I have to admit that when the current wave of smart home products hit the market, we too were skeptical of the benefits. With any new technology, it’s so easy to write things off as fads or unnecessary luxuries. In the case of smart home devices, we couldn’t have been more wrong!
There are so many practical applications to smart home devices (sometimes referred to as IoT, or Internet of Things). Once we really committed ourselves to diving into this technology and learning it front and back BEFORE selling it to clients, the benefits became instantly noticeable.
Here are some of the practical and easy to use solutions that smart home devices offer. Don’t forget that now that this has gone so mainstream, you will be amazed at how affordable it is to transition your systems over to ‘smart’ systems.
Digital timers have convoluted programming interfaces that require a NASA engineer to keep your outdoor lighting on schedule. Mechanical timers are reliable, but need manual adjustments several times a year. With smart lighting controls you can easily set any lights in your house to run on a custom schedule with the touch of a button. This is ideal for exterior lighting and with the ability to sync to sunrise/sunset times, it can become virtually maintenance-free. It is especially convenient for landscape lighting since these small devices eliminate the need for us to hide unsightly timers all over your house that you need to constantly sync up.
Do you have a common pattern of lights that you tend to turn on every day? Maybe the path to the kitchen in the morning while you stumble downstairs to make your coffee? Or the light switch for the overhead lights that you fumble for while unlocking the door with four bags of groceries in your arms? Lighting scenes are groups of lights with customizable dimming levels that can be set to come on together with the touch of a button. We can even use geofencing to turn your common entryway lights on as your car pulls into the driveway!
Home Away Features
This is a great security feature to take the place of clunky lamp timers. Set your lights to come on and off at random times to create the illusion that you’re home when you’re out of town for the week or even just out for the night.
Use these to layer your interior lighting throughout the day with natural sunlight. They come in a variety of finishes to match your home decor. And yes, they are also compatible with schedules, scenes, and one touch operations.
Security Lighting and Cameras
Exterior lighting is the easiest way to quickly enhance the security of your home. You can easily combine some good LED flood lighting with any combination of the smart home controls listed above, or you can combine your flood lighting with cameras that will be triggered by any motion, sending a live feed to your phone. You can even talk through them to scare off those package thieves!
This is what really kicked off the current wave of smart home devices a few years back. Controlling your heating and cooling systems remotely is huge during the time when you are away, but these systems still offer unique advantages on a daily basis. You can add remote temperature sensors to better balance the heating level of your home which is especially convenient in drafty, older homes. One of the best features is the smart thermostat’s ability to learn whether you are home or not to make the heating and cooling schedules as efficient as possible. With some customers claiming that their energy bills have dropped over 20% it is a creative cost-saving solution that will likely pay for itself after one season.
Our preferred lighting control system happens to be the Lutron Caseta and Lutron RA2 systems, but we are happy to discuss the pros and cons of any system you might want information on because we are not specifically tied to any one company. The Lutron system has its own smart bridge that won’t drain your WiFi signal during lighting control. It is also compatible with Google.
Assistant, Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa, Smart Things, and Sonos speakers for easy voice control of any device in the house. On top of that, it will allow for an almost unlimited combination of remote control devices that can be programmed to control your favorite lighting scenes.
The world of smart home devices offers something for everyone from the tech-savvy early adopter to the prudent and practical homeowner. Contact us today for a free consultation on how these devices can improve the look, feel, and functionality of your home.
The owner of Brunson Electric, Paul Brunson, recently did an interview with Don Wetmore, a Certified Executive Coach, Consultant and Trainer on this subject. If you want to learn more about the technology discussed here, you can listen to the interview here. Password: 8d^%.7k6