The “smart home” can be so ambiguous…particularly when you’re just getting started! Maybe you’re looking to answer some of the more basic questions or maybe you’re looking for some insight on factors you haven’t considered. Regardless, I can help.
If you‘re just starting on your smart home journey and asking yourself what a smart home is then this smart home guide is perfect for you. But if you’re looking for some tips on the do’s and don’t when building a smart home look no further because this article was made for you.
Now let’s dive right into the following do’s and don’ts:
- • make sure your smart home devices are compatible with each other
- • pick “future-proof” devices
- • consider power supply and cable management
- • forget about your Wi-Fi capabilities/limitations
- • just throw away the manual
- • get too tricky with naming your smart home devices
Keep reading to learn more about these tips!
DO make sure your smart home devices are compatible
First things first, your smart home devices work best when they can work with each other. For example, you can control your Nanoleaf smart lights (i.e. dimming, scheduling, etc.) with voice commands over smart assistants like Siri, but not all smart home products are as versatile
The most popular smart assistants you should consider are Apple’s Siri, Google Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Samsung’s Bixby. I suggest sticking to one and when it’s time to add to your home with a smart device, ensure they are compatible with the platform you chose. This will require a bit of research beforehand. If you’re looking at smart home devices from companies like Nanoleaf they’ll have resources to make your research easier—like these setup instructions for your Nanoleaf light panels, Lines, and Essentials with any of the major smart assistants. To ensure the most seamless experience, look for similar resources from the other devices you’re looking to purchase before taking the plunge.
DON’T forget about your Wi-Fi capabilities
The quality of your smart device is not just dependent on the product! Many smart home devices connect through Bluetooth and/or 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. The placement of your router also makes a difference. Make sure it’s in an optimal spot (many service providers have tips for this) and ensure you’re not placing your device in a dead zone (where the Wi-Fi lacks). Further, take into consideration that many smart devices do not run on 5Ghz Wi-Fi Networks, so that may be something you’ll want to look into when setting up your own network.
DO pick “future-proof” devices
Technology is constantly upgrading; just look at how far the smartphone has come in the past decade! Smart home devices are no exception to this, so it’s important to keep up with what is (and will be) the best and newest technology. If you can have the best of the best that offers the most longevity in your home then it’s certainly worth the research.
Luckily you don’t have to start from scratch.
*Cue crystal ball 🔮*
Thread and Matter are the future! These two emerging technology standards are set to shape the future of smart homes—enabling faster speeds, unrivaled reliability, and better product interoperability. Look for companies that are investing time and energy in these technologies, and you’ll be sure to get devices that will stand the test of time.
DON’T just throw away the manual (you could be missing great setup tips, features, and integration suggestions)
There are a lot of goodies in the manual so don’t pass on reading it! For example, when setting up your Nanoleaf lights you’ll see that you shouldn’t skip right to placing them on the wall, it’s suggested you wipe the wall down first.
If you’re willing to take it just a small step further, you’ll also be able to find lots of information in expanded online manuals on fun features and integrations—like IFTTT (If This Then That). Use IFTTT to connect to all kinds of smart devices—such as Nanoleaf Lines, Shapes, Canvas, and Elements light panels—and automate them to react to things like the weather, your location, message alerts, and more.
DO consider power supply and cable management
As smart as your devices are, they’ll still need a power source! Consider if they are battery operated or if you need to plug them into an outlet. If they do need to be plugged into an outlet, make sure you have enough outlets available in your intended setup area, or invest in a good power bar. I’d also strongly recommend organizing your cables to avoid any accidental catches or even eyesores in your lovely home. There are some quick and relatively cheap cable management tricks you can try—check out these cable covers!
Also, pay attention to any warnings. If there is a power issue (like needing additional power supplies) expect your device to warn you, and pay attention to these signs.
DON’T get too tricky with naming your smart home devices
My last tip is simple but makes all the difference…when you set up a smart device you’ll get the chance to name it and it’s best to name it something short, logical, and easy to remember. You see, you’ll be using this name as a title on your smartphone or maybe in voice commands so keep it short and sweet to avoid reciting a full novel every time you need to turn the lights on.
Additionally, make sure to avoid using the room name in your device name. Most smart home assistants will divide your home by rooms anyways, allowing you to control devices grouped in the same room all at once; so if you include the room in your device title it may get confused about whether you’re intending to call on one device or the entire room.
That’s all I have for you right now but we’d love to hear any tips you have. Please share your do’s and don’ts with us! Keep in mind any of the do’s and don’ts on this list will work no matter how many devices you have in your home. A smart home doesn’t need to be overloaded with tech; it starts with just one piece and maybe that’s enough for you right now. Either way, thank you for including us on your smart home journey!