Having a connected home is no longer a science-fiction fantasy. Today’s smart home technology can help us feel more like the Jetsons than ever before. You can use your phone to unlock your door, adjust the lights, and even turn on the air conditioner. You can answer the door even when you’re not at home. And robots can vacuum your living space.
It’s easy to become overwhelmed by the seemingly endless options of smart home devices that are now available, never mind figuring out where to begin. If you’ve been thinking of adding smart home technology to your home, here’s an easy way to get started.
Choose how connected you want to be
When you begin planning your smart home design, think about how connected you want to be. You can keep it simple with a few smart devices or you can go all out and automate everything.
Outfitting your home with smart devices is an investment, especially if you’re not sure how useful some of the devices can be (do you really need a smart fridge?). Thankfully, you don’t need to fully automate your home from the start. You can gradually build your smart home one device at a time. Choose a single device that’s the most useful for your lifestyle and then add other devices as you find necessary.
Decide how to control your smart home
There are two ways you can control your smart home: individually through each device’s app or from a central hub. If you have a few smart devices, managing them through their individual app is no issue. It’s when you begin to create a larger system of connected devices that it tends to get tedious. That’s where smart hubs come in handy.
Smart home hubs allow you to control all of your smart devices from one source. You can choose a regular smart hub, like the Wink or Samsung SmartThings hub that doesn’t have voice control or you can choose one with an integrated voice assistant, like Amazon Echo, Google Home, or Apple HomeKit to name a few. Whatever one you choose, make sure your chosen devices are compatible with your hub so you’re able to expand over time.
Check your Wi-Fi
Every smart device requires a strong internet connection. That’s how they’re able to communicate with other devices and connect to the Internet. Slow or spotty internet is frustrating and can cause your smart devices to not work properly. The first step to building a smart home is checking your WiFi strength. You can use tools to assess your home’s signal strength and identify weak spots. If you have dead spots, try relocating your router to an open, central location in your home. Here are some additional ways you can boost your Wi-Fi signal. If you do need an additional boost to your signal strength, you can invest in extra devices to help like a Wi-Fi range extender or mesh network.
Keep your home network secure
The best way to keep your system safe from hackers is using a unique password for each device, including your router. Use a strong password, don’t share it with others, and change it regularly. Password managers are a great way to help keep track of passwords. If your devices or router allow for guest access, use that so visitors can connect to your Wi-Fi network without having to give up your password.
Smart home devices make our homes more convenient to live in and thankfully creating your own home automation system doesn’t require an advanced degree. Choosing devices that best fit your needs allows you to create a system that’s tailormade for your home. Smart home automation works hand in hand with our green building standards.
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