In the year 2017, it seems that many gadgets in science fiction movies are now reality. Unbelievable Innovations in technology have made home living intelligent and convenient. Pre-programmed thermostats, sensor-activated soap dispensers, and voice-activated lights are something you can actually buy right now. However, when you start shopping for intelligent home products, you’ll be flooded with options. Where do you even start? Here are our top 5 steps to make your house smarter.
Having a smart home doesn’t have to mean that you need to have a smart hub for voice commands. Many intelligent appliances have their own corresponding app that you can easily download onto your phone or tablet. When you need to control your smart appliance, you can simply open its app to turn things off or on, alter the temperature, or set a timer. Therefore, if you’re not a fan of voice activation, you can skip step 2 and head on to step 3.
If the thought of being able to control parts of your home with just a vocal command sounds appealing to you, then you have a few great devices to choose from. Today there are two big competitors in voice-activated home automation: Amazon and Google.
The Amazon Echo, which also has many variations like the Echo Dot and Echo Show, uses the AI assistant Alexa. These Amazon devices can receive your voice commands after you prompt Alexa to listen to you. Alexa is compatible with many products that control lighting, alarms, garage doors, and much more. In fact, to list all the devices Alexa can control would take a long time. We have a full list of different products we recommend to use in the process of smartening your home!
Google Home has also taken homes by storm since its debut in Christmas 2016. This device is two years younger than Alexa, so it falls slightly behind in home automation integration. However, this doesn’t mean that it still can’t do many things! It works well with Nest, Philips hue bulbs, and SmartThings, which means it can control your home’s lighting and indoor temperature. Google Home is also more adept at giving directions, locations of local hot spots, and summoning an Uber. As Google Home stays on the market, its list of compatible applications will only grow, so stay tuned!
Your next step is to determine what products you want to become “smart”. This decision is entirely based on your lifestyle preferences and needs. Some people may be fine with a home decked out with smart appliances while others may just want to turn their lights off and on. Wherever you fall, there are products and applications that will meet every comfort level possible.
Most products are run by WiFi and/or Bluetooth. Consider which ones are appropriate for you. Are you mainly on the go? Then Bluetooth-controlled devices might be better for you. WiFi products can save you on data charges and are appropriate for devices that you’ll mostly use when you’re at home, like lights and appliances.
Every device or appliance that can be voice-controlled will be controlled by a corresponding application. If you are going with voice activation, you should first download Alexa or Google Home onto your phone, then sync your AI assistant with your smart devices. If you’re just using a phone or tablet without voice activation, simply download the apps directly to your phone and start using your products.
Once you have the products and can control them, it’s now time to set all your preferences. For some products, you won’t need to do anything except turn them off and on. However, if you have a thermostat or a home alarm system, then pre-setting setting alarm schedules or temperatures can prove useful. In this way, you can save yourself time and money by doing something as simple as changing your thermostat to energy-efficient temperatures while you’re at work or asleep.
Making your house intelligent is easy when you know the right steps to get started. Top 5 is passionate about helping people find the best ways to do things and select the right products. If you have any questions about our expert recommendations and insights, then explore more of our website or contact us anytime.
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