Smart home: Luxury or necessity?

Technology is allowing us to make our home increasingly ‘smart’, making it more convenient and efficient, and making our lives better. The convenience that comes with the smart home package is a big plus as you can switch from manual use to voice commands such as “Alexa, turn on the bedroom lamp” or “Alexa, switch off the HVAC” and it’s done.

First off, let’s define what a “smart home” is:

A smart home is a house equipped with automated, digitised, and connected home assets, electrical services, controls, and appliances throughout. These run within a communications network and enable enhanced monitoring, comfort, energy conservation, maintenance, home activities, and security of its occupants. The occupants have access to the resulting services and controls via control panels, special displays and controllers, which can be in the form of a smart phone, tablet or computer.

What home assets can be connected to a smart home?

Aside from home appliances such as Smart TV, entertainment systems and heating and cooling systems, you can also connect other internet enabled devices, such as sensor lighting systems, security alarm systems, door lock automation systems and smart meters to your smart home system.

What are the other reasons why you should have a smart home?

Having a smart home is cost-efficient. You can operate your heating and cooling system, security cameras, smart lighting and even kitchen appliances with just a touch of a button or mobile phone application, remotely or while you are in the property. This feature helps you save electricity because if you have forgotten to switch off a device, you can do it anytime and anywhere. Having a smart home gives you more control over the heating and cooling of your home with a programmable smart thermostat that learns your schedule and temperature preferences, and then suggests the best energy-efficient settings throughout the day. You can program lights to switch to an evening mode as the sun sets or turn lights off automatically when a room is empty.

When asked, most homeowners with smart homes will say that security is the topmost reason for their upgrade. Home automation systems can connect motion detectors, sensor lights, security cameras, automated door locks, smoke alarm systems, and so on, throughout the home. This empowers the homeowner because it doesn’t matter where they are, they can monitor activities in their homes in real-time, wherever they are in the world.

Health and wellness management is also another reason to have a smart home.  Thanks to the Internet of Things (IoT) and technological evolution, data can be communicated between wearables, home monitoring devices, mobile apps and home-based sensors, which can be very valuable in the instance that an older person or person with special needs is at home alone and needs to be connected with carers or emergency services.

The era of regarding smart homes as luxurious and only for the wealthy has long ended. We are now living in an age where smart automation systems are becoming vital ways that we can improve our lifestyle, security and accessibility when at home.