Considering buying a home automation system? You’re not alone. By 2019, the number of U.S. households with a smart solution will hit 38.2 million. It’s no mystery why: Home automation systems are easy to use, streamline your life and add a comforting layer of security to your family’s home.
Want an idea of where smart homes are headed? Picture this: You pull into the driveway after a long day at work and your garage door goes up, your front door unlocks, lights inside the house go on and Pandora starts playing your favorite music to greet you. Your clothes are freshly dried (the cycle started an hour before you got home — no wrinkled shirts!), dinner is bubbling away in the slow cooker and the temp is set to make the house nice and cozy. The one thing your smart home won’t do is pour a glass of wine and hand it to you as you walk in the door. But who knows what the future will hold!
Smart systems are getting so popular, they’ve led to the invention of a new term: The Internet of Things. What does it mean? All of your things connected to the Internet — from appliances and electronics to lights, thermostat, cameras and phones. You name it, you can probably control it using the Internet. That’s a smart home.
If you’re still not sure you want a smart home, here are some of key points to consider. Think of this as your Smart Home 101.
It’s Easy to Install and Use
Installation can be a scary word. But with DIY smart home systems, it’s a snap. If you’ve ever set up a new TV and connected it to your home’s Wi-Fi system, you know the basics. You can do it yourself (really!) and you’ll be up and running in about an hour. And home automation is easy to use. You don’t have to be a computer whiz to understand the system. If you can use an app on your smartphone, you already have the skills to run a smart home.
You don’t have to get all the bells and whistles right out of the gate. You can start with a good base — sensors for doors, windows and motion — to get your feet wet with the technology and then grow the system based on your family’s needs and wants. Then you can add indoor and outdoor cameras, control of lights, thermostat and the water heater, remote operation of the garage door and your front and back door locks — the sky’s the limit.
You Can Control it From Anywhere
If you’re on vacation in Fiji, the last thing you want to do is worry whether the furnace went out at home. Pop onto your smartphone and you can find out with the touch of a button. Or maybe you’re at work and curious about whether a package arrived. No problem: Just take a peek at your front doorstep. On a weekend getaway with your spouse, wondering if your teenagers are throwing a party at home? They won’t be with Iris keeping an eye on them.
It Feeds Your Inner Techie
If you’re a closet techie (or even a loud and proud one), having a smart home means you’re living the dream. Cool new accessories are being developed all the time, so there will always be an opportunity to update your home automation system.