The Answer is Really Up to You.
The term “smart homes” is generating a lot of buzz in real estate these days. Research indicates that demand for smart features is growing, and builders and technology companies are working to meet that demand. Here in Jacksonville, for instance, the PARC Group has announced the eTown community, promising “smart-home technology, zero energy ready homes, eco-friendly features” and more.
But just what makes a home smart, exactly? The answer to that question may be as different as the homeowners you ask.
Automation is key
At their hearts, all smart homes have at least some level of automation. This may be as simple as a “learning” thermostat that automatically adjusts a home’s temperature based on when residents are home, to a fully automated system that adjusts lighting, temperature, audio/visual, window coverings and the like as soon as a resident arrives home.
Putting you in control
Smartphones, and the apps that run on them, are certainly a contributing factor to the ongoing adoption of smart home technology. Apple’s Homekit, Google Assistant , Amazon Alexa are three popular services for controlling all the potential smart devices in your home. They’ll run on your phone, or on a smart speaker, like Amazon’s Echo, Apple’s HomePod and Google Home.
Getting started with smart technology
You don’t have to build a new home from the ground up to get smart technology. There are plenty of products you can add to your existing home to start building a smart network. Here are just a few to get you started:
Smart Locks – Smart locks typically work with Bluetooth and wi-fi technology to allow you to lock and unlock your doors with your phone/app…no keys required. Some also have a touchpad you can use to lock/unlock your door.
Smart Light Bulbs – Smart light bulbs let you turn lights off and on using your phone or app, dim the lights, change colors, put lights on a schedule and more.
Thermostats – Since the introduction of the Nest thermostat, a number of companies have gotten into the smart thermostat space, including traditional manufacturers like Honeywell and Bosch. In addition to simply keeping your home at comfortable temperature, they can help you save energy and money.
Are there specific smart home products, apps or technologies that you use and recommend? Tell us about them in the comments below…