Welcome to the smart home guide for beginners! If you’re looking to simplify your life with some small but easy household upgrades, you’re in the right place. It can be difficult (maybe even daunting) if you’re new to the concept of smart homes and don’t know where to start, but that’s alright because we all start somewhere.
In this smart home guide we will answer some questions about smart home basics:
• What is a smart home?
• What should you look for when picking smart devices?
• Which smart devices are best for beginners?
• Are there any additional tips to keep in mind?
1) Defining The ‘Smart Home’
When people think of the smart home, many think of what they see on TV: an extremely automated (and sometimes complicated), modern, expensive house decked out with all of the latest gadgets. It doesn’t have to be all of that though! The beauty of smart homes is the ability to yes, automate tasks and unify your home, but ultimately the goal is to create a completely custom experience personalized for you and your lifestyle.
With just a few easy-to-find products, you can transform your favorite spaces so they serve you best, and then slowly expand your collection as you see fit. These smart devices don’t have to be complex either, they can be as simple as a smart lightbulb for your living room.
2) Basics To Look For In Smart Products
The idea of the smart home has certainly increased in popularity over recent years, which means there are many options to choose from. So understandably, if you’re unsure what to look for, it can be difficult to narrow down which products would be best for you. Here are some simple things to consider when researching a smart home device:
• Smart home devices are meant to simplify your life, so think about how they can improve or benefit your lifestyle.
• Many smart products can be controlled from another smart device (like your phone), but the best ones should also have physical control options, making them more accessible.
• Smart products work best when they can support and work with each other (platforms like HomeKit, Alexa, or Google)—allowing you to create one seamless smart home instead of just a home with smart devices.
• Last but not least, the best devices are easily installed and can be done by yourself. After all, a smart home is meant to make your life easier, not more complicated!
3) Simple Smart Home Items To Start With
Lighting is one of the more basic functions in our homes, but when used correctly it can do a lot to serve us. Simply switch out your regular A19 lightbulbs with Nanoleaf’s Essentials smart Bulbs—easily connects using Bluetooth, or on Thread (learn more about Thread). With over 16 million color and white light options, light up your rooms for both function and fun. Control them from your smart device, with voice commands, or with your regular light switch. Also, take advantage of specialized features like Circadian Lighting! It’ll match the color temperature of your lights to natural sunlight, balancing your body’s natural rhythms and improving productivity and sleep. Customize your experience further by using your Nanoleaf Bulbs with a smart home hub (i.e. Apple HomePod mini) to schedule them to turn on.
Transform your existing power outlets with smart plugs! The Wemo WiFi Smart Plug is an extension of any basic outlet. Plug your non-smart devices into the smart plug to easily make them smart. Schedule items like lamps or fans to turn on at certain times of the day and even control them with your voice. Plus, an “Away Mode” feature randomizes when lights are turned on and off so you look like you’re home even when on vacation, giving you peace of mind even when you’re far away.
Give a new meaning to “set it and forget it”, and explore smart vacuums like the Roomba® 600 Series. While this is one of the more expensive items on the list, it’s one of the most affordable Roomba options and certainly worth it if you find vacuuming tedious and time-consuming! This vacuum uses automatic Dirt Detect™ Sensors to move around and grab dirt, dust, and debris on hard floors or carpeting. It’ll also learn your cleaning habits and make suggestions like extra cleaning during allergy season.
4) Additional Tips To Keep In Mind
You’re almost ready to go off and start on your smart home journey, but there are some things to still keep in mind.
• Many smart home devices connect through your Wi-Fi network, so it’s important to invest in a good wireless router (reaching all corners of your home) to ensure good connectivity.
• Before you grab any gadgets, make sure they’re compatible with your other devices. Earlier we mentioned that great smart products work well with others; stick to one system in your home so all of your products can communicate for a seamless experience. Like connecting your Apple HomePod mini to your Nanoleaf Essentials Bulbs and Wemo WiFi Smart Plug.
• ‘Smart’ extends to more than just devices. Look into different apps and services that work with your smart devices. Services like IFTTT (If This Then That) connect to many smart devices—such as Nanoleaf Shapes, Canvas, and Elements light panels—and allow them to react to things like the weather, your location, message alerts, and more.
You’ve made it through the smart home guide for beginners and now it’s time to get your gear. Which smart home devices are you going to start with? We’d love to hear your top picks! For more suggestions on smart devices explore these 5 smart home devices that will simplify your life.