6 Tips That Will Help You Build a Smarter Home
Building a smart home is not as difficult as it seems. There are more gadgets than ever ready to be connected to a smart hub in your house, which means there are more things you can control with voice commands and automate. Even the smart hubs are getting smarter. And, they bring new features such as connection to multiple wireless speakers.
Planning to build a smarter home, however, can be a challenge. You still need to think about how every smart appliance in your house can be integrated and the best ways to invest your money. To help you overcome this challenge, here are 10 tips that will help you build a smarter home immediately.
1. Start with a Quick Review
Before you start buying new appliances and installing a mesh Wi-Fi network around the house, it is a good idea to do a quick review of the place. Think about the things you want to turn into smart features, and begin visualizing how those features can benefit you in the future.
For example, it is easy to buy a smart coffee machine for the kitchen, but buying one just for the sake of having a smart coffee machine isn’t the way to go. You have to think about how you can integrate the new coffee machine with an alarm or your smart hub for more pleasant mornings.
A quick review will also reveal potential issues with building a smarter home. When you have thick walls limiting your Wi-Fi network, for instance, you know you have to install additional repeaters or nodes to make sure that all smart appliances can connect to your hub seamlessly.
2. Consider DIY Projects
You don’t always have to buy smart appliances when turning your home into a smart one. In fact, you shouldn’t. Thanks to gadgets like the Raspberry Pi and the many modules available for it, you can automate different parts of the house with gadgets you create yourself.
Sites like Gumstix offer the ability to customize boards through tools for designing custom Raspberry Pi modules. You can have parts like ufl antenna extending the connectivity reach of your DIY smart devices. To tie everything together, there are instructions and DIY project ideas you can find online.
Going the DIY route makes custom functions possible. You don’t always have to settle with what today’s smart devices offer. You don’t even have to have an engineering or programming background to complete these DIY projects thanks to pre-made codes and project bundles.
3. Use Wires Whenever Possible
Yes, you can establish a comprehensive mesh Wi-Fi network to power your smart devices, but going the old-school way and using wired LAN is not an idea you want to dismiss immediately. A lot of the smart appliances and gadgets available today still support Gigabit ethernet.
In some cases, wired connectivity is the better option of the two. When creating a home entertainment system, connecting your Network Attached Storage to your entertainment hubs using Gigabit ethernet will result in smoother streaming of high-definition contents.
The same is true for security gadgets. Wired ethernet can act as a failsafe for your smart surveillance and security system. This way, you are adding an extra layer of protection to the house while making it difficult for the system to be hacked wirelessly.
4. Smart Switches Are Your Friends
Smart switches are among the best gadgets to invest in when converting your home into a smart one. Rather than completely replacing your bulbs with smart LED bulbs, you can save a lot of money by using smart switches. The same is true with outdoor lights.
Smart switches aren’t just useful for lights too. You can use smart switches to cleverly control older devices such as your old air conditioner or the fan in the living room. Investing in smart switches means that you don’t have to replace everything when building your smart home.
Another clever hack is using a smart switch to convert am ordinary garage door opener into a smart one. Combined with features like geofencing, you can achieve a lot using smart switches and old gadgets.
5. Utilize Geofencing
Speaking of geofencing, a smart home should always leverage geofencing as one of the best features to use. As the name suggests, geofencing is basically a digital fence around your smart home. When a geofence is established, you can use the circle to trigger actions around the house.
Your phone is used to monitor your location and trigger actions when you leave or enter the geofence. If you want the lights to be turned off when you leave the house, you can do so by setting up a geofence and triggering the correct action.
On the other hand, you can have the coffee machine make your afternoon coffee as soon as you enter the driveway. You can use the smart switch paired with your garage door to automatically open the garage when you arrive from work.
6. Be Meticulous with Wiring
Many small smart devices can be powered with batteries, but you want to think about setting up a more permanent power source when building your smart home. While batteries are great and some smart gadgets stay on for weeks on a single charge, they are a source of unnecessary hassle.
Battery maintenance becomes even more difficult when you start adding more devices to the space and you have to remember to replace or recharge the batteries at different times. Since batteries also lose their ability to store power over time, you have battery replacement costs to consider too.
For devices that must be powered using batteries, try finding dummy batteries that you can connect to a power source directly. You’ll be surprised by the number of dummy batteries that are available for smart home appliances and devices.
One final tip to keep in mind is to seek rebates and discounts when buying smart home appliances. With smart homes becoming more popular, it is not uncommon for retailers to offer the latest and greatest smart home gadgets at great prices. You will have your smart home planned and built in no time.