Automating your Condo into a Smart Home – Steps and Gadgets Involved
Smart homes are becoming fashionable each passing day. Whether it’s in Norway, Denmark, The United Kingdom, The United States of America, Colombia, Spain, Mexico, Russia, Italy or any other country; smart homes are becoming acceptable and have been able to facilitate residents a lot.
Yet, there are many who prefer to keep their homes the traditional way. Moreover, there are those who prefer keeping a balance between tech and tradition. In Canada, smart homes are becoming fashionable but automating homes is becoming more acceptable. In case things go haywire, residents can opt out of it.
Smart homes in Canada – which cities are leading the way?
In Canada, smart homes are becoming quite popular. Burnaby, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto and Vancouver are leading the way. In the city of Toronto, apartments, lofts, homes and condos are embracing smart home technology without much hesitation.
Overall, smart homes are becoming more popular today than they were a few years ago. A lot of people may be thinking about embracing the concept by jumping on the bandwagon, and there are also those who are wondering what it is and what can a smart home do for them?
A smart home basically uses technology for automation and controlling various aspects of anyone’s home. This is usually done through apps in smartphones or another smart device. At times, this can be accessed via voice commands.
Newly constructed apartments, condos and lofts as well as townhouses are the ones that have embraced the concept of a smart home. The effectiveness of this technology has been proven, albeit a few glitches that are easily fixed. Moreover, those who have been living in traditional homes can embrace the concept of smart home technology easily.
Moreover, smart homes have numerous advantages and among them are security, energy efficiency, convenience and reliability. Those who really want to start on automating their homes and making it smart, they are lucky. This brief guide will surely help them out in this matter.
Selecting the first smart device – a brief walkthrough
Let us get straight to business first. Smart devices are expensive and getting a whole smart home set can be as expensive as a home (meaning they can cost as much as a unit of Toronto condos for sale and the working expenses are part of the costs too).
Experts suggest that residents should start off with either one or two devices. Afterwards they should build on from there. Here are some things they should consider:
- The Setup: Residents should begin with easier devices. They are a smart doorbell and a smart light bulb. Smart thermostats are more complicated than a smart light bulb and residents cannot understand them immediately.
- Cost: Each smart device has a price of its own (i.e. a thermostat costs less than a lightbulb). Once residents have fixed their budget, they can hence look at the other aspects of smart home devices.
- Research: Residents and other people alike should always read device reviews, brand reviews and guides for buyers. They should also not hesitate in asking neighbours, friends, family members, co-workers and other associated people about the devices. It should be understood that what works for one may not necessarily work well for the other. People should hence form their own opinion.
Residents should start from easy devices
Here are some smart devices classified as easy to use by experts who also recommend that homeowners should start automating their home using these devices first:
- Smart light bulb: One of the most affordable smart devices, starting with them is easy when it comes to automating a home. Philips Hue Smart Bulbs are among the best choices as residents can have the classic white for C$15 or upgrade to multicolour and multi shade ones for a bit extra, say C$ 20. These bulbs are quite easy to use via both apps and voice command, or either.
- A video doorbell: This device is a combination of a doorbell and a set of security cameras for the front door. Residents can see and even talk to those who are on the front entrance without the need to open the door. Experts suggest that this will cost around C$ 110. They are usually on the lower end of video doorbells and are quite easy to set up.
- Smart plugs: These plugs can turn any device into a smart device. They are budget and user-friendly. Residents can make use of a smart home app to control them and schedule times for devices (and scheduling lamp lights too). Experts suggest those that have an away mode mimicking someone being at home while residents are on vacation.
- Smart speakers: A smart speaker (just like the smart light bulb) is another easy way to start automating the home. They work with user voice commands, starting activities like playing music, setting time in clocks and helping in controlling other smart devices with relevant ease. Amazon’s Echo Dot is the most sought after smart speaker, as it costs around C$ 50 and is one of the most affordable speakers in the market. It works quite well with the Alexa smart home platform.
Selecting a smart home platform
At times, the most difficult aspect regarding home automation can be selecting the right platform. If residents are able to use a single platform, allowing their devices to sync with the smart home devices then they can be able to control them in one place. It is usually carried out through apps in smartphones or via digital assistants like Alexa or Siri.
There are a lot of options present for automating homes. Getting started on the smart home life requires a deep understanding of the devices involved. These devices can help residents save energy and utility costs, and earn themselves a life of convenience.
Additionally, if residents are looking to sell their home in the near future, home automation will help drive the home’s value up and of course interior design will also play vital factor.