What Is A Smart Home System?

Smart Home

What Is A Smart Home System?

What Is A Smart Home System | Your Casa Concept

Technology has gone a long way from just asking Siri to play Spotify on your phone. The smart system of the 21st century is about making you take charge of your home’s functionality – all in a single interface.

From door locks to switching off the lights, smart devices can even help you grill that meat the next time you have a barbeque. It’s basically anything you can think of. The speakers, window blinds, heater, clock; the list goes on.

Welcome to the world of automation.

Having the ability to control your home appliances at just a touch of a button. A smart home system is the commanding and scheduling of something to happen. Google Assistant or Alexa should be something you’ve heard of before.

Smart Home Hub | Your Casa Concept

We see an immense growth in the smart home concept thanks to human’s love for convenience and modernization. A strong desire for higher quality of life. It can’t be helped that some of the devices are reasonably priced too.

While the idea of a smart home sounds cool, sophisticated and aesthetically pleasing (it really does, in action movies), in reality, getting all the devices to work might be hard to keep up with.

 

IMPLEMENTATION

The smart home infrastructure is easier to put in place when constructing a newly built home. However, it does not mean that the implementation can’t be done in your current one. There are many reputable smart home companies which offer installation for your smart home upgrade.

 

Smart Home System | Your Casa Concept

Image Source | AMAZON

To have a smart home system going, there must be a smart home hub in the heart of it all. The one that controls all your smart home devices. Wifis, Bluetooth, ZigBee or Z-Wave are the wireless hub of a smart home. Within its radius, this control unit automates your smart devices around your home. You can command specific instructions and its timings, usually through your smartphones or tablets (some through voice activations too).

In fact, many smart home systems run on wifis and bluetooth, and they still work as good. Simply saying, you need good, uninterrupted internet connection. Otherwise, it won’t work as well as it should.

 

BENEFITS OF A SMART HOME SYSTEM

Convenience is a given. Controlling your smart devices to your commands. A gem for those who are extremely forgetful. You don’t have to go the entire day worrying you didn’t switch off the air conditioner.

An efficient smart home system, when installed well, can help the homeowner to effectively have better energy efficiency and security

To give you an example: A smart home thermostat.

Smart home thermostat | Your Casa Concept

A regular thermostat allows you to set the timer. But can it switch the heating off automatically after sensing that no one is at home?

No, but a smart home thermostat can.

They are able to receive the information and act upon your instructions. The ability to regulate the temperature accordingly – like when they sense someone opening a window.

About security, homeowners can be instantly notified of any movements on their property. It works for both outdoor and indoor security cameras. Just activate it and be alerted on your phone. It really does allow one to have a better piece of mind.

 

THE UGLY SIDE OF A SMART HOME

Smart lock, smart cameras, smart systems.. But are they entirely safe?

smart lock | Your Casa Concept

Do not be surprised that some people do get hacked. The sad reality is, the smarter your home, the more enticing it is for potential hackers. They look for loopholes: weak passwords, overlooked privacy settings and uninstalled updates are just some of the few things to be worried about.

It’s a question of privacy breach and a threat to one’s security as well. It’s definitely not a good scenario to have, if it potentially poses a huge danger to your family if your smart system gets hacked into. A single smart device infiltrated could lead to having your lights switched off and home unlocked – defenceless and free to be robbed.

Secondly, before you can even have the entire home to be more energy-efficient or more secure, you’ll first have to replace your current appliances and/or devices to smart ones which are compatible with your smart home hub. (That’s the whole point, right?)

Collectively, it will cost you quite a bit of money. We are talking about getting in good quality technology that will work in the long run. We still have to consider future maintenance and tech support costs that comes along with your newly, sleek smart home.

 

THINGS TO CONSIDER

With all that said and done, everyone knows that the smart home trend is here to stay anyway (I know I’d love to have my entire home to be). If you are still onboard the idea, then this section is for you.

COMPATIBILITY

Smart home system implementation would work more smoothly if you purchase a smart home hub first.

Since the hub is bought first, the chances of you getting a device that is not compatible with your hub will be lower. You will most likely search for devices that are compatible with the said hub you chose. Smart devices that cannot be detected will be useless – it just won’t work no matter how new it is.

smart home mobile app | Your Casa Concept

You will most likely be controlling your hub through your smart phones via the mobile app. Most hubs are compatible with iOS and Android smartphones. Windows phone users.. not quite. So again, do check the requirements and compatibility.

CONNECTIVITY

What must the smart home hub be connected to in order to function?

An ongoing smart home system needs an uninterrupted supply of power to plug into. And they need to be connected to your wireless router, via an ethernet cable. There are some that would only require a wifi connection to work, which makes it very convenient.

The hub’s placement in your home matters too. It must be strategically located to reach all your smart home devices. We call it the sensory range. Always check if your devices are detected and are connected. This is to ensure smooth functioning of your smart home.

AMAZON ECHO STUDIO

Amazon Echo Studio | Your Casa Concept

There are many smart home hubs and I’m sure there will be more to come in the near future. A fine example of an all-in-one smart home hub is the Amazon Echo Studio. Besides having the ability to connect to your smartphone, this beauty comes with a built-in Amazon Alexa to manage all your smart home devices with voice commands.

“Alexa, what’s on my calendar?”

Yes. Your personal assistant that keeps your events and reminders in check. Go ahead, ask Alexa anything. Like maybe.. Your favourite restaurant’s opening hours.

Alexa can discover your other Alexa-compatible home devices and will start setting them up so you can have control over them. From simple ones like your lights to serious business like smoke alarm detecting. Control your devices from your smartphone or with your voice.

Music fans, the Echo Studio is an incredible piece of technology that enhances your home audio experience, making sure you get wrapped in studio-quality audio in the room it’s placed in.

Above all, this Alexa-Echo pairing is built with layers and layers of privacy controls to ensure your data is kept secure.

Voice assistance, ease of set up and with plenty of smart devices that are compatible with Alexa, I think the Echo Studio is a good start to having your smart home system going!

Echo Studio Amazon Review | Your Casa Concept


MOVING FORWARD

We crave for the novelty of technology, often sold by the beauty of convenience that it brings to our world. Smart home devices are appreciated and they do make a good housewarming or holiday gift for your loved ones.

The smart home system would work for us great, if we choose the right technologies, devices and support.

I think having a smart home system will train a homeowner to be constantly vigilant and updated – which is perfectly understandable, given the possible privacy and data protection issues.

We’ve got plenty of good, reputable brands, like Google, Samsung, Apple, Amazon, etc. Educating ourselves of the specific smart hub and devices’ reviews and integrations will be beneficial for ourselves. Basic technology knowledge does make a huge difference in having your data and privacy protected.

smart home mobile app | Your Casa Concept

What are your thoughts of a smart home? Would you welcome the thought of implementing it to your current home? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!

 

** Disclosure: Some links in this article are affiliate links, which allows me to earn a commission if you click through and make a purchase. There are no additional costs to you.

Sam

11 thoughts on What Is A Smart Home System?

  1. Thank you for introducing us all to the clever gadget of smart home system. It seems like an easy device to use and seems to be very convenient and practical. I wanted to ask how would it work if you already have a CCTV cameras installed in your home? or, will this be separate thing?

    Thank you

    • Hi Habib,

      Indeed! Technology is amazing (and a little bit scary hahaha)

      The CCTV camera will be a separate device. What you’ll need to do is know if it’s compatible to your hub. For example, if you have Amazon Alexa, then you will have to search for ‘smart security camera compatible with Amazon Alexa’. Alexa will then be able to detect your new security camera and you can set up accordingly via your smart phone or tablet.

      If it’s not compatible, then the security camera wouldn’t work. So be careful with choosing your smart devices! Hope this helped.

      Cheers.
      SAM

  2. Hi Sam,

    I’ve always resisted smart devices – both because of a fear of AI and because of a serious fear of being easily hacked. However, my boyfriend is a huge fan of Google products, and at this point, we have 4 smart light bulbs, two nest hub minis, and speakers in every room. I have to admit that it is incredibly convenient to tell Google to set a timer or play music, ask how the weather is, or tell it to turn off the lights I accidentally left on before getting into bed.

    In short, I’ve come around. Now we’re looking at getting security cameras just for extra security for our home.

    • Hi Jade,

      It really just starts with one and from the sound of it you might just have your entire home to be replaced with smart devices! Hahaha.

      But I get that. The hacking issue is quite disturbing. Yet, with it we are improving convenience, energy efficiency and better security. Just be cautious and keep yourselves updated and data protected always!

      Cheers.
      SAM

      • Yeah… it wouldn’t surprise me if we do end up with Smart Home set-up before too long. At the rate we’re going, it’ll probably actually be soon 😀

        We always try to keep our stuff and our information secure, but yes, it is definitely still scary!

  3. Hi Sam,

    I like the idea of a smart home in theory. It sounds quite convenient. And can help you be more efficient. But for me, I still resist for several reasons. One is the cost. Another is the fear of being hacked. And the third is a fear of AI (thanks to a movie or two.) But at the same time, I might just have to reconsider and take the plunge.

    -Amanda

    • Hi Amanda,

      My same sentiments, honestly. It’s a pretty costly investment and the constant fear of being hacked, I wonder if it’s worth it to have my entire home smarter.

      Maybe you can try having just the simple ones like your lights and kitchen appliances first. Something that can at least assist you in your daily routine without any compromises on security. (My smart home journey started this way)

      Whichever it is, it’s entirely up to the comfort level of each individuals. Who knows, you might have it all work out great.

      Cheers.
      SAM

  4. My brother just got his smart home system installed last week and called me on Whatsapp via video call to show me all the devices in his house he can control through voice recognition. It all looks and sounds great, but probably not so easy to set it all up and make everything work the way it should, but I guess once it is set up and all working, then it will indeed make life a breeze.

    I did not consider the security aspect of it. That sounds like a bit of a concern to me, but not perfectly sure if the concern is justified?

    • Wow! That’s great to know.

      I think installation should be alright for your brother (assuming he is tech savvy, which I’m sure he is). Making sure it all run consistently and safely is the harder part.

      I highly doubt you can ever fully solve the privacy and data protection issue. There will always be people with ill intentions (and very smart at that). However, I also believe the tech companies are doing their best to protect us as much with constant updates and features!

      It all boils down to one’s knowledge and comfort level when it comes to whether you’d like to implement a smart home system, I feel.

      Cheers.
      SAM

  5. This is great.

    I currently have plans to integrate a smart system through Alexa when I decorate after Xmas.

    The price of these systems has come down a lot over the last few years and is not a level where I can afford it.

    I want a system connected through a tablet so I can control everything via a central panel and remotely through a mobile phone, like when I’m in the bedroom for example.

    I have bookmarked this as a reference while I gather the necessary material for developing a smart home.

    Thanks,
    Michael.

    • Hi Michael,

      I agree, the prices have gone down immensely since they first came about. But yes, it is a huge investment to make initially that will require one to save up a bit before converting the entire home into a smart one.

      Sounds like a wonderful change to make after the season! Excited for you.

      Cheers.
      SAM

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