Are you planning for home automation? Do you want a smart home to ensure better functionality and easy accessibility? If yes, then you are in the right place. In this article, I will offer a list of the best home automation tips that can convert your place to a smart home.
1. Research, Research, & Research
Thorough research is important for investing in the right technologies. Research on manufacturers and compare some popular options to know which technologies are more effective to create a smart home. Proper planning and research is required to avoid impulse buying.
Some articles to check out:
2. Identify Your Unique Requirements
Before any investment, you should know either you want a smart home or some basic automation with remote control accessibility. Your requirements will decide the technology. It will save money and will help you to invest in the right direction.
For example, if you are not planning for a fully automated home, then there is no need to purchase a smart home hub or similar kind of things.
3. Things that You Can Automate
This is a common question and you need the answer for proper planning. First, know what makes a smart home and which things can be automated. You can take the example of your security system. If you want an automated security system and better convenience, you can consider purchasing automated lights, locks, video camera, home security, and thermostats.
4. Always Start Small
Building a smart home demands a lot of planning. The process will be time-consuming and a bit complex without required preparation. If you want to make it effective and hassle-free, then start small. Start buying the things that meet your special needs. For example, you can start your project with a smart step like buying a Google home mini or an Amazon Echo. They are both affordable and can meet some demands of automation and a lot of fun.
5. Focus on Basics
It is suggested to start with basics and then you can consider buying advanced technologies. Start with the things that are affordable, easy to use, and offer better convenience and functionality. For example, you can buy smart TVs, smart speakers, smart video doorbells, smart plugs, Robert vacuums, and smart lighting.
6. Name Devices for Easy Identification
If you are looking for easy access, it is important to ensure that all the installed devices in each room are named properly to avoid any confusion. When all the devices are named, there will not be any difficulty to operate them.
7. Morning Automation
Have you ever thought of morning automation? It sounds a bit strange. But it is possible in a smart home. A smart home can make life much easier. You can use many different things for morning automation. For example, you can raise the temperature with the smart thermostat. Make your coffee automatically by using a smart coffee machine. You can also make your coffee machine smart by using a smart plug.
8. Get the Right Battery
Different types of batteries are available and you need to understand them to choose the correct one for your smart home. Some of your smart devices are battery operated and you need to replace the right battery to ensure smooth functioning. Some devices might need AA, AAA, or CR123 batteries, and others will need a flat type of battery like CR2032. Understand your device and its battery requirements.
9. Find Neutral Wires
If you are planning for smart lights, then you need to add smart light switches into the lighting array of your home. For this, you will need a neutral wire behind the wall plate. In the case of any confusion, you can take the help of an electrician. Experienced professionals will let you know if there is the neutral wire. If it is not there, they can pull up neutral wires.
10. Educate Your Mind about IFTTT
IFTTT is a free web service that can enable users to connect all the web services, devices, and applications to each other for automation. First, create an account with the IFTTT and then connect all the applications and devices to ensure automation. You can research this more to know more about IFTTT and its usage.
11. Get a Reliable & Strong Network
With a strong and reliable network, both wireless and wired, you will never be worried why the Phillips Hue Lights are causing a problem at the end of the day. You can also consider using a Mesh Network router that will help to strengthen your WIFI.
12. Get the Right Position for Your Echo
Many of us do not how to correctly place the Echo. In fact, many of us do not place it correctly. The result is obvious. They will not get the expected benefit. You can avoid this by simply mounting your Echo Dot in a wall by using a wall mount. With this simple step, you will notice a major difference.
13. Consider Buying Smart Light Switches
While considering home automation, we normally focus on smart lights. However, smart light switches can also make a difference. It is affordable than smart lights. I will recommend you buying Lutron switches. But if you are planning to buy only four to five lights for your project and it involves different rooms, then you might not prefer to buy different Singled lightbulbs for each room.
14. Know When Help Is Required
There is no doubt that online research can help you much to understand different home automation technologies. However, you can maximize the benefits by joining a home automation group online or on social media platforms like Facebook. You will get some practical ideas on home automation. Yes, you can also get help in person. Look for a meetup group in your locality.
15. Keep Experimenting with Different Products
As the options will be many, you might find it hard to choose the right product to suit your specific requirements. So, it is suggested to keep experimenting with different products to meet your smart home goals. Ask yourself, what you need for your smart home and try different products to get perfection. You can consider purchasing an all-in-one application like cloud-connected appliances or Apple Home-kit to make your kitchen organized and fresh. Pick the right gadget and experiment with different products to narrow down your options.
16. Buy Automated Door Locks
Automated door locks are designed to offer easy access and better day-to-day convenience. Also, if you have automated locks, you will not need a physical set of key to access your home. Another benefit is that you can lock and unlock your home remotely. Your smartphone can be very effective to control your security system and other devices of your home. Also, the smart lock can track unwanted entries.
17. Return Unwanted Things
While buying your smart devices such as the thermostat, lighting, or the streaming device, you should make sure that there is a return option. If these devices do not work together, you can return. All the smart home devices are not compatible with each other. Before buying them, do your own research. That will minimize the possibility of returns.
18. Focus on Redundancy
You should always add multiple ways to ensure easy access to your smart devices. You will get options if the devices have an app such as Ecobee. If required, consider buying multiple smart hubs.
19. Make the Design Truly Smart
While planning for a smart home, your primary focus will be on your family members and on the safety of your young kids. If you have pets, you will have to be extra careful. You can get a smart sensor that can differentiate between animal and humans. Motion sensors will pick up anything that is happening around. Your pets can give false alarms causing troubles. The sensor needs to be adjusted to the sensitivity to eliminate the possibility of false alarms.
20. Mailbox Motion Sensor
Find a motion sensor for your mailbox. Some people prefer using a contact sensor on the closure of their mailbox. When someone will open your mailbox, an SMS will be sent to your mailbox through a program known as Stringify. However, it might not be effective for the apartment style mailbox. Also, a motion style sensor can be placed inside of the mailbox. If someone puts something in the mailbox, the sensor will detect the motion and will send an SMS to the phone of the owner in the same way a contact sensor does through the Stringify.
21. Cold Weather Suitable Cameras
You might not have thought of buying a camera suitable for cold weather condition. While purchasing smart security cameras, you normally overlook the outside weather conditions. As cameras will be installed outside, make sure these are suitable to be used in cold condition. If you are looking for the best camera for cold weather, you can go with Blink XT and Arlo Pro.
22. Smart Thermostats Save Money
If you are thinking that smart lighting will save your money, then you need to change your perception. Now people are using LED light bulbs that cost two dollars per year for regular usage. If you want to save money, you can invest in a smart thermostat. This is great to save your money as well as energy usage.
23. Inquire About Rebates
While buying smart thermostats, you need to inquire that the supplier is providing energy credits or not. In some instances, these companies offer a deal that can enable you to get a smart thermostat for free. Check on rebates to make a smart decision and to get the best thermostat deal.
24. Use Google Home or Alexa to Make Phone Calls
Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa can be very effective when it comes to making phone calls using your voice. You can use the free WIFI to make calls. It is easy and you just need to say, Hey Google, call my Mom. This is all done from your Google contact account that is linked to your Google Home Device or Amazon Alexa device. You might need a little more research to get clarity. For this, you can contact Google or Amazon Help.
25. Take the Help of Google
We are living in a digital world where Google can answer all your queries. If you have a question, then take the help of the Google Assistant. It is an Artificial Intelligence created by Google. It uses search engines to get the most suitable result for your queries. More importantly, you can ask anything ranging from health issues to home automation.
26. Use Voice Control for Your TV
This smart home automation can be really helpful for all those who want more control over their entertainment devices. A voice control TV is super easy to access. You will never feel to use your remote control again. If you are looking for the best option, you can consider buying Amazin Fire TV Cube a hands-free streaming media player. This all-in-one entertaining system can certainly enhance your experience. You can also consider buying Logitech Harmony Hub. Options are many and you can choose the one that you find more suitable for your home entertainment system.
27. Act Smart
You will have to act smart to choose the best technologies for your home automation. A few steps such as smart switches and IFTTT will make a noticeable improvement. New smart technologies are coming up every year and it is always suggested to buy the greatest and latest technologies to enhance both the look and functionality of your smart home. Tech trends are able to change the way you are living and interacting with others.
28. Use Motion Sensor for Lights
The motion sensor in the lights will enable it to know in which room you are in. For more automation, you can set it up to turn on automatically while entering the room and turn off automatically while living the room. It will turn off and on automatically when you enter and leave the room.
29. Go through the Privacy Policies
Your smart home automation devices designed for sharing, monitoring, and selling your data. These are best for home automation. However, a few of them especially the latest technologies come with some privacy policies. It is important to read those privacy policies to avoid any hassle. You should read the privacy policies before purchasing the device to ensure better usage.
30. Focus on the Security of Your Home Network
Smart home networks are well designed and come with some advanced features to ensure easy access. However, you need to add a few things to secure your home network. For more help, you can do a Google search on the ways to secure a smart home.
31. Holiday Automation
When the holiday season will be approaching, you will certainly try some different things to make it memorable. Here automation can come to your help. It is not about Christmas only; you can consider using smart devices for any function or holidays. You can use Google Home or Apple Siri, and Amazon Alexa to make your holiday more fun and entertaining. Holidays can be a great opportunity to start using voice control technologies that will create a fun and inspiring environment.
32. Find out the Common Wire
Before buying a smart home thermostat, you will have to make sure that you have a common wire. If you have a common wire, you can install the thermostat without calling a technician. If you do not have a common wire, then call an electrician instead of making changes in the wiring. Let the professionals handle their job.
33. Check the Return Policy
You should never consider buying a home automation device if it is supported by a return policy. Make sure that the products come with a return policy. As stated earlier, all smart devices are not compatible with each other. If it is supported by the return policy, then you cannot return it. Also, you will have to spend on compatible products. So, you can choose a retailer who has a return policy like Amazon.
34. Smart Home Hidden Secrets
Smart homes have many hidden secrets and you need to understand them to bring more automation in your smart home. You can take the example of the easter eggs to have a lot of fun. Some other secrets are jokes, party games, and much more. To know more about the smart home secrets, you can check Alexa’s Secret Easter Eggs.
35. Do It on Your Own
A smart home only demands careful attention and thorough research. You do not need to create something unique and exceptional. You just need to replace your old devices with smart devices such as a smart thermostat, smart bulbs, and smart security systems. It will not demand more time if you know which things you need to replace.
36. A Hub Is Not A Compulsion
If you do not want to buy a hub, you can consider alternatives. You do not a dedicated smart hub for your smart home. Instead, you can consider buying a smart speaker such as the Amazon Echo Plus. It will serve the purpose as it comes with built-in Zigbee or Google Home with their respective apps for easy command. It can be the best option for beginners.
37. Dark Light Automation
Consider setting up Philips Hue or other lighting systems for geofencing. By doing so, you can confidently enter your home in dark hours since it can turn lights on automatically when you will arrive at your home.
38. Get the Best Smart Hub
If you are planning to buy a smart hub, then always consider buying the best one. Pick the one that can meet your specific demands. If you are looking for a simple option, then go with the wink smart hub. For more advanced hubs, Samsung Smarthings will be an ideal choice.
39. Use the Mute Button
While using smart speakers, privacy can be a concern. Some smart speakers such as Google Home, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Siri can invade your privacy. However, you can take some measures to protect your privacy. You can simply hit the mute button to ensure that they are not listening.
40. Make Your Devices Smart
You do not need to buy smart devices always. Instead, you can consider some smart and cost-effective additions to boost the functionality of your devices. You do not need to spend on the appliances or light bulbs. All these might demand hundreds of dollars. You can simply buy a smart plug to connect all your devices. If you are looking for such a plug, you can consider buying a WeMo Mini smart plug. This mini plug can make your devices smarter. You can plug anything into to be controlled by an app or voice.
41. Use Smart Music
You can combine your favorite music with mood lighting to enjoy your music more in a perfect scene. Set up your radio to play automatically while talking the shower. You can also play different types of music in every room by using separate audio zones.
42. Home Theatre Automation
Some smart technologies can boost the efficiency of your home theatre. You can bring the light back while pressing the pause and can close your blinds automatically and dim the lights by pressing play. Set up your television to turn on when you arrive home.
43. Phone Call Alerts By lights
You can simply sync the smart lighting of your home to your phone number. By doing so, you will enable your lights to blink when you will get a call on your smartphone.
44. Get WIFI for Your Old Roomba
Your older Roomba will not have a built-in WIFI. You do not need to replace it with a developed one. Instead, you can smarten it up. It is possible. You need to get a RooWIFi and do a smart cleaning to improve the functionality of your older Roomba.
45. Window Automation
Do you want window automation? Yes, we can do that. You do not need to climb the dangerous ladders. Instead, buy the Alfawise S60 window cleaning robot. This smart home tool can be best to maintain your windows. You can get it on Amazon.
I hope all these home automation tips will help you to create a smart home. The key is to find the best products. Make sure that these products are supported by a return policy. Check all the recommended products and choose the ones that fit your needs.