Everywhere you turn, homes are being enhanced by smart technology. Whether it’s smart appliances or other household devices, how we operate things at home is quickly changing day-by-day. With these changes come certain key advantages, these include: home automation, additional security and greener living.
Home automation allows everyday tasks (that normally had to be done by hand) to be performed with an app on virtually any smartphone or tablet that has an Internet connection. This provides users to have better control of their devices, and consequently, their homes. Home automation features include the remote management of: door locks, garage doors, thermostats, appliances and lights. Here are several examples of smart devices that provide useful home automation components:
- Nest Thermostat (3rd generation)
First off, the Nest Thermostat is a smart thermostat. So, by the first week, it learns the preferred household temperatures (both during the day and at night). There’s no need for it to be on 24/7, so when no one is home, it powers down to conserve energy. Regardless of where the homeowner is, Nest can be monitored and controlled from any smartphone or tablet. This useful that forgetting to turn down the heat or A/C is can be easily fixed from anywhere. A neat additional feature includes “Nest Leaf” which helps the homeowner choose a temperature that will help them conserve energy.
· Chamberlain MyQ-Garage Remote Opener
The Chamberlain MyQ-Garage Remote Opener lets you open and close your garage from anywhere using an app that’s downloadable on any smartphone or tablet (compatible with Android iOS, Blackberry and Window devices). All that’s really required is a garage door opener made after 1993. A great feature of this device is it’s ability to send alerts and notifications when the garage door has been opened—letting you be alerted when there’s unexpected activity in the garage (for example: when your teenager is taking the car out for a spin without permission).
· August Smart Lock (2nd Gen)
The August Smart Lock provides hand-free access to your door from anywhere. So for all those times that you’ve had your hands full, you can either lock or unlock the door using your smartphone. This device can be remotely controlled from anywhere—providing access to anyone you want to enter the home when you aren’t there. Have a house sitter while you are out of town? The August smart lock can provide guests with virtual keys.
There are a number of smart devices that provide homeowners with additional security—right at their own fingertips. The following products are examples of smart home devices that offer remote security protection.
· Ring Video Doorbell Pro
The Ring Video Doorbell Pro is exactly what it sounds—an outdoor doorbell with a HD video. So anytime someone rings the doorbell, the homeowner is alerted anywhere on his or her smartphone or tablet, letting them see who is at the door in real-time video footage. Another great feature of the Ring Video Doorbell is it’s 2-way audio—which lets the homeowner speak to their visitor.
· Nest Cam Indoor security camera
Nest has a number of smart devices, one of which includes this indoor security camera. The camera can be placed anywhere and includes a built-in speaker and microphone for two-way voice communication. So not only can you see what’s going on inside, you can also listen to what’s happening and be able to speak to whoever is there. If motion is detected while everyone is away, snapshots are sent your home via text or email alerts. Note that this device is not part of an alarm system, such as one from ADT home security; instead, it is a freestanding camera.
The remote management of smart devices allows less energy to be consumed, making way for greener living. For example, the Nest thermostat not only encourages homeowners to use energy-efficient temperature settings with its “Leaf” feature, it also allows homeowners to adjust the thermostat from anywhere—a great component for all the times they’ve forgotten to lower or decrease the thermostat after leaving the house.
This one example highlights has significant weight when you factor in that 40% of an energy bill goes to home heating. And $5 can be saved with every degree lowered on the thermostat during the winter. Going beyond that, the remote management of lights and appliances likewise cuts down on wasted energy. One light bulb left on throughout the night will cost $21. It’s safe to say that smart homes provide remote features that enable greener living.