Smart (Self-Monitoring Analysis and Reporting Technology) homes simplify our daily lives, making them more comfortable, convenient, and safer. While they have been around for over two decades, the technology has become more precise and accessible. It is expected that approximately 47% of residences in Canada will be smart homes by 2025. If you want to upgrade all at once or do it a step at a time, there are ways to make your home smart even on a budget.
The Big Picture
Whether you take the plunge and install a complete smart home system or add one or two smart devices, you need the following:
- A strong WiFi connection
- Smart home appliances or devices
- A smart home system to connect, control, and monitor the devices
If you already have a smart doorbell and a smart refrigerator, but plan to add more smart devices in the near future, you might have to upgrade your current WiFi setup to ensure it can handle the increase in information sharing.
What do You Want from Your Smart Home?
The price of smart devices and products can quickly add up. To have smart devices in every room of a standard four-bedroom, two-bathroom house including outside in the garden and the garage the total cost can range from $6,000 to $15,000 depending on the smart home system selected. You might not need all the bells and whistles. Figure out what you want your smart home to do and concentrate on those areas first. You can always add more smart home devices as your needs change.
Decide on which Products
You’ll want to start with a smart home assistant, basically a voice command device that includes a virtual assistant. It will allow you to do things hands-free such select music, search the Internet, and control some of your smart devices.
You want to lower energy costs including heating and lighting. Invest in a smart thermostat and smart lights. You can choose smart bulbs that change colour, altering the mood in a room.
Does a security system you can control remotely sound appealing? Swap current locks and door bells with smart ones. To feel even more secure, add cameras and alarms.
Control appliances such as the refrigerator, stove, air conditioning, TVs, and the washer and dryer. Get a robot to do the vacuuming.
Smart Home System
A smart home system is the hub and can be hard-wired such as a wall-mounted unit or wireless which makes the system accessible through a smartphone, for example. There are several different types of smart home systems. Before making final decisions on devices and products, ensure that they are compatible with the smart home system you select.
Smart Home on a Budget
With some creative thinking and a little bit of research, you can design a smart home on a budget. You will still need the three basics: a reliable WiFi connection, smart home devices, and a smart home system. This is where the research comes in – use the Internet to find cost-effective products and systems. Smart home budget ideas include:
- The perfect virtual assistant for your home’s needs
- Installing a video doorbell
- Purchasing a smart thermostat
- Plugging a regular appliance such as a coffee put, fan, air conditioner, or humidifier into a smart plug or smart socket to make it programmable – since not all appliance are compatible with smart plugs, check first