April 16, 2022
If you want to know how to make a smart home, this is the place to start. Read all about smart home technology, how to install and manage it, and what to look out for.
We gathered all the necessary information regarding smart home devices, components of the smart home system, and useful tips to make the best choices when creating this lifestyle.
But first things first—let’s break down what a smart home is.
What Is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a home with “smart” devices installed and connected in different ways to allow you to control them by using simple voice commands, your phone, or another device.
The key feature of this concept is devices connected to the Internet, usually through a Wi-Fi network, and therefore made “smart”. Also, you can connect a device to another one that is connected to the Internet and used for sending commands.
The main components you’ll need for a smart home setup are:
A Stable WI-FI Connection Across Your Home
To get the most out of your smart home system, you’ll want a stable Wi-Fi connection that works in every corner of your home, especially the ones where you installed a smart device. It’s better to have a router than to rely on your mobile hotspot, for example, because a weaker connection can cause a lot of frustration.
If you already have a router, you could talk to your provider about possibly replacing it, depending on its strength and the number of devices you’d like to connect. Some devices can be connected via Bluetooth, but Wi-Fi is faster, more reliable, and allows you to control the device online, regardless of your location.
When thinking about how to make your home a smart home, after securing a stable Wi-Fi connection, the next step is buying components, devices, and gadgets that will transform your home for your convenience.
You should first decide which part of your home you want to start with. Nowadays, there are options to install smart devices for anything from a light to home appliances such as washing machines, air conditioning, and heating systems, to the very best home security systems.
A Tablet, a Smartphone, or a Smart Speaker Enabled Device That Can Send Commands to Other Devices
Some smart systems can require a hub that serves as one point of access to all of the devices. Although convenient, in most cases that won’t be necessary. All you’ll need when you start creating a smart home is to install the necessary apps for your devices and connect them to your network.
The possibilities of your smart home system can go from simple on and off commands, to complex routines you can get done automatically.
The number of smart appliances in your home can vary—you can start small, as you’re just discovering the advantages of this technology, and build your way up according to your needs and desires.
|DID YOU KNOW: In 2021, 43% of households in the US stated to have owned a smart home device. This number is expected to rise considering the trend of lower prices and greater accessibility of these devices.|
How to Make a Smart Home?
The first thing you’ll need to do is decide which smart devices you want to use and how you want to manage them.
You can start by replacing your regular switches and lights with smart ones, then continue with smart thermostats, security cameras, smoke detectors, and much more. But, the more you get into the IoT (internet of things) and connect more of your devices, the more you’ll need a simple and effective system in place to control them.
Do note that not all smart devices require a hub. Depending on the device, setting up a smart home control system can be done in different ways:
Smart devices manufacturers offer apps usually available for both Android and iOS that you can use to control your device. You just install your smart device, download the designated app, connect the device to your phone and use the app to give out commands and monitor its performance.
2. Smart Assistants
The most popular assistants in building a smart home are Google Assistant, Alexa from Amazon, and Siri. With the appropriate devices, these can make a central hub and let you control the whole smart system in your house from one place. Android phones come with built-in Google Assistant, while Apple devices have Siri.
Once you get more comfortable with basic commands and setup, you can specify routines or paths that can be triggered automatically with your system for maximum convenience. You can customize Alexa or Google Home routines, apply shortcuts if you use Siri, or use third-party platforms.
|DID YOU KNOW: Smart speakers are another way of centralizing control over your smart devices. Choose a speaker with a built-in assistant of your choice and connect the devices to it, making it act as a kind of hub that you can control using your voice.|
|A smart home consists of devices connected to the Internet and each other that you can control using your voice, your phone, or similar.|
|The basic requirements for making a smart home are a good Wi-Fi connection, smart devices, and components that depend on the features you want to use.|
|The cost of a smart home device isn’t always high—you can get great affordable smart gadgets.|
|You can use smart home devices to set up routines that perform a series of actions based on a single command or trigger.|
Installing Smart Home Technology
Once you have your connection, components, and other things you need, it’s time to put them into place, and not just anyhow—you’ll want maximum flexibility, ease of use, and effectiveness.
To achieve all that, make sure to have the following in mind when installing your system:
Choose your components carefully. Although most manufacturers tend to provide compatibility with a wider range of assistants, that’s not always the case, so make sure you choose a smart device that works with your existing system.
You’ll want to look for the sign on the device that says it works with Google Assistant, Alexa, or Apple HomeKit. Many components have dedicated apps that can be used to connect them with your chosen account, but sometimes some manual linking may be required.
Testing and Accessibility
When setting up a smart home, make sure to test every component in the designated place. For example, if you’re installing a security camera, make sure you have the right angle and the visibility you need.
Also, if the device has to be moved or recharged frequently, place it somewhere where it’s easily accessible.
Naming and Grouping
When components are in place, it’s time to properly name them and place them in groups, zones, or other convenient ways of distribution that will allow you to control multiple devices with a single command if you need to.
When thinking about how to set up a smart home, try to keep things simple by naming your devices logically (like kitchen light, kitchen counter light, bedroom lamp, garage door, etc). To avoid confusion, don’t give two components the same name.
|DID YOU KNOW: Sometimes, even if the smart device is marked as compatible with some of the leading systems, the set of features you can control through your account can be limited. Try to save the instructions that come with such components, as your setup may require additional steps provided in the manual.|
Smart Home Tips
The number of possibilities that come with a smart home is impressive, and we’re here to help you set up a system that works best for you with a few tips:
Set up Regular Occurrences Based on Your Habits
One of the best examples of convenience this automated system provides is that you can set up a routine for waking up or leaving the house. With a simple “Good morning” from you, or just your morning alarm going off, the shades can lift, the air conditioning can start, and toast and coffee can be waiting for you warm in the kitchen. Now, isn’t that something?
Protect Your Home or Apartment When You’re Away
By making a smart home, you can control what happens when you leave the house: make the lights and heating go off, lock the front door, and start the total home protection that matches your needs. With smart home features, you can also make it seem like you’re home when you’re not, or enjoy a warm welcome when you come back by the system automatically setting the optimum temperature, unlocking the front door, and playing your favorite music when it detects your smartwatch approaching.
Make Smart Decisions
Some of the functions after installing smart home technology may even include monitoring your water and electricity consumption and making energy-efficient suggestions, or helping you plan your grocery shopping based on the items in your fridge. This can minimize food waste and help you get a better insight into your habits and adjust them as you see fit.
|DID YOU KNOW: Depending on the system and devices you choose, you may need a third-party platform to make the system fit your needs. A great example is IFTTT (If This Then That) which can connect different software and condition the actions of multiple devices if needed.|
Things You Should Consider Before Building a Smart House
Although your convenience in using smart home devices will most likely skyrocket, there are a few things to bear in mind when installing these technologies:
Purchasing smart components doesn’t have to be a big investment. Depending on your desires and the devices you choose, you will have to set aside different amounts of money. Some basic smart devices are affordable and can still make a difference, but to create a more advanced system, you’ll need to spend more.
Although every new piece of technology you add to your home or apartment uses energy that adds to your electricity bill, smart devices are mostly designed to useless. Knowing how to build a smart home can lead to decreased energy consumption due to smart devices that monitor it and warn you about the irregularities.
Being run from apps and online, your smart system is vulnerable to hacking. The thought of someone unlocking your door or controlling your security camera is frightening, but there are things you can do to minimize the risk and keep your IoT devices secured.
Your Moving Plans
Before you make your home a smart home, consider the devices and their installation depending on whether you own the house or apartment you live in. If that’s not the case, make sure to talk to your landlord about your plans, get their consent, and agree on what happens with the system if you move out.
|DID YOU KNOW: It’s always a good idea to keep track of who collects your personal information, in which format, and with what purpose. The good news is you can request access to your personal information collected by different companies, including Google and Amazon.|
Enjoying the perks of smart devices can make your life far more comfortable. Considering the available technologies and the affordable cost of some, following this smart home guide, there’s no reason for you not to enjoy all the benefits of the time we live in.
After reading this article, you’re all set to start setting up your smart home and making smart choices regarding the devices and their features.
The cost of installing smart devices will depend on what you want and need. The more components you obtain, the higher the cost will be. The prices can vary significantly depending on the type of device, the requirements, features, and manufacturer.
Although in a smart system you’ll have devices that are always on, they usually don’t use much energy, especially when in sleep mode. The consumption differs depending on the type of device, but you can sometimes find this data on the package or in the specifications sheet.
You need to install different components, smart devices, speakers, and more. Controlling them online can really increase your comfort, but there’s more to making your home smart properly—in this article, we listed all you need to know about how to make a smart home and what to pay attention to.