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The concept of a smart home is an alluring one. Who wouldn’t want to walk into their house and have the lights turned on automatically, unlock their smart door locks with a tap on their phone, and keep a check on their home and its safety from thousands of miles away?
This is just the tip of the iceberg with smart home solutions offering so much more in terms of safety, security, convenience, and more!
By definition, a smart home is a system with a central hub, such as a control panel or app, connected to at least two devices, for instance, a smart bulb or smart plug.
According to that definition, there are 2.22 million smart homes in the UK at the moment, with projections for this figure to rise considerably over the next couple of years.
Designing and building a smart home is an exciting experience which, although used to be rather complex and expensive a few years back, is now fairly simple and inexpensive.
Read on to find out what components make up a smart home, the benefits of a smart home, and what to keep in mind when designing one for yourself:
A smart home is a home that allows you to control internet-connected appliances, lights, thermostats, and many other devices remotely using a smartphone, tablet, or other smart devices.
In simpler words, it is a home equipped with several devices connected over the internet that operate using apps and voice commands to automate tasks normally handled by humans. Some of these cool gadgets are built into the structure itself while others are added later on.
For some homeowners, a smart home can be as simple as installing smart lights. For others, it may involve connecting several different devices and gadgets such as lights, speakers, kitchen appliances, thermostats, security systems, and much more.
Here are all the components that make up a smart home:
Temperature control is one of the most basic systems in any home. Smart home technologies give you more control over the environment of your home to suit your specific needs. The two main environmental factors that fall under this category include heating and lighting.
Smart heating controls give you the ability to set zones in your house, which means setting different heating temperatures in different areas of the house.
This includes optimising energy usage by turning down the system automatically when the house is empty or when the ambient temperature is comfortable enough.
Smart lighting includes technologies like smart bulbs and switches that allow you to remotely control the lighting in your house via an app on your phone and pre-setting the lights to automatically turn on or off according to your requirements.
Home entertainment systems, including audio and video systems, have developed incredibly over the years, with most homes having state-of-the-art, professional-grade sound and TV systems.
The focus in the last few years has been over connecting different entertainment devices and sources over the internet for a “connected entertainment” system.
Smart home sound systems create zones in your home, allowing you to play music in certain areas of the house, all from a single source of input.
Smart video entertainment systems, on the other hand, are one of the biggest trends in smart home technology and refer to the ability to share content across various screens and devices.
With people becoming busier with their lives, no one has the time and energy for boring repetitive tasks that can easily be automated.
Some common examples of daily tasks that can easily be automated with smart home solutions include garage door opening and watering/irrigation systems.
With a smart garage door opening system, you can remotely control your garage door via an app on your smartphone and let visitors and other authorised individuals in.
Smart home watering systems can help you set the system to automatically water your garden on certain days and times. For instance, you can connect it to the weather app and have it water the garden only on dry days and only for a certain length of time.
When it comes to smart home systems, home security is usually at the top of the list because of its importance in every homeowner’s life.
It is extremely important to protect your home from all kinds of safety and security risks, whether it is from burglars and intruders or from the risk of fire and water damage, which are two of the biggest causes of losses and insurance claims.
A smart home security system includes a comprehensive range of devices such as burglar alarm systems, fire and smoke detection systems, leak detection for floods and water damage, CCTV cameras, access control systems, smart locks, external and internal lighting, equipment tracking, and alarm monitoring that connects your security system to a remote monitoring station.
Now that you know what a smart home is and how it works, let’s look at the benefits of designing one using smart internet-connected products and devices:
For most people, the main driving force behind designing and creating a smart home is the potential to save energy and money.
With smart thermostats, automated heating and cooling systems, and smart lights, you can consume less energy by powering them down when not necessary and in use.
Comfort is key and it’s what all homeowners aim for. It is another great reason to build a smart home so that you can simplify regular household tasks and make your life simpler and more convenient.
If you wish to take the burden off of some of the tedious tasks around the house, you can easily rely on automated connected devices to take care of them.
You can start with simple things such as installing smart lights that turn on/off using voice commands, sensors, or even time schedules.
You can invest in appliances such as smart vacuum cleaners, washing machines, and refrigerators that make everyday mundane tasks a breeze.
A smart home is not only more convenient and easier to manage but also more entertaining. With state-of-the-art audio and video systems that are interconnected, this new technology helps you keep entertained and informed in exciting ways.
Connected speakers can play your favourite music and offer news, weather, and sports updates. You can also find great movies and TV shows to watch, whether you are at home or in a real movie theatre.
Safety and security are two extremely important factors that all homeowners need to consider. What previously comprised only of door locks has now evolved into high-tech security systems that keep all threats under control.
In addition to offering savings and convenience, smart homes offer added security in the form of burglar alarms, CCTV cameras, access control systems, smart locks, and security lights, all of which you can remotely access and control via your smartphones, tablets, and laptops.
When it comes to designing and building a smart home for you and your family, the key lies in thinking through your requirements and all the different use-cases so that you can better assess how smart home technology can help you live a more comfortable life.
A simple way of doing this is to make a list of your typical daily activities, as an individual and as a family, starting with you waking up in the morning to when you go to sleep at night.
This will help you map out your everyday routine and the activities you’d like to automate using smart home solutions.
Apart from daily activities, you also need to consider other regular activities that you undertake throughout the year. For instance, when you go on a holiday and need the lights to turn on automatically for security purposes, or when considering the different temperature needs during the summer and winter months.
In addition to visualising how you plan on using each room in the house, you also need to consider how the house will function as a whole and decide whether you require some degree of or complete integration with other smart devices.
It is also extremely important to future-proof your smart home and think ahead while designing and building it so that your changing needs and requirements can easily be met.
In the end, it all comes down to what you hope to achieve with your smart home and the budget you have to design and build it.
The first thing to consider when designing a smart home is the provision of good speed internet since it is key to all smart home technologies.
A reliable Wi-Fi is essential since it is what connects the various parts of a smart home and allows you to remotely access and control it from absolutely anywhere in the world.
Alongside mapping out your regular home activities and the provision of a reliable internet connection, here are a few additional factors you need to consider when designing a smart home. They include:
With the demand for smart home technology increasing over the years, there are a variety of smart home solutions available in the market for every kind of home and budget, from basic systems costing merely hundreds to more advanced systems going up to the thousands.
When it comes to professional design and installation, the accurate costs are a little difficult to establish since there are several variables at play, such as the complexity of the system, the location of the house, the technologies you wish to include, and the expertise of the professional smart home installation company.
Here are a few estimated figures you’d be expected to pay for a smart home system for a typical 4 to 5-bedroom house:
The best smart home systems allow you to take control of your home whether you are in your house or on the other side of the world. Some of the best smart home system brands in the UK include Loxone, Lutron, Control4, and KNX.
Loxone offers comprehensive smart home solutions that include all aspects of home management, giving you increased comfort and peace of mind.
Their intelligent smart home solutions include lighting, blind control, room climate, multiroom audio, energy management, security, access control, sauna, and pools.
They take care of most of the tasks automatically and give you more time to kick back and relax, in addition to being extremely easy to manage and control, allowing you to save money on your energy bills.
Apart from that, their security solutions go beyond protection from break-ins and offer a great level of safety and privacy to homeowners.
Lutron offers lighting solutions for the entire house, allowing you to transform any space with the touch of a button using a hand-held remote, wall-mounted keypad, tabletop control, or your phone, tablet, or laptop.
You can create the right light in your home and save energy while you do it. It’s super easy and seamless to integrate the technology into your home and enjoy the safety and security benefits of advanced automated smart lights in your home.
Some standout features include pathway lighting and multi-room control that let you customise different areas of your home according to your needs.
Control4 smart home solutions help you stay informed and in control of everything happening in and around your home, whether you’re in your bedroom or halfway across the globe.
They work using a smart home operating system that is super intuitive and lets you enjoy control as you’ve never experienced before. It also gives you unmatched customisation capabilities that lets you control everything according to your habits and preferences.
Some of their key products include smart lighting, home security, intercom, home theatre, multi-room audio, universal remote, and voice control.
With KNX smart home solutions you can combine all sorts of smart devices and appliances to automate and simplify your daily life.
They offer an all-in-one solution that encompasses all areas of home living and management where safety, comfort, and ease are the key players.
Their extensive list of smart home products includes blinds, lighting, heating, ventilation, air-conditioning, security, door communication, and visualisation tools.
At Calder Electrical, we can design, plan, and install a smart home system that will allow you to control the lighting, power, audio, and visuals around your home.
We work with top-rated systems and always stay updated on the latest trends in home automation technology. We understand the ins and outs of the service and can customise the system according to your needs and requirements.
We offer maintenance services for the systems and guarantee fewer maintenance costs that usually go up due to faulty installations.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 to talk to our experienced professionals for the best smart home solutions for your home!
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001