We’ve seen Alexa being told to play music or “call Mom” in the commercials. We’ve seen the news reports showing home security cameras catch package thefts from the front porch and delivery drivers throwing TVs over fences. Maybe you’ve heard of clapping your hands to open the drapes, but never considered any of this technology for your own home. Over the top? Too expensive? Too confusing to learn? The truth is that in 2018 there are so many “smart” items that can be used throughout your home, that not considering them could end up costing you time and money.
Recently, my wife and I decided to start “smartening up” our home. There are so many products out there that it can be overwhelming to decide where to begin. We started our focus with safety. Like many, we were looking to keep an eye on the house when we were away. Not just for security purposes and ease of mind, but more to help all the rooms of our house work together in case of an emergency.
We know there are “smart” TVs, in fact, the majority of new TVs are “smart,” meaning you can connect your phone, computer, or tablet wirelessly and stream YouTube or the video you captured from your phone onto your television. What about a smart water leak detection system? Say your dishwasher overruns while you’re gone and you come home to a flood in your house, a $30 device could have alerted you immediately, before you were surprised to come home and see thousands of dollars in damage. We know how to program our thermostats to save a little dough, but wouldn’t it be neat if it alerted you that the furnace broke and your house was freezing? Why not have a smoke detector alert you when there’s a fire on the opposite side of the house, when the smoke isn’t near you yet? I’m going to tell you over a series of articles about the choices my wife and I made for our home, what we learned in our research, and how easy and beneficial these changes will be for us.
Gone are the days when only the wealthy can have cameras at their doors. You don’t even have to walk across the room to turn on the lights or music anymore. Smart home devices not only increase the value of your home and make simple tasks easier, but most importantly, give you peace of mind when you aren’t there. Unlock the front door for a friend stopping by when you aren’t home, check in on the dog, and see who rang the front bell, all from your work desk or the airport, and at a much lower cost than you may think.
My next article will focus on what may be the most important smart device I’ve recently installed in my home, our nest smoke detectors. The rest of our Smart Home series will cover costs, ease of installation, ease of use, items we are now using, and items we researched but have not installed in our home. I hope you find this series informative, and realize how this technology may benefit you and your family. And as always, I would like to hear from you, if you have had personal experiences that relate to these devices I will be showcasing, and how they have impacted your family and home.