Technological home: 7 tips to transform your home into a “smart home”

A big trend for tech-adapted homes is smart homes, or better known as smart homes. These are homes that combine security systems, lighting, and appliances that communicate with each other by commands. These devices can be controlled by voice or via app via tablets, computers, and smartphones.

There has been a growth in recent years regarding the choice of automation control devices and ecosystems, which has made the resource of artificial intelligence increasingly accessible. Contrary to what many people think, having a smart home does not require replacing all electronic devices with new equipment.

The process can start slowly, making small changes that can make the home experience more comfortable, personalized, and fun. To know where to start, Irwin Gomes, a home automation professional in São Paulo who works with GetNinjas, the largest service hiring application in Latin America, has separated some tips. Check it out below:

Choose your ecosystem: the automation market is very hot and there are many product options to make your home more adapted to you. For the automation experience to be the best possible, all installed products must talk to each other. And to make the choice easier, a good option is to select your ecosystem from a common ecosystem, such as the voice assistant ecosystem. Smart home devices are already compatible with voice assistants like Amazon Echo, and its assistant Alexa, and Google Home. To a lesser extent, but growing rapidly, some devices can be controlled with Apple HomePod and its assistant Siri. Behind the voice of the assistants who receive your instructions is a communication protocol that connects devices from many different manufacturers. For this to work well, however, it is important to purchase equipment that is compatible with the system and wizard you have chosen.

Review your electrical installation: as all smart devices that are part of your home need energy, it is necessary to carry out a complete overhaul of the electrical installation. Make sure there are no faulty installations, overloaded, or other details that could damage your devices. Before installing smart outlets, switches, and thermostats (which help control voltage and improve home efficiency), it is important to ensure that your installation is grounded and working properly, especially if there is very old wiring. Therefore, first and foremost, it is best to hire an electrician to carry out the overhaul and, if necessary, renew the installation. 

Choose a category: Virtually any area of ​​the home can receive an intelligence boost: lighting, temperature, entertainment (audio and TV), locks, security system, and appliances. The suggestion is to choose one of them and start looking for products that work with the chosen system. 

Lamps and lights: Smart lighting allows you to print the relaxing lighting of a restaurant when you are having friends over for dinner or even get the lighting turned on automatically when you are not at home, increasing the security of the home. The limit is creativity. The lighting can change in intensity and respond to clapping, presence sensor, and voice commands. The only thing you need is for the light trigger or lamp to have built-in technology that communicates with your router’s LAN. Some simple examples are Philips HUE lamps and smart switches.

Smart Outlets: Another option is adapters that plug into normal home outlets. They give you the possibility of not investing in smart appliances right away, making you familiarize yourself with the system little by little. They allow you to monitor energy consumption and even generate consumption reports. In addition, they connect with other smart devices to turn them on or off automatically, according to pre-programmed times, or through manual activation. 

Entertainment: integrating your “assistant” with music and TV services is very simple, however, it is worth remembering that these are interconnected devices. That is, if you have sound equipment that automatically connects to Spotify, for example, your assistant will give the commands. Here it is important to consider that if your TV is more than 5 years old, you might need to change it, as to receive the commands you need an HDMI 2.0 input. Ideally, you should have some device like Apple Tv or Chromecast (or whichever is more compatible with your ecosystem of control) so that voice instructions are possible. Another option for entertainment that does not require changing your equipment is to use an infrared emitter that exactly replicates the signal sent by your remote controls. 

Smart Locks: This option requires a greater effort to install, but is still simpler than traditional security systems. Today there is a wide variety of smart locks that include options such as opening with numeric codes, magnetic cards, cell phone applications, virtual keys, and even biometric reading. Most can connect with their voice assistant, so you can see how long you have visitors waiting outside your home.

These are some suggestions that are flexible depending on the area of ​​the house you most want to start the procedure on and the budget available to start the project. For this, it is important to research the equipment needed in the process and get in touch with home automation professionals to have more accurate knowledge of the initial investment.

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