How to Upgrade Your Home into a Smart Home
By Sadira Sittampalam
With the onset of the digital age, it is high time that all of us consider upgrading our homes into smart homes. There are already plenty of companies in Sri Lanka dedicated to transforming your home into an integrated set of systems that are all connected through one device. Thus with companies such as Digital Living Experience Centre, Innovative Smart Solutions, or LIVEEZ, the future does look smarter. Nevertheless, it is certainly not an easy transition to get your home onto a digital level and will undoubtedly require some investment – but the benefits make it more than worth it. This article will take you through exactly how you can transform your house into a smart house.
The first change in making your house digital is to change up your lighting systems. You might want to start with just one room to try it out and then start expanding into the rest of the house. With this change, you can easily control the ambiance of your home with only the use of a Wi-Fi or Bluetooth connection. One of the more well-known products that you can buy is Phillips Hue, which can be managed with the help of their app which can be installed on your smartphone.
Nevertheless, there are several other options available, especially if you decide to get your entire lighting system replaced at once. Another benefit of changing to smart lighting is that you can automate when your lights turn on and off, so even when you are not at home, burglars will be deterred from checking out your house. This also helps you turn off all your lights from the comfort of your bed so you don’t have to walk around your house manually switching lights off. You will therefore, probably also save on electricity costs and also be beneficial to the environment as you will not be wasting electricity.
Smart speakers play a very significant role in a smart home, as you can control a lot of the smart devices you use in your house using only voice commands. They work as an assistant to control every aspect of your home. The top smart devices right now are the Google Home speaker or the Amazon Echo speaker. They both have their pros and cons so in order to select the most suitable for your home you should consider doing a little research as to which one would fit you better. Overall, however, Google seems to be a little more forward-thinking in terms of its innovations so it might be a better option for you in the long run.
In a country like Sri Lanka, we always experience waves of almost unbearable heat. AC is something that most people opt for, but why not take it a step further with a smart cooling system. These systems can control how your house consumes energy, making these systems very efficient. They set the temperature of your house on their own and they make sure the temperature in your home is entirely comfortable using a system of sensors placed all over your home.
That way, the smart thermostat can sense the parts of your house that are warmer and can cool this area. Moreover, these sensors even go a step further and control the temperature precisely in the part of the house where you are present while keeping the rest of the home at a generally comfortable temperature. The thermostats also have a predictive system and you can automate it to turn off when the temperature is naturally comfortable.
When converting your home into a smart one, it is essential to make it more secure. Smart homes are easy to secure as they rely on sensors and devices rather than a single individual and are therefore, a lot more affordable than hiring security guards. Smart cameras can detect unusual activity around and in your house, which helps detect intrusions or burglaries. However, these cameras can also be used in monitoring your children or pets when you are not at home or are in a different room.
They are pretty multipurpose, which means you can use them for whatever needs arise. They are also really easy to install as they do not require any unique fixtures, meaning that just connecting them to the Wi-Fi system is all it takes to make your home that much more secure. Certain smart cameras also have a variety of different motion sensors which makes their systems really secure. Moreover, they can also integrate with the doorbell, so you can monitor who comes to your house, and even open the door for them remotely if you happened to get late to come home.
Multi-room audio systems ensure that you get entertainment in every room. While it is possible to just use Google Home or Alexa to play music, a dedicated smart audio system has much better audio quality. They can also be integrated with your TV or phone which will make even the most average YouTube video seem so much better with its surround sound. You can attach them to every room and they are all connected through Wi-Fi, which means you can also stream music through services like Spotify or YouTube Music.
Technology is available to automate basically every part of your home – including the garden. The smart irrigation systems can automatically detect the level of moisture in your garden and can thereby use the irrigation devices to water the garden. They can also be customised to the types of plants you have so that everything is taken care of automatically. Even if you don’t want to fully automate them, you can control the systems through your app, which means that you can control how much water is given to each plant to ensure that your garden is kept in proper condition. This makes travelling so much easier, as you don’t have to worry about who will water your garden or whether they will give your garden the right amount of care.
You can get a smart trash can and a smart robotic vacuum. The smart robotic vacuum will explore your home gathering up all the dirt, letting you spend your afternoons in peace. It is both voice-activated and controllable via the app, so you can make sure the house is clean even before you get home. Meanwhile, there is also the smart trash can, which has hand sensors so you can open it without touching the lid. It also has a section near the floor which means you don’t need a dustpan and brush anymore, as the bin just sucks up all the dirt automatically. Finally, you can get a smart laundry system. Here, you can simply add your items into the washer and decide when you want to wash them through your app. This way, you can save cash by washing your clothes during off-peak hours. The washing machine will also dose your detergent according to the load you have put in, which it will automatically detect.