Would you be surprised if I told you that turning your home into a smart home, does not require you to be an expert or tech specialist? Or spend a lot of money?That’s right a DIY smart home is only a simple decision away.
Technology today allows us to integrate smart devices into our homes with minimal friction and save us time and money.
A smart home doesn’t have to mean that every device in your home is connected to a central smart hub and controlled via phone apps and or voice commands. That may be the ideal situation but at the same time it requires a lot of time, planning, and money investment.
So when starting out it is best to first understand what are the most important tasks for you to automate, understand which options are available to automate them and start there.
Smart hub, should I get one?
Well getting a smart hub like Amazon Echo or Samsung Smart Things is for sure a great foundation to facilitate a smart home experience, since you can control a lot of the devices that will be discussed here through one central location through a phone app or voice commands. And to be honest they’re not that expensive. Smart Hub like the Amazon Echo that uses Alexa voice assistant can give you a real feel of what a smart home feels like.
“Alexa please tell me what the weather is”
“Alexa please wake me up at 6:15 am”
“Alexa call my mom”
“Alexa set a reminder to go on video call with my boss at 17:45PM”
“Alexa check my mail”
But if you feel you want to take it one step at a time just keep reading to get the full picture and then decide how to start your diy smart home. Here are some of the most popular ways to start a DIY smart home.
Smart Security cameras
Security cameras are almost everywhere both in the public and the private space. And they offer a lot of great new features like: Sound detection, motion detection, night vision, built in siren, even face recognition. You can monitor your home 24/7 and get alerts to your phone of suspicious activities. In a sense security cameras are like your own private security guard.
Control the access to your home through your phone. Lock and unlock your doors remotely. Don’t worry about losing your key again, or about getting to work just to realize you need to drive back home because you forgot to lock, just open your phone and lock the door.
Smart Video Doorbell
A video doorbell is really a security camera doorbell. You can view who is at your doorstep at all time via your phone/laptop/tablet, you can also communicate via 2 ways audio with guests at your doorsteps. And if you have a smart lock install you can also open the door with your smartphone.
Set schedules for the lights to turn on and off, change light colors and intensity all through your smartphone or a smart hub. We really like the Philips Hue smart bulbs which offer 16 million color options and 50 lights options.
Smart Light Switches
Smart light switches complement smart lights. Because if the physical switch of a light is turned off you won’t be able to control it through an app or voice command. A smart light switch like TP link hs220 lets you control the lights even if the switch is turned off.
Smart thermostat can control the temperature of your home. The more advanced ones like Goolge nest can learn your temperature preferences and create an optimize schedule so you won’t have to worry about programming it yourself and it will also save you money on your energy bill.
Smart smoke and carbon monoxide detectors
Smoke detectors will turn on an alert and some will also notify the authorities if smoke levels rise above the allowed threshold. Same for Carbon Monoxide sensors which detect high levels of CO in your water system and can prevent potential poisoning. These systems can also save you money on your home insurance
Smart refrigerators are fairly new in the market but the trend is on the rise. Smart refrigerators lets you see the inside of the fridge without needing to open it, can read you recipes, create grocery lists that sync with your smartphone, even set expiration dates on your products and get notified when they about to expire.
Robotic lawn mowers saves you a lot of time by performing one of the most hated tasks by home owners. They use sensors to detect the boundaries of your lawn as well as obstacles mowing your lawn and return to their docking station once done. You can control it via a phone app, turn it on and off and set trimming schedules.
Another daunting task that can be outsourced to a smart device. Diy irrigation systems are very popular and easy to operate. Another advantage is efficiency as you have better control of the amount of water needed.
Smart Vacuum Cleaners
Another smart device that has been gaining popularity over the past few years, brands like iRobot and Ecovacs are doing a great job. They will pick up crumbs, pet hair, and other common debris. While they still can’t replace a good human cleaning they definitely save us some cleaning time.
Ready to start a DIY Smart Home?
As you can tell you have plenty of ways to start turning your home into a smart home. Start by mapping out your needs. Which devices will save you time? Money? Give you more comfort?
Than prioritize them and decide on a budget to allocate to your DIY smart home.
You can start with one project, like smart lights or smart locks and than another project and so on. If you do decide to get a smart hub, make sure that other devices you get are compatible with that hub. (You will still be able to use them even if they are not, but it is always better to do everything through one central location.)