What’s the first picture in your head when you think about a smart home? My guess would be that it’s probably of an app or a voice command turning the lights on in your house. Indeed, it is, but it’s not a complete picture of a proper smart home. Here is: smart homes in 2020, a home transformation guide.
Smart homes comprise different accessibility features, which make it easy for you to control your smart devices without moving around the home much. In addition to that, a recent study suggests that by 2023 the smart home market would grow at 10% each year and reach $ 107 billion dollars.
Defining a Smart Home
It is a home automation system that can control lighting, temperature, entertainment units, appliances, and security systems of your home. These devices are typically connected to a central gateway, which is controlled by an electronic device called a hub.
These electronic devices act as controllers and can use commands from a user to perform actions. Some examples include Google Nest Hub, JBL Link View, Amazon’s Echo, and Samsung SmartThings Hub v3.
How does it all come together?
The easiest way to understand this would be to imagine a switch for your lights and electronic appliances in your phone. You can use your phone to turn the lights on or off, set the temperature, control your appliances, and set the entertainment units in your home.
A simple list of the basic items you’d need to begin:
Smart Lighting Systems for your Smart Home.
The global smart lighting systems market size is projected to reach $ 38.68 billion dollars by 2026, according to a report by Allied Market Research. Lighting represents a total of 19% of the world’s energy use and accounts for approximately 6% of all the greenhouse emissions.
These figures are really a cause of concern if you care for the environment we live in. Under these circumstances, smart lighting systems can certainly prove to be of help in saving energy, and resources for the future and there is a wide variety of options to choose from, whether it is a bulb that connects through Bluetooth, Wifi or DALI they are all energy savers.
A smart lighting system can understand commands given through an app or a controller, which can make it change its color or turn it on and off. Simple right. The min-cost of a smart bulb is around $ 40 dollars on amazon.com.
The biggest players currently advancing in this market are Phillips, Cisco, and Syska Lighting systems. Check out Phillips Hue Lighting systems here. Keeping in mind the current climate change and its effects on all of us, this could be a starting point for you to contribute to saving energy and help build a sustainable environment.
A thermostat controller senses the temperature of a room it’s installed in and performs actions based on set preferences. Usually, you’ve seen one in action inside an automatic Air Conditioner where the AC gets off after a certain time that you’ve set or after the room temperature reaches the desired level set by you.
Be that as it may, thermostats nowadays also have the ability to detect activity in your house and set temperatures accordingly. Some of them have built-in motion sensors that help them do this.
There are a lot of smart thermostat controllers available to choose from in the market. A few of them are Honeywell Home T9, Nest Learning Thermostat, Ecobee Smart Thermostat with voice control, and Microsoft’s Glas thermostat. Our choice is Microsoft’s Glas thermostat, which is connected to Cortana.
It can analyze the air quality, control the heating or cooling in your home, schedule temperatures, save a plan for up to a week, and can give you some more information about the current condition of your home. It costs about $ 319 dollars.
According to a report, the Smart Thermostat market is projected to reach $ 8.78 billion dollars by 2026. Just to give you an insight, back in 2014, Google bought Nest Labs for a soaring $ 3.2 billion dollars, which is almost twice the amount they spent to buy YouTube back in 2006. Through this, you can identify the value which smart homes promise for the future.
Almost half of our electricity bills comprise heating and cooling systems that we use, and smart thermostats can really help in a big way to control our energy consumption. It’s really a smart idea to use a smart thermostat in your office or home and see the difference in your electricity consumption and contribute to saving the planet.
Smart Security Systems
In the case of security systems, the whole point of it is to cover entry and exit points of your home along with safe spaces within your home. It involves things like doors and window sensors, surveillance cameras, motion sensors, and high decibel alarms.
A lot of components are involved in making your home fully secure, and depending on the size of your home, you can expect the pricing of these components. Smart home security systems would definitely require a mesh network installed within your home for optimum performance of your security devices.
A 3 pack wireless mesh network from Google costs around $ 245 dollars on amazon and covers approximately 4500 sq. ft. for optimum wifi connections.
A Reality Check!
But if you really don’t have the time to do all of it, then there are home security service companies like Frontpoint, Simplisafe, and Vivint, which can take care of the installation and service. Services provide you with after-sale services like monitoring, calling the police in case someone is trying to break and enter. They will even call an ambulance on your behalf in case of an emergency. The prices start at as low as $ 50 dollars per month.
The global connected home security systems market is projected to reach $ 32.5 by 2026 according to a report by business wire, and considering the atrocities being committed around us in the times we live in, investing in securing your home seems like a priority.
Smart Entertainment Units
Smart entertainment units have been in play for a long time now. You must have heard about a smart TV back in 2015 first if you were a tech geek. But the general population came around to it in the past 3 years. Now, there are tons of smart entertainment units available to choose from starting from:
- Smart TV’s
- Wifi Enabled projectors,
- Bluetooth Smart speakers
- Gesture Control Devices
You must be thinking about smart refrigerators as well by now, don’t fret, we’ve got that covered in our smart appliances section below. So starting with smart TV’s there are a lot of options available in the market starting at a price of $ 140 dollars.
The leading players are LG and Sony, but you can view all of the choices out there. Then there are smart projectors available at a starting price of $ 89 dollars and smart gesture control devices available at a starting price of $ 97 dollars on amazon.
Our favorite part is smart speakers and audio systems, which can be connected to your smart hubs easily and are a must-have for a smart home. Options include Bose Soundlink systems, Amazon echo, and echo plus.
If you invest in Amazon Echo, you can save on spending some extra pennies. Because amazon echo also acts as a smart hub and runs with Alexa. These smart audio systems are available for as low as $ 19 dollars on amazon.
Once you’ve got your smart entertainment needs taken care of. It’s time to look at some smart appliances. There are a lot of options out there, but first, let’s jot down the basic items you’d need to begin with. Here is a list of items that we think are used almost every day in every household.
- Smart Refrigerators
- Robotic Vacuum Cleaners
- Connected Microwave Ovens
- Smart Blenders
- Toaster with Display and remote control
- Connected Washing Machines
Yup, that’s a long list, but be comfortable and choose whatever you need first according to your preferences. The smart refrigerators start at around $ 1700 dollars if you’re looking for an Award Winning LG Insta View Refrigerator. Whereas Samsung has its own smart refrigerators starting at $ 3099 dollars.
Additionally, there are robotic Smart Vacuum cleaners from iRobot starting at $ 369 dollars, which can be connected with Alexa and can be controlled with voice commands.
Moreover, it’s a Smart Microwave oven time, another must-have from our list, which can be bought at a starting price of $ 119 dollars from GE on Walmart. In truth, my choice is the interesting June Oven Starting at $ 499 dollars. Both these products can really help smooth your cooking experience, but June Oven carries more love to it.
A few other smart items you may consider
You can easily buy a smart blender on Walmart by Nutribullet for $ 98 dollars. Another interesting feature is that their app lets you take a look at all the nutritional values of the smoothies you make. Likewise, there’s a smart toaster available in the market by Williams Sonoma, which lets you control the process through a touch screen attached to it, and you decide how crisp you like your toasts.
Another trending appliance for your smart home is a smart washing machine. Both LG and Samsung are in the market with Smart Washing Machines, which can be managed by Alexa and Google Assistant. Their starting price is $ 2579 dollars. Even though you’d still need to make an effort and decide which clothes require washing but having the ability to control your machine remotely goes a long way in helping your cause to stay neat and clean.
Reports suggest that the smart home appliances market is expected to reach $ 38.35 billion by this year.
You need to have a smart hub controller in order to have universal control over all of your things. Most smart things are compatible with modern smart hub controllers like
- a) Google Nest Hub priced at $ 230 dollars
- b) Amazon Echo Show 5 priced at $ 90 dollars
- c) JBL Link view priced at $ 300 dollars and
- e) Samsung smart things hub starting at $ 60 dollars.
There are a few devices above which might require you to download their own apps. But don’t worry, you can configure the app with Alexa or google assistant and make it work from your hub. Most of the hubs mentioned above use AI to understand more about your preferences and suggest actions based on them.
There are chances that you’ve already invested in a device like Amazon echo. Because of its popularity and affordable pricing. If you haven’t yet, then choose any of the options mentioned above.
Do you live in a big house! meaning 3000 sq. ft. or more. In that case, you might need two hub devices to make things work from anywhere within the house. If your house is less than 1500 sq. ft. One hub device, along with a mesh network, would be enough to control everything.
Final thoughts on making your house a smart home
There are a lot of factors to consider in turning your house into a smart home. To make it easy, our suggestion is to pick up one thing at a time and move your way up.
A smart home can provide different experiences for different occasions and mood settings. There are a lot of settings to configure and play with. They sometimes seem like endless fun experiments.
Now let’s figure out the costs involved in it. An average American house is built up in approximately 1525 sq. ft. and includes the following items. Based on the information above we’ve noted a few things below with their costs involved:
- Lighting System for a minimum of 45 bulbs – $ 1800 dollars
- Thermostat Controller – $ 240 dollars
- Security System – $ 50 dollars per month
- Smart TV – $ 140 dollars
- Speaker System – $ 19 dollars
- Refrigerator – $ 1700 dollar
- Vacuum Cleaner – $ 369 dollars
- Microwave Oven – $ 119 dollars
- Washing Machine – $ 2579 dollars
- Google Wifi Mesh (pack of 3) – $ 245 dollars
- Smart Hubs – $ 60 dollars
These 11 items would cost you around $ 7, 321 dollars at the minimum.
Well, Now that you’ve got things sorted out — maybe it’s time to get to it. Good Luck.