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What is a smarthome?

  Hands Holding a Tablet with Smart Home Features
sdecoret / Shutterstock

Any home can be a cozy one, whether it's a studio apartment or a villa. It's the powerful connections that make it smart. What you need to know about Smarthomes ̵

1; and how you can put yourself together with interest.

Smarthomes are all different

There is no official definition of "smarthome". What used to be a buzzword is commonplace, but neither a person nor a company invented smarthome, nor can they maintain absolute dominance in the field. Smarthome technology is still in its infancy. Even among those who have taken over, a smarthome can look very different. The differences include what smart devices are at home and how many of these devices exist.

Basically, a smarthome is probably best defined as having a living area with networked technology to improve the home. These can be smart thermostats, smart lights, smart plugs or sockets, smart doorbells and locks, or voice assistants like Google Assistant and Alexa. It could be any combination of the above, all of the above, or completely different smart devices.

What a smarthome is for you depends on what you want it to be. To find out, you need to know what the various smart devices are doing, what options are available, and how much you want to spend.

Intelligent thermostats can program themselves

 Ecobee intelligent thermostat on the wall [19659006] A few years ago, smart thermostats were probably the first device that most owners have installed in their homes. The promise was direct; The thermostat would save you more money than it would cost to buy.

Through artificial intelligence, an intelligent thermostat will tell you when to leave the house when you go home, as is your preferred temperature in winter and summer. Then it will start to regulate the temperature of your home alone based on this information. Teaching is as easy as changing the temperature when you feel the need.

The process should be much simpler than programmable thermostats offer. If you only use heat and A / C when needed, you save money. We do not think you need a smart thermostat, but if you like the idea of ​​a simple interface, automatic control, and remote control, you can not go wrong with Nest or Ecobee.

Smart light and plug offer Voice control and more

 A smart light bulb from Philips and Eufy

Smart Lights and smart plugs come in different shapes. Bulbs and plugs require no installation knowledge, while switches and sockets replace your traditional light switches and sockets. Whichever option you choose depends on your comfort when working with electrical wiring and possibly the age of your home. Each has advantages and disadvantages.

Smart bulbs like the Philips Hue series come in a range of colors that you can change in no time. For every light you want to make, you need one that can quickly increase costs. For example, an intelligent light switch, such as that manufactured by Lutron, can cost about as much as a smart bulb or two, while controlling many or all of the lights in a room. However, they do not receive any color-changing functions. Typically, each option has a language assistant integration, although sometimes a hub is required.

Smart sockets and smart plugs generally have the same functions – including automation, voice assistant integration, and power monitoring. The main difference is the ease of installation and space requirements. To use a smart plug like Sonoff, plug it into a power outlet and then into a device. No cabling needed. However, it will stick out of your outlet and take up some space depending on the model. The smart socket from TopGreener replaces your existing socket. But it will be almost flush with the wall, just like your current outlets.

RELATED: What kind of smart lights should you buy?

Smart Doorbells and Locks Provide a Digital Entry

 A kwikset Smartlock.

It's not just inside your home that you can connect to your phone and tablet. With a smart lock like Schlager, you have more control over who is allowed to enter your house. Instead of handing over the keys to never return them, you can grant Pin or App access to your lock. And when it is no longer needed, you can revoke the access. Installing a smart lock is not much more difficult than replacing a standard lock, so this is an easy way to get into smarthomes.

Smart doorbells can be a little harder to install. You first want to check if you have a doorbell wiring, as this determines some of your options. If you have working cabling, you can use everything from nest to ring, and your existing chimes will continue to work. If you do not do this, you will need a battery-powered battery. Either way, you will see a video on these doorbells when someone approaches your door or another movement is detected. If you have a wired doorbell, you can always watch a video.

Between the doorbell and the lock, you can see who is in your house and grant access if necessary. For example, a family member might drop by when you're not at the hotel and you might want to let it in immediately.

RELATED: Which Smart Lock should you buy? [19659008] Voice Assistants Bind Everything Together

 An Echo Spot, a Google Home Hub, a GE Smart Bulb, and an iclever Smart Plug

We may find that hubs not mentioned. That's because language assistants like Google Home and Alexa kill the smarthome hub, and that's a good thing altogether. With a language assistant, you can merge your various devices to work together.

That means you can control a whole room of devices – or a whole house – and create automation routines that do things for you. If you often forget to turn off the lights or close a door before leaving, the problem can be solved through a daily routine.

Similar to a smarthome hub, each device connected to your voice assistant can be controlled from a single app. This is much better than remembering which manufacturer app controls a device.

And while some say no one has to talk to a house to control the lighting when you first get your hands full of food and get turned on The kitchen is magical. They do not just want to resort to light switches.

Smarthomes do not have to be expensive

It is a common myth that smarthomes are expensive but do not have to. Smarthome devices cost a bit of money, but also other household purchases that you do not really need, such as: Carpets and decorations.

You can always save money if you do not buy anything. The question should be whether the cost is worth what you get from it. Once you've done the cost / benefit calculations, you can adjust yourself. We believe that a starter smarthome can be put together for less than $ 400, and more importantly, you do not have to buy everything at once. Start with a single language assistant, such as Google Home Mini or Amazon Echo Dot, and then sprinkle one or two light bulbs. Build your smarthome over time, and you will not feel the bite of the cost so much.

Almost every smarthome is different, and that's no surprise, as the houses themselves are very different. Whether you live in an apartment or in a multiple dwelling, you can connect your living space to a network and gain new control over your home. At the end of the day, a smarthome is what you want.

CONNECTION: The cheapest smart home gear to get you started

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