Smart home technology can offer modern homeowners many attractive benefits when designing a new home.
Aug. 28, 2023 - Smart home technology has grown from a trendy buzzword to a now multi-billion-dollar industry. The concept started gaining popularity in the early 2000s; now, thousands of smart home automation products help homeowners automate, customize, and simplify common household technology features. The smart products industry is expected to grow at the rate of 10.22% per year in the United States alone, reaching up to $57.21 billion in revenue by 2027, according to a 2022 study by Statista Market Insights.
Many entry-level products in this space are available to homeowners interested in creating a more connected experience at home. Products like smart thermostats, smart security cameras, smart appliances, voice assistants, and smart light bulbs make it easy for anyone to dip their toe into the world of connected devices.
However, those types of consumer products only scratch the surface of what’s possible in a truly smart home.
In this post, we’ll explore the following:
What it Takes to Make a Smart Home
A true smart home is more than simply connecting a handful of devices to the internet for control – it is an automated ecosystem of devices customized to enhance the homeowner’s lifestyle.
While popular smart consumer products like Philips® Hue smart LED light bulbs or Nest® thermostats are affordable and effective at performing their task, these products have limitations, especially without a deeper knowledge of technical programming and networking. This is certainly true when attempting to integrate devices from different brands.
For example, one brand may have a great light bulb product and an intuitive user interface; however, that same brand may not have its own thermostat product. So, if you want these two separate smart products, you’ll need two individual user interfaces to control each. You can see how this can quickly snowball into a far too complicated system as you add more devices to your home.
In a truly smart home, devices can work both independently and interdependent of one another to automate activities, create scenes, measure the environment, and notify residents of events with or without user interaction. This type of system sophistication can be customized to the user’s specific preferences and has the flexibility to reconfigure settings based on the users' needs in different scenarios.
It takes more than a trip to the local big box store and an internet connection to accomplish this caliber of high-end home automation. A real smart home system requires a professional systems integrator to install and configure the system based on the user’s preferences.
A professional integrator can help guide you toward the right technologies to fit your needs and preferences. You’ll want to have an in-depth conversation with them to give them insights into questions like:
Once the initial conversations are out of the way, your integrator can start to piece together the best devices to help you achieve your goals. Smart devices, also known as Internet of Things (IoT) devices, could include any of the following:
Smart thermostats are a great option for homeowners interested in energy efficiency. These products typically can monitor a home's temperature and automatically adjust settings to save energy and money while meeting the homeowner’s comfort levels.
Many smart thermostats work with occupancy sensors to detect when rooms are empty and adjust accordingly. With the addition of machine learning, some thermostats can begin to understand occupant routines and predict the needs of homeowners.
Another added perk is the ability for homeowners to log into their HVAC system remotely and adjust settings when away from home.
Smart Security Systems
Smart security systems use various devices, such as cameras, motion detectors, alarm systems, and smart home access locks. These devices work together to deliver real-time information directly to the homeowner through their smart phones and other devices.
Smart lighting systems enhance control, convenience, and energy efficiency through networkable LED lights.
These lighting control systems allow homeowners to remotely control and schedule lighting routines in the home, such as on/off, brightness levels, and even coloring.
These lighting systems can be accessed through other devices such as smartphones or can integrate with voice control technology so you can literally tell your lights what to do without pushing buttons or flipping a switch.
The LED bulbs provide top-of-the-line energy efficiency and can help homeowners dial back their energy usage when paired with occupancy sensors. Certain sensors can even detect natural sunlight and mimic the healthy biological effects of circadian rhythms.
From complete lighting automation to vibrant party colors, smart lights give homeowners the power of convenience and customization at the tip of their fingers.
Smart shades are motorized and automated window coverings that can integrate into a smart house system for convenient privacy, light control, security, and energy efficiency.
Whether you automate shades to let sunlight in first thing in the morning or use your smartphone to block unwanted rays for movie night, this shading solution adds extra convenience and customization to any smart home system.
Low-Voltage Audio Systems
With a low-voltage audio system, homeowners can run dozens of speakers throughout their house and create different listening zones by room, floor, indoor, outdoor, and more. These speakers can be extremely discreet and, in some cases, can even be installed behind drywall.
By integrating a low-voltage system into a smart home, users can control the audio as part of the user's home routines, such as synchronizing playback with lighting scenes or scheduling audio events.
Another feature of having a distributed audio system is the ability to add whole-home paging. That means, residents can make announcements over the audio system that are played throughout the entire home or by individually selected rooms and zones. It’s great for larger luxury homes with a lot of square footage to be able to communicate information with family members or guests no matter where they are located in the house.
Smart TVs and Media
Smart TVs are already commonplace in many homes. However, integrating these devices into a full smart home system gives users more control and flexibility over the media. You can control normal TV functions such as on/off, volume, channel, and input using a variety of remote and wall-mounted controllers.