whether or not you turned the oven off and having to waste valuable time by turning back, just turn it off at the touch of a button. The same idea applies for your air conditioning. You may wish to turn it off completely when you’re not home, or perhaps turn down the temperature a couple of degrees when you’re on your way home. That way when you arrive home, your home is nice and cool.

Better Safety and Accessibility

Besides making sure ovens don’t stay on, your security is dramatically improved. Through a smartphone, you can see who is knocking at your door when someone rings the doorbell, you can lock your doors remotely, or even keep track of when certain people in your home come and go such as when children arrive from school or when an elderly relative is picked up. Speaking of the elderly, voice commands make it much easier for them to perform simple tasks such as turning on the lights, reducing the risk of injury while attempting to fumble for the light switch in a dark room.

Better Use of Energy

Modern smart appliances have advanced enough that they use minimal electricity. Today’s cooktop stoves, for example, are intelligent enough to know that heat should only be applied when there is a metal pan placed on top. With this intelligent technology, homeowners can potentially save money on their electric bill.

Money Savings

The US Environmental Protection Agency published a study showing that using smart thermostats resulted in as much as thirty percent in energy savings for homeowners. When evaluated over a long-term period such as five years, that’s quite the chunk of money being saved. It’s also worth noting that if and when it comes time to sell your home, Smart Home technology may significantly improve the resale value of your home and catch the eye of a buyer looking for something that offers modern conveniences.

Transitioning towards a fully Smart Home equipped home may require a significant investment upfront but again, the long-term rewards outweigh the initial costs. Consider how the technology can benefit you and your family.

 

This update is by The Jills team which includes Jill Eber, Jill Hertzberg, Danny Hertzberg, Hillary Hertzberg, and Felise Eber. Call 305-341-7447 for more information about The Jills team, Miami Beach real estate, or the upscale homes of North Bay Road in Miami Beach.

 

Jill Hertzberg has lived in Miami Beach her entire life and is co-founder of The Jills®, Coldwell Banker’s #1 sales team worldwide and #1 team in Florida. An avid golfer, biker and runner, she goes the extra mile for her clients. Together, The Jills have sold over $3.17 billion in real estate since 2005. Jill also supports numerous organizations such as Camillus House, Jackson Memorial Foundation, United Way of Miami-Dade, Diabetes Research Institute, and Seeds of Peace.

 

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Murfreesboro TN 37129
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