The Ultimate Guide to Understand Setting up a Smart Home

Garima Khandelwal

Smart Home, the name itself makes us feel better. Just like our smartphone where we can customize it and utilize it the way we want, smart home can also give us same happiness and worth living place.

Imagine staying in a home where you can control your appliances and monitor them through your smartphone. Who will not love that? Smart home empowers you to automate almost everything at your home like temperature, lights, windows, doors, and even home security.

Home automation is trending across the globe as people are enjoying it and adapting the technology for making better place for living. It not only saves your energy for managing all the appliances but also makes your life easy. Firstly, let us understand why you should have a smart home.

Saves money and energy

There are many consumers who set up smart home for saving energy and money by automating heating and AC system. There are multiple vendors offering smart thermostats for managing home temperature. Such thermostats save on electricity bill. There are numerous other products like smart light and other appliances who consume less energy by shutting off if they are not used. Such products can be one of the main things for consumer when it comes to save money and energy.

Makes life easy

Everyone wants comfortable and relaxing life. This is one key reason of having smart home. You can set up your smart home by initiating with the small things such as smart lights. These smart lights operate on your commands. You can turn it on or off whenever you want with your voice. The sensors detect your voice and operates. These lights can also be turned on or off based your scheduled timetable.

Enhanced security

House security is very important nowadays. There are multiple products available in the market that can be used for house security. However, smart home can improve the security with its advanced features like lights, camera, and there are also products which can safeguard your house through doorbells. These devices add security to your house based on your requirements.

Automation of routine household chores

Performing routine tasks can become tedious at times. What if your smart home does them for you? With connected and automated devices, you can perform all these tasks quickly. Multiple smart vacuum cleaners, washing machines, refrigerators, dish washers are available in market that works automatically and complete chores as per your schedule.

Home entertainment

After the long day, getting a place to relax is always needed. Your smart home can be that place. With the advanced technologies, and connected devices like speakers, and AI digital assistants you can sit back and give command for any of your favorite music, tv show, sports, news and enjoy it. Such devices can also help you in finding the best movie as per your mood and convert your home into movie theatre.

Smart home is not away from what future will look like. It is here, practical, and affordable with easy-to-use functionalities. Understanding why you need it can be easy but knowing where and how to start setting up one can be bit tricky. It can be overwhelming task for the ones who are not from the technical background. Here is the quick guide on setting up your smart home.

Setting up the smart home is step by step process. You don’t have to invest completely in it at once. However, if you have plans for renovating entire house then definitely you can do it at one go.

Before setting up the smart home there are numerous questions in our mind like how to do it? Where should I start? What I need to buy? Which vendor is best suited for my requirement? Let us clear all the doubts and start of with Ultimate guide for setting up the Smart Home.

Ecosystem

It is very important to select the ecosystem in which you want to operate your smart home before selecting the smart devices. Three commonly used ecosystem are Google Nest, Alexa, & Apple HomeKit. It is obvious to select Apple HomeKit if you are using iOS devices like iPhone, iPad, and Mac at your home. If you are using android devices, then you should go for Google Nest. Smart devices usually support multiple ecosystems, but it is always a better option to go for commonly used ecosystem as it will give you smooth experience.

Apple HomeKit

Source: apple

Apple HomeKit is one the best devices to use. But it supports only iOS devices. With its control on 3rd party certification, apple makes sure that all the connected devices run smoothly. It supports all the majorly used Smart home brands. The platform is easy to use and is one of the most secured platforms. It collects less data and operates optimally. You can control devices when not in home by using HomeKit hub device.

Google Nest

Source: theverge

Google assistant is what makes Google Nest the best choice. It is capable of understanding and responding on the voice commands quickly as compared to Alexa or Siri. If you are an android user, then you can select Google Nest ecosystem without any doubts.

Amazon Alexa

Source: dailymail

Amazon Alexa support wide range of Smart home products compared to other two ecosystems. Alexa comes with numerous features and is most affordable ecosystem.

Smart hub

Smart hub is basically a central hub used for connecting all the smart devices in home. It can be accessed by using the application for controlling the devices. It is usually recommended to have the combination of smart speakers and displays in the home so that the google assistant, or Alexa, or Siri can get the commands clearly without many efforts.

In many cases, there are more people in the house so managing assistant can get tricky. In such cases you get smart devices and then turn on or off your smart lights or any other smart devices. Whichever solution you are deciding to select for your smart home, make sure that you are taking demo of the same and then going ahead with the purchase.

Wi-Fi

Having Wi-Fi connection at home is very common nowadays. But do you that Wi-Fi operates on different frequencies? Out of which the most used frequencies are 2.4GHz and 5GHz. Usually, smart home devices operate on 2.4GHz frequency. However, 5GHz frequency provides fast internet speed. Before choosing your smart home device, it is important to check if the device supports your Wi-Fi frequency or not. If you are going for latest Wi-Fi that offers 6GHz frequency, then there are very few smart home devices that supports this frequency.

You can always upgrade your Wi-Fi router and place it at the most suited place where Wi-Fi signals do not interfere with each other. While selecting Wi-Fi you should also check how many device connections it supports. Connecting a greater number of devices can affect the performance at the extent as the speed of Wi-Fi is divided.

Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or Smart hub

Are you confused that which one is the best option whether Bluetooth, wi-fi, or smart hub? Here is the solution. There are multiple smart home devices that comes with the option of Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. When it comes to Bluetooth, it is not much secured and fast as compared to Wi-Fi. Whereas smart hub will provide you with more stability and less congestion. It just needs the ethernet port on the Wi-Fi router.

Smart Home Support

For checking the compatibility of your product, you can check on the product description on the box. The compatibility logos are mentioned on the product box. It can offer you support for selecting the product and even ecosystem. This will help you in selecting the most compatible ecosystem and in controlling the device with your voice commands. Make sure that you always check the command list and reviews before selecting the product.

There are few devices available that come with built-in voice assistants. In such devices you can directly access and command assistants. Multiple devices provide built-in Google Assistant and built-in Alexa. On the other hand, Siri comes with only Apple devices.

Smart Home Standards

The future of smart home lies in bringing all the connected smart devices into a format where they can be used in a better way, enhances sustainability, and becomes more productive. With the new alliance of Google, Amazon, and Apple they said that all three of these will support a new standard for improving the performance of the smart home over IP or CHIP.

The CHIP standard is developed under ZigBee alliance. This new standard is believed to be compatible with most if the devices that were released in last two or three years. The motive is to design the radio neutral IP protocol that comes with the pre-specified set of schemas for linked devices. With these schemas, devices will be able to operate in certain rule. This rule will be common for all such connected devices. Example: There will be the common way for adjusting the temperature through thermostat.

With the standards modified in the applications, it will be beneficial for the companies with good customer relationships to enhance their services and design customized solutions for their customers. These smart home standards target few of the devices that include:

  • Lighting, electrical
  • Blinds
  • HVAC controls
  • TV
  • Access control
  • Safety & security devices
  • Access Points and bridges

Setting up Devices

Most of the major companies’ smart home devices are compatible with almost all ecosystems. For example, Philips’s products are compatible with both apple as well as google. But this is not the situation for all the devices. Usually, you will have to use 3rd party application for setup and at times even for controlling the devices.

Devices come with the user manual or setup guide which gives you step by step instructions on downloading the app and then the further process required for configuration. Connecting these devices to your selected ecosystem is part of the setup process but this is not always easy. Many a times, you have to self-check in the apple or google settings and add your account physically. Once your device is linked with the ecosystem that you have selected then only in rare cases you will need 3rd party application for controlling the smart home device.

Grouping devices

Once you have setup all the devices at your home, you can group them accord to your room or the place where they are. This will help you in automating certain tasks. With the smart home ecosystem application, you can easily group and organize your devices. With this you can give command just once for common tasks. For example, you can give command to switch on the lights in bedroom, then all the lights will switch on at once instead of saying “Switch on light 1 or light 2”.

With the customized settings, you can also group and control devices from different rooms or zones and create subsets. By spending some time on making the chart of devices and groups, you can save lot of your time and energy for controlling these devices later. These subsets will automate your routine tasks and will be easy to control through simple voice commands.

It will be great relief for you when you will schedule the actions. Couple of devices vacuum cleaners, AC, washing machines will do they task as per the schedule. You can setup simple words in the commands so when you said that single word tasks will be done automatically. So go ahead and pick proper commands that you will be setting up in your virtual assistant. Selecting commands is also important when controlling devices in smart home. For example, you have three bedrooms and you set command “Switch on Bedroom lights” then it will be confusing for you later.

Security

Smart home devices usually come with in-built microphone and camera. This can affect your security and privacy. Every time there is security risk of leaking the personal data that is stored in cloud. For keeping security in mind, it is important to go through the privacy policies of the manufacturer on how they handle your personal information. You can also check reviews on their product security policy to understand about any latest security issues.

While selecting smart home device, try to select those which support multifactor authentication for reducing the risk of getting your credentials hacked. With the multifactor authentication, you will get the confirmation code on your mobile phone or email and will provide you with added security.

Investing money on setting up your smart home is easy, but you should also plan how much money you will spend in buying the smart home devices. For making it easy for you, here are common ways in which you can plan the money you want to invest.

Smart Home Lighting

Source: indiamart

Smart home lightings will add elegance to your home. They will operate on your voice commands and can even be scheduled. If you want to add smart lightings in your home, you need to consider this:

  • How many lights are needed?
  • How many lights will you be capable of controlling?
  • What type of lights you want, colored or white?

You can also buy smart light switch instead of bulbs as it will make your regular bulb work on commands. Otherwise, with only smart bulb you will again have to manually put switch on or off.

Smart Home Thermostats

Source: hvac

There are couple of smart home devices that can be connected with the smart thermostat for providing you with comfort and also saves your cost and energy. Such devices come with advanced technologies and lets you enjoy benefits like turning on when you are home and turning off when you are away.

Smart Security

Source: securityboulevard

Investing into smart security cameras will be the good decision. It will safeguard your home and will let you enjoy carefree life. These smart cameras will let you keep a check on your home when you are away. Indoor cameras will help you to see your family members and take care of their safety.

Entertainment Automation

Source: control4

Smart speakers and audio systems lets you control the tracks you play through your commands. You can also manage the speakers in different room and lower or increase the volume wherever you need. With your voice command you can control the setting of your TV. Entertainment automation gives you freedom to customize the settings and control the devices as per your choice.

There are many such ways in which you can plan your smart home like smart home kitchen automation, garage automation, smart home locks, window and door sensors, smoke and carbon monoxide detection, and smart irrigation.

Ready to enjoy your Smart Home?

Start with your list of smart gadgets for setting up the smart home. Once the setup is ready sit back and relax in your home, by making life easy and simple.

Usually, people prefer starting off with the smart home security. This device gets connected with the Wi-Fi network and helps you in monitoring and controlling it with the help of your smartphone and application. The entry level device comprises the sensors for doors and windows, motion detectors, and a smart hub that connects these devices with Wi-Fi or any other wireless protocol. You can customize these settings and add additional functionalities like additional door, windows, motions, and can also cover entire house with sensors for door lock, garden locks, video surveillance, smart lights, smoke and fire detectors, water detectors, and many such exciting options.

Garima Khandelwal
A digital marketing executive at SoftwareSuggest, a software recommendation platform. Passionate about her work and loves to travel and explore new things .

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