If you’re curious about the smart home hype, wondering what it can do for you, or thinking of building a more tech-savvy nest (but have no idea where to begin), then this guide is right up your alley.

We walk you through the foundations of home automation to help you understand and navigate smart home building, smart terminology and the digital labyrinth of setups, systems, devices and various product add-on. Let’s get started!

What is a Smart Home?

Imagine waking up to the earthy aroma of fresh coffee, having the lights automatically switched off when no one’s in the room, or having the air conditioner set to the perfect temperature before you arrive home from work. How convenient!

Basically, the term ‘smart home’ refers to having a wide range of interconnected gadgets, systems, appliances (you get the drift) that seamlessly communicate with the user and each other.

This “smart network” gives you the control to operate, programme and automate connected devices to function according to your personal needs.

What is Home Automation?

‘Home Automation’ refers specifically to items in your home that can be programmed to function automatically, without any user input. This can range from simple functions such as fan timers and automatic light dimmers, to more recent updates like automated laundry appliances and home security sensors. Thanks to the recent boom in home tech, the possibilities are endless.

Before you begin: Understanding the protocols

  • Bluetooth, Wi-Fi.
  • Infrared IR.
  • RF433MHz, 868MHz.
  • Z-Wave, Zigbee.

Where should you start?

Setting up a smart home doesn’t mean you have to do a complete overhaul of your existing gadgets, especially since it can get rather costly to do so. Rather, you can build on your current tech ecosystem and replace any interconnected device, appliance or tool as you deem fit.

Start small; choose an area of the home to start, preferably a common area so that the technology is easily accessible to all members of the household. To help you figure out what actually need, take a look at the devices you use on a daily basis and how it can complement your day-to-day routines.

If you’re always wondering whether you’ve left an electrical appliance on after leaving the house, a smart plug that can be switched on and off remotely will ease your mind. Or perhaps a smart door lock that allows the entire family to go keyless will allow daily comings and goings to be more efficient.

It’s all about how you can make your life more convenient and manageable. From there, breathe life into your smart home by outfitting it with your favourite smart appliances. Welcome to the future!

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