How-To

How To Set Up a Seamless Smart Home: Beginners Guide

Whether you want to start small or go big, there are plenty of ways you can bring smart devices into your home.
How To Set Up a Seamless Smart Home: Beginners Guide

It goes without saying Smart Home technology has exploded in recent years. The smart home landscape may have been less appealing previously than it is today, it came loaded with questions on what system should I choose? Are all these products compatible? If it gets too much, can I turn it off? It began with needing one too many apps on your phone, and a willingness to commit yourself to either Apple, Hive, or Philips (and their prices).

Oh, how times have changed. Getting a smart home is nearly as easy as purchasing a new phone, and as new technology comes out it’s becoming easier to see how we can work with the technology and bring it into our homes. Today, having a smart home is less about whether or not you want to have one and instead is more of a question about how smart you want your home to be. For some, being greeted by your automated lights and being able to shout ‘Alexa’ from the kitchen to play your favourite jazz playlist is more than enough. For others, having an entire home designed with smart technology included in the design is a must.

Our guide to a Smart Home

The intrigue in having a connected smart home is only getting bigger; establishing itself as a way of life. Then again, considering everything else in our digital lives is seamless; from the connectivity between our phone, laptop, cars, and wearables, why wouldn’t our homes be? Whether you want to start small with a simple light bulb or kit out an entire home security system, there are plenty of options to ween yourself in.

this is a smart bulb in the grit and polish smart home

A good place to start is with a speaker. A centrepiece that we turn to when we’re cooking dinner, ploughing through work, or when watching Schitt’s Creek. Loud enough to hear every note from Moira Rose theatrical accent or David’s wit. Their aesthetic adds to a room and can be used as a sound system for music and TV, as well as work in sync with other smart home devices. The variety of speakers on the market gives way to finding one that works for you, we recommended the following based on their ability, sound quality, and design.

Never miss a beat with a smart sound system

Bose Soundbars are a buyers favourite. Although they’re slightly pricier than others, Bose is known for their immaculate sound quality, and a Brucie bonus is how seamlessly they integrate with the TV and other smart home devices. Another favourite on our list is Apple’s HomePod. It’s everything you would expect from an Apple product; beautiful in design, perfect sound quality, and is easy to use. The Apple HomePod is ideal for a home that embraces Apple products, or already has the HomeKit platform hooked up.

Finally, the classic and all-round favourite: Echo 4th Generation. One of the best-known smart home speakers and comes at a great price point, making it possible to have a smart home that is affordable and effective. With all of these integrated assistant features on speakers, it becomes virtually impossible to forget the time, not knowing your plan for the day, or for lights to be left on longer than they need to be. Sign me up.

Create the atmosphere you want with smart bulbs and lighting

As simple it is to stream Spotify through your speakers, you can dim the lights straight from your phone or tablet. Smart bulbs and lighting allow you to set up schedules for them, set the scene, or ‘turn on if the sun goes in‘, all without having to lift a finger. There was a time when Smart Bulbs were unjustifiably expensive, however, now there are more brands on the market making it more affordable to light the entire house including Gosund LED Light Bulbs and Philips Ambiance Edison Bulbs. Plus, the life of each bulb is much longer than a regular bulb, meaning less waste.

Light strips are exploding in popularity when it comes to adding ambience into the room, they’re inspiring many to place them behind the TV or running them underneath the kitchen unit. Teckin Dreamcolor LED Strip Light are receiving rave reviews for their light strips, for quality and price point. Designed with voice control built-in, it’s possible to change the lights to different modes making the experience entirely customisable.

Install smart plugs that make your coffee

Designing a Smart Home doesn’t have to break the bank or be too extravagant. A simple and effective way to turn any household item into a smart home device would be by hooking it up to a smart plug. At 7:30 AM every morning, I scheduled my kettle to boil and be ready on the dot for me to pour my brew and be on my way. It turns out, even just the slightest efficacies make all the difference.

Save money on your heating with a smart thermostat

If there is anything that’s up for debate at home, it’s the temperature. Now with smart thermostats, you have an assistant to manage the temperature so that you don’t have to. They’re designed to learn your schedule and the temperatures that you like, therefore they’re saving you energy, time, and from heating debates. Aaah, perfect.

Nest and Hive have become market leaders in the space. Hive has become widely known for its stunning design and simplicity in functionality when it comes to controls and programming. The Alexa integration in Hive’s Smart Thermostat means you can control the thermostat and boiler with your voice or through your phone.

All-round smart home security

For many of us, protecting your home when you’re not there is a priority. Traditionally we would use security alarms, or install CCTV cameras, whereas now it’s possible to include a Smart Alarm or a full Smart Home Security System.

Ring is widely known for the quality of its products and offers many options when it comes to home security. They’re our go-to when it comes to recommending the best smart alarm systems on the market.

Smart Homes on the market

A reasonable question to ask when looking to install smart devices into your home would be what it means for when you decide to move or sell. You’ll be pleased to hear that having smart devices in your home can help with selling your property. The more familiar we’re all becoming with the possibilities that come because of smart devices, the more attractive they are to potential buyers.

Finally, when considering where and how you want to bring smart devices into your home, it’s important it’s designed around adding to your life at home and not encroaching on it. A smart home is one of efficiency, comfortability, and aesthetically pleasing with their sleek designs. Leaving you to enjoy everything else knowing the house is running like clockwork, whether you are there or not.

Photo credits: The Grit & Polish

Related Features