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What is a Smart Home?

Phoenix has a booming new home market, and it is no surprise to find us the number one market for smart homes in the country. But what exactly is a smart home? Here we will explore the building blocks of a smart home. Whether you are ready to move and wish to buy a new build with smart technologies, or simply add smart features to your current abode, you will find some good ideas here.

  1. DEVICES– Most consumers become interested in one particular aspect of smart home technology.  Options in devices call into many different categories including:
    Door locks
    Security systems
    Climate control
    Entertainment
    Window shades
    Kitchen/Laundry appliances
    Lighting
    Automated drip/sprinkler lines
    smart homeOf the above list consumers surveyed identified security systems and a smart thermostat as their most important features.  Consider installing a smart thermostat such as Nest. Not only will it help control your power usage costs, but it will add to your resale value! The feature consumers cared the least about? Solar Panels with only 2% of those surveyed citing them as being important in considering a purchase.
  2. APPS- Often, your experience using a particular home technology product  is heavily reliant upon the app supporting the product. In addition to it’s design features, pay attention to how you’ll be able to interact with your devices. Does the app only work if you are in close proximity or can it also control devices while you are away?  Does it offer voice-activated controls? ( For example can you tell Siri, Alexa, or other platforms to ‘turn on the coach lights” )
  3. HUBS- Automation is wonderful, but not if you have one system for security, another for lighting, another for temperature control, etc. Managing your home can become increasingly complicated. This problem has a simple fix by adding another device….a hub. Selecting one, however, is not a a simple decision. Different hubs support different connectivity protocols ( such as Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Z-Wave, Zigbee, etc ) so you’ll want to choose one that includes all the standards used by the individual devices you currently own or plan to purchase.  Examples include:Samsung SmartThings
    Lutron Smart Bridge
    Wink Connected Home
  4. Other Integrated Systems- As consumers have adopted smart home technologies, suppliers have leapt at opportunities to offer products under the umbrella of familiar brand names.  The potential for simplifying consumers’ complex decisions regarding hubs and connection languages- or even eliminating the need for a hub. Examples include:Apples’s HomeKit- Over 50 brands, including products for lighting, locks, heating and cooling, plugs and switches, sensors, and window shades.Nest Weave- Since Google purchased Nest Labs Inc., it has worked on integrating other home products/suppliers, including video doorbells, lighting, locks, baby monitors, and more.
    The Tim and Kym Team would be happy to consult with you on what smart home features make the most sense for you to invest in, simple share your comments here, or give us a call.

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