Smart homes: what are they and what are the benefits?

UK Home Improvement

Smart Homes: What are they and what are the benefits?

There’s a smart-something wherever you look nowadays.

Smartphones, smarthubs – now it’s even possible to have an entire smart home. With the advent of more and more devices finding ways to connect, leading to the Internet of Things becoming an embedded part of our lives.

What does it mean to have a smart home? And how can it benefit you? Let’s take a look.

What are smart homes?

In general terms, a smart home is one where appliances and devices can be controlled wirelessly over an internet connection.

Devices like the Amazon Alexa, Google Nest and Apple HomePod are examples of popular ‘smart speakers’ that can typically be programmed to control several devices around the home with voice commands.

Investing in one of these devices and others that are compatible will soon turn your house into a smart home. 

However, it is even possible to take a DIY approach if you have the requisite tech skills. With a cheap yet powerful microcontroller, you may be able to build your own device – perfect if you’d rather shout Mildred or Kenneth around your home than Alexa!

What are the benefits of smart homes?

OK, so we can tell Mildred to turn the TV on or command Kenneth to switch the lights off upstairs. That’s great if your primary concern is not getting up off your backside, but what are the more tangible benefits?

A smart home is a safer home

Turning the lights on if movement is sensed outside the house. Smart fire sensors telling you exactly where the problem is starting before it gets out of hand. A video doorbell that allows you to screen unwanted visitors and potentially deter burglars.

Connecting the different parts of your home gives you a greater overview of how everything is working and can help increase your sense of safety to boot.

A smart home is a cheaper home

Smart meters help you keep a close track of your utility bills and smart thermostats allow you to make changes to your heating whether you’re at home or not.

Having that beady eye on your bills at all times can help you to spot what activities cost the most, giving you the chance to modify your habits and save in the process.

Setting systems to switch off when not in use automatically will also save you on power – and all of this will cut your bills in the long run.

A smart home is an eco-friendlier home

If you’re cutting your energy bills, it’s not just your wallet that benefits but you’ll make the planet smile a bit more too.

All of those appliances and devices need electricity to be powered so keeping them in check with smart systems can cut your carbon footprint.

Modified routines like taking shorter showers, avoiding reliance on dishwashers and forgoing the use of tumble driers when the weather allows are also great ways to cut your energy usage and help mother nature.


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