Imagine for a moment that every night you could just crash into bed without worry with anything else, because the routine tasks of turning off the lights, checking the locks, set the thermostats and so on, would be done by your butler.
Sound too good to be true? Well, you can stop imagining now, because thanks to modern technology, you can have that, and much more! Not only will your “butler” be taking care of a myriad different task efficiently and effortlessly, but it also will not cost you a dime. On the contrary, it will save you money! The butler in question, of course, refers to smart home technology.
People have been dreaming of having a smart assistant in the home, this can be seen in science fiction, and comics by characters such as Jarvis from Iron Man which always there for Tony Stark.
But beyond that only in the movie, actually, the concept of smart home technology and the Internet of Things (IoT) have been around for quite some time now. It takes care of a plethora of your household needs automatically and ensures maximum comfort at minimum cost.
For the last few years, the Amazon Echo and other such smart home hubs/controllers have begun to truly commercialize the phenomenon and propel it into its ubiquitous state today. Saying a simple phrase like “Alexa, it is time for bed” can be enough for turning off the lights, locking all doors, and turning on the air conditioning! You can even connect your refrigerator to smart systems to always know what is in the fridge and which items are running out!
Several tech moguls have also gotten in on the matter, with Mark Zuckerberg, CEO, and founder of Facebook going as far as building his home automation system in 2016. It included almost comical features like automated toasters and a wardrobe which shoots his clothes out upon request!
Moreover, while those particular features were not very popular among average customers, there are quite a few others that are flying off the shelves.
Easily Automate Your Home with Smart Plugs
Smart plugs provide the easiest way for turning your “dumb” devices into smart ones. Just plug one of these into an electrical socket, and any device which is subsequently connected to the smart plug can then be controlled using an app. Whether you are in another room, or even outside the house, you have full control of your devices!
The applications, therefore, are limited only by your imagination! You could get your coffee maker to start without leaving your bed in the morning. You could heat water for your bath while you are still driving home. You could turn your children’s TV off from the other room. The possibilities are endless!
Moreover, you can create schedules for smart plugs so that, for instance, the coffee maker starts at precisely 7:00 a.m. every morning, or the lights go out just at midnight. Even better, some smart plugs come with “away modes” which would sporadically turn the lights on or off to deter would-be thieves into thinking the house is occupied.
Most importantly, it saves you money. Besides the obvious benefits of having devices automatically turn off, some plugs also provide comprehensive information regarding your energy consumption. This way, you can know if specific methods are using up too much electricity, or which bulbs consume high amounts of energy and are need to be replaced.
According to the US Department of Energy, more than 48% of the average household electricity bill comes from heating and cooling. Other countries and institutions have also been looking sedulously into this issue, especially as a large percentage of the energy used in this regard is often wasted.
To illustrate, think of the time you come home from work. Most of us, in the interest of both frugality and environmental friendliness, turn on our air conditioning only after coming back. While we sweat and wait for the room to get colder (and no, lowering the temperature further will not increase the rate of cooling!), yet other, less conscientious, people leave their air conditioning on at all times. Both scenarios are far from ideal, and that is precisely where smart thermostats come in.
Smart Thermostats Can Save Your Money
Smart thermostats ensure that you can turn your air-conditioning on and off remotely using a simple app on your phone. So in the situation described above, you could open the app, press a button on your phone and turn on your air conditioning a few minutes before getting home!
Moreover, if nobody is in the house, your sensors will detect this, and switch off the air conditioning accordingly. They can also identify your movement, and only heat the parts of the house that you are currently occupying and likely to occupy.
That spare guest bedroom does not need to be heated or cooled, and the smart thermostat will make sure of it! Not only does all this conserve energy and cut down on bills, but it also ensures that the rooms you use are at just the right temperature whenever you come home.
Smart Lighting System
Instead of coming home to a dark and dreary silhouette, bright bulbs ensure that the lights are at the moment you get back! You can set up schedules for them to turn on and off automatically at particular times, or connect them with your smart home controller to activate the lights using your voice or phone.
This feature is particularly useful in ensuring that no lights are left unnecessarily turned on when leaving the house. Depending on the system you choose, you could either turn the lights off directly using your phone from wherever you are or have a sensor detect that nobody is home and turn off all lights.
The other approach to save energy for the lighting system is to install motion sensor on some certain area in your house, especially an area that rarely get visited at the for e.g kitchen or toilet. You will surprise with how much money you can save with that small sensor installed on your lighting system.
Smart Home Security System
Since one of our primary objectives is saving money, it would be remiss not also to mention smart security. There are many intelligent home security systems, ranging from Wi-Fi connected cameras which alert your phone if there is any movement inside the house and you are outside, to simple cameras on the front door which sends you pictures of who may be visiting your home and even recognizes trusted people.
While not a money-saver by general definitions, this saves money in a more literal sense, by keeping your valuables safe from burglars and thieves. Besides, smart security systems can also incorporate pet monitoring systems for watching your pets when they are alone.
Furthermore, smoke, carbon dioxide sensors, and radon detector can also be installed to ensure that any gas leaks or fires are immediately detected, and you are alerted instantaneously.
Smart Robots for Home
Very futuristic sounding and in vogue, intelligent robots are a blessing for those sick of household chores. Robo-vacuum machines can save you precious time by autonomously navigating the house and vacuuming effortlessly.
In the same way, Robo-lawnmowers and smart watering devices ensure that you do not have to spend on gardeners or helpers and your plants are always watered appropriately and on time.
Similar features are also available for fish tanks and pet food dispensaries, whereby food is only released at particular times and in specific amounts. This ensures that your pets are never over, or underfed and are receiving just the right amount of nutrition.
Smart home technologies are here to stay. Not only do they provide countless pecuniary benefits, but they also ensure that valuable non-renewable resources and fuels are not squandered tactlessly.
In this day and age when the time is money, most of us work ardently to ensure that our time is spent either on our work or enjoying leisure activities. Smart home technologies provide we can cut down on money spent needlessly and time spent unproductively. Moreover, using quick hubs like the Amazon Echo, or Google Home, all your devices can be synced to run seamlessly in conjunction with only the occasional voice command needed on your part!
There is no point, and indeed no benefit, in trying to resist the inexorable progress of smart home technologies, and most experts agree that the best course of action would be to get used to them sooner rather than later.