If you're beginning to realise the benefits of automating tasks around your home, you'll also come to realise that it's easy to be overwhelmed by the sheer amount of products in the market.
While home automation is becoming common practice, some of us may still be confused as to how these products work or how to incorporate them into our homes.
No need to fret though, we've collated some ideas to get you started in smartening your home!
Task: Turning on/off the lights (Smart Lighting)
Photo Credit: Tech Advisor
One of the easiest tasks to automate are lights in your home. Smart lighting has numerous advantages, from automatically turning on when you enter a room to acting as a form of security when you're away for a prolonged period.
It'll also save you dollars when it comes to electricity bills. Many smart lights come with sensors so it'll switch itself off once you leave the room. It's perfect for those who constantly forget to turn them off. They also use LED bulbs which last 25 times longer than normal ones and consumes only 10% of the energy for the same amount of brightness.
Smart lights can also be programmed to come on at certain timings. Give the illusion that you're home even when you aren't; it'll definitely deflect any potential intruders who're eyeing to break in when you're on vacation.
Task: Adjusting the thermostat (Smart Thermostat)
Photo Credit: Denver Shade Company
If you find yourself constantly adjusting your thermostat, a Smart Thermostat should be an obvious choice. They control your home's temperature remotely and even provide energy consumption reports of your heaters and coolers.
Smart thermostats learn from your habits. While it may seem odd and even creepy to some, it simply means your thermostat remembers your input and adjusts to fulfil your needs. For example, we turn up the thermostat when it get cold outside; the smart thermostat simply logs your input and adjusts the home's temperature according to the weather next time.
They can also disable the heat or air conditioners when you're away. Think being in the cold for an hour when you travel back home from work, your smart thermostat will reactivate the heaters to ensure you walk into a warm and cosy house! Some will even show you how long it'll take to get a room to your desired temperature.
Similar to smart lights, a smart thermostat allows you to save on your bills in the long run. Connected and controlled via your smartphone, your smart thermostat notifies you of your energy consumption. This way, you can tweak your habits towards becoming more energy efficient, thus reducing your spending.
Task: Keeping an eye on your home (Smart Security Camera)
Photo Credit: Unifore
We understand that security is of utmost importance when it comes to your home. No one wants to come back only to realise they've been burgled. Even in safe neighbourhoods, we can never be too relaxed about security standards.
It is common to install safety systems like burglar or fire alarms. However, it's hard to know actual events happening inside or outside of your home unless you're actually at the scene. Smart security cameras make it easy for you to monitor what's going on at all times.
These cameras provide 24/7 live streams which can be viewed anytime, anywhere so you have a peace of mind. Some incorporate facial recognition technology for heightened security. It'll alert you when family members are home and when a stranger is detected.
Additionally, it recognises existing alarms installed in your home. If the camera hears a security alarm go off, it automatically starts to record the footage and alerts you of the situation. Numerous devices can also gain access to the footage as the accompanying app can be downloaded by all family members.
Task: Cooking (Smart Kitchen)
Photo Credit: The Ambient
Here's a scenario we can all relate to: you leave your dish to simmer and set a timer for it; you proceed to do other activities like watch a show, play with your children etc. In the midst of your fun and games, you hear the timer go off and have to pull yourself away to tend to your dish.
Smart cooking devices are here to save the day! Synced to a mobile app, you'll never have to extract yourself from the climax of a TV show to turn the stove off again. Think smart pressure cookers and digital thermometers; these devices help detect when your food is ready and turns off the gas or fire for you.
It's also great for the budding home cook to get precise timings on certain recipes. On top of that, it'll save you from any potential fires should you forget to turn the stove off before you leave home.
Task: Granting access to your home (Smart lock)
Another simple task to automate is the granting of access to your home!
Smart locks are plentiful in the market and are the epitome of convenience. No more fumbling for keys while carrying bags of groceries or tending to toddlers. With numerous modes of access like PIN codes, Bluetooth keys and RFID key tags and stickers, you'll realise that physical keys are more of a hassle than anything else.
Even the most responsible of us lose a key once in a while or even forget to lock the door behind us when we're in a rush. A smart lock brings a host of advantages in situations like these. igloohome smart locks come equipped with auto-relocking functions to ensure your home is safe every time you step out. If you lose an RFID key tag, simply delete it from your lock via the igloohome app. There's no need have a locksmith pay you a visit again.
A smart lock is also great for those who have part-time cleaners who come in every week. Simply generate a duration PIN code for them to gain access into your home; you won't have to clear your schedule just to let them in. The PIN code expires after the set time so they won't be able to get in again with the same code.
Just like all home automation gadgets, smart locks give you a peace of mind. Most have access logs for you to track who has unlocked your door. Additionally, igloohome's line of smart locks work offline; it eliminates the risk of WiFi hacking and weak WiFi connectivity issues to ensure that lockouts are a thing of the past.
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About the Author
Having faced lock-out situations for a couple of years, Cherry has sworn off keys (and alcohol). She is an avid follower of tech that prevents said situation.
Nydia, not Lydia, has never touched a key in all 22 years of her life. She has been an active advocate of the benefits of going keyless and is excited at the prospect of never needing them in the future.