By now most everyone has at least heard of smart homes. Some may still wonder though, what is a smart home? Well it depends on whom you ask. To one person a smart home can be a couple lights set with timers, to another it's a full on Jetsons inspired automated house where everything is controlled by machines. In a smart home, tasks that are usually performed by humans can be regulated and automated by machines or electronic devices.
Coldwell Banker however defines a Smart home as: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (aka “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself.
For a home to be qualified as a smart home, there are a couple things to keep in mind. For one the property must have a smart security feature that either controls or monitors the residence or smart temperature feature.
This type of automation can provide several benefits to the homeowner, such as safety. In addition to the household alarms, automatic lights and doorbells (that alert the residence when someone at the door) can help to deter would be intruders by giving the impression the owners are home.
Smart homes also offer increased convenience with menial tasks. How much easier could a homeowner's day be made with a washer that allows them to control cycles remotely or a fridge that can scan its contents and let owners know when its time to refill certain groceries.
However most people are wanting to take on smart homes for energy related reasons. Automated lights can help with energy bills and smart thermostats know when to lower the temperature in a home automatically which helps to make a home more energy efficient.
Many of these devices can be connected and work together with each other to create a fully automated household. This can be accomplished with energy hubs that links them all together. While some brands don’t work well with each other, for the most part creating an interconnected web of devices is viable option for many.
Many homes are not smart equipped at this time so owners turn to retrofitting their home with various appliances. With increased Wi-Fi capability and the rising popularity in the practice though, smart homes are becoming a more common and accessible sight. With electronics advancing every day expect to see more and more homes to graduate to more advanced means and become “smart”.