By Guest Author Doug Roberson
In times of stress, home is your haven. Smart home devices are essential tools for improving quality of life and creating a sense of safety and comfort, even amidst uncertainty.
The small things in life often matter the most. When your four-year-old – or a grandparent – gets up in the middle of the night, it’s a relief to know that the hallway lights automatically dim to 20 or 30% between 10 p.m. and 6 a.m.
Home automation grants peace of mind and control over your environment, which are in alarmingly short supply these days. Smart home devices boost energy efficiency and reduce your carbon footprint. This article will focus on how home automation can be customized to make life easier to manage, enabling you to enjoy it to the fullest – while putting money back in your pocket.
One size does NOT fit all, and that’s a good thing
Whether your goal is to lower your electric bills or improve your comfort level, there are innumerable ways to implement home automation. Forecasts predict that there will be more than 93 million households using smart home technology by 2027. Each of these homes will have vastly different needs.
Determine what’s most important. Do you need a better night’s rest? Light levels affect your mood, alertness and circadian rhythm. The right lighting also helps reduce stress and anxiety. Smart home technology introduces the concept of human-centric lighting by lowering light levels when it’s time to sleep and raising them naturally as the sun rises. This simple automation provides a rare peaceful waking experience.
Customize your lighting by programming your smart home automation system to change the color of your lighting to mimic nature. Additionally, motion sensors, smart bulbs, and dimmers can be programmed to further improve your level of comfort.
From self-care to creature comforts
Tailor the aesthetics of your home automation system to your exact preference. Program your window shades to automatically open when the sun comes up and close at sunset. Control your devices remotely from your phone or through voice commands. Smart home technology offers these improvements to daily life and more.
Smart home automation adds efficiency to simple chores at home. Program your system to notify you when your washing machine stops. Set up a notification on your phone or your voice assistant can announce it no matter where you are in the house, so your clothes don’t sit. Connect your sprinkler system to a weather app to keep track of rain forecasts to program a more accurate schedule. Add soil moisture sensors in key locations in your yard, you can more accurately set up irrigation. You will know to turn on the sprinklers when the ground reaches a certain level of dryness.
How many times have you heard someone in your household say, “Who left the lights on?” We’re all guilty of leaving lights on when we leave a room. Install a smart relay in a room that automatically turns off the lights after five minutes with no movement to alleviate the need to remember. In closets and areas where you typically have short visits, program your system to turn the light off after 5 or 10 minutes with a timer.
From convenience to cost-saving steps
Since their inception, smart home products have been designed to save money. Heating and cooling are some of the largest energy expenses in any home. Thermostatic radiator valves enable you to combine remote temperature sensors with your radiator, allowing you to make spaces farther away more comfortable. All you need is Wi-Fi to operate them. These devices enable you to control your home heating in real-time or set it to run on a customized schedule that fits your routine.
Home water heaters consume a great deal of energy. Use an energy meter paired with a contactor to schedule when the water heater runs, track its electrical consumption, and make adjustments to compensate when you need extra hot water.
Humidity and temperature control sensors detect moisture and enable a comfortable, relaxing environment.
If your utility provider charges Time-of-Use (TOU) rates, use scheduling features to make your home more energy efficient. Simple changes such as turning off devices during peak hours when rates are higher can make a dramatic difference. Charge your EV when electricity costs the least.
Feel more secure at home
Besides making your energy usage more efficient, home automation can support home security. Smart lighting can activate in patterns while you are away from home, making it appear that someone is home.
Observe your home from any location with indoor and outdoor cameras and receive alerts when movement is detected. Keyless smart locks provide a greater level of access control by enabling you to remotely unlock your door if you need to grant access to someone. Setting up a limited-use entry code for visitors coming to your home when you’re not there can grant additional peace of mind.
The benefits of next-level building technology
Intelligent components enable the flexibility to connect different devices to each other and to other systems directly, without needing a cloud, hub, or even the internet. You can use them completely off the grid using only Wi-Fi.
These intelligent products have built-in microcontrollers and web servers with an application programming interface (API) that executes locally. The devices are compatible with existing home automation setups and voice assistants, and work with your preferred ecosystem. The ability for each device to communicate and control other devices makes their capability and customizability virtually endless.
The conveniences that come with smart home automation encourage self-care. With a simple voice command, you can easily adjust the temperature of a room, control lighting, and even play music. This empowering technology lets you find and improve the aspects of living in your home that matter to you. Control your home environment while improving your well-being through smart home automation.
Doug Roberson is the Chief Operating Officer at Allterco Robotics US, makers of the award-winning Shelly smart home products. Shelly’s line of proven smart relays, plugs and sensors are uniquely designed to deliver the flexibility and connectivity needed to make home automation, smart buildings and IoT-based products a reality.