Imagine being able to start the laundry, raise the blinds, adjust the thermostat and more… all from your smartphone. Hopefully that scenario isn’t too difficult to imagine, because for many people, it is already a reality. It could be a reality for you, too; all you need is to find a “budget electrician near me.”
Read on to get the basic facts on what a smart home is, the components you can get, available customizations and some compelling selling points for systems like these.
What Is a Smart Home?
These days people call lots of products and devices “smart,” but intelligence isn’t what it’s really about. When “smart” appears before the name of an object, such as a phone or a home, it almost always indicates an element of automation. In essence, that’s what a smart home is — a home where many of the mundane yet necessary tasks are automated, giving homeowners more time for the things that really matter.
A smart home refers to a home system where devices and appliances can be controlled remotely from anywhere with an internet or network connection. Smart homes can feature wireless or hard-wired appliances, or both. When you’re transforming your house into a smart home, you can create whatever you can imagine, as long as you have a good electrical foundation, and a cheap, reliable electrician.
Before you start buying smart devices and rearranging the house, ask yourself: have I laid a foundation for success? Do I have the essential components needed to make this work? Here are three of the most basic things you need:
Reliable, Fast Wifi
All smart devices require the internet, meaning the smarter your home gets, the more essential a strong, stable connection will be. If you’re trying to map out how much internet speed you’ll need, just remember that devices that require a continuous connection should be given a larger bandwidth allotment.
Devices that are only active when you give a command do not require as much bandwidth, and neither do devices like smart light bulbs, thermostats or home climate control systems. A good rule of thumb is to have an additional five Mbps for every dozen smart devices you have in your home.
A smart hub is essentially a master control center for all of your smart devices. Each of your own smart devices will come with its own app (and a bridge or hub if they require one), but if you’re designing an entire smart home, that ends up being a ton of apps. A separate, multi-purpose hub will let you control everything from a single app.
The type of hub you get will depend on the type of components you’re planning to use, as well as how many devices you want to control. As with every smart device, some hubs are more versatile than others. Here are three popular hubs:
- Google Nest Hub
- Amazon Echo
- Logitech Harmony Home Hub
Perhaps the most enjoyable part of the planning phase is deciding which custom features you’ll want to include in your smart home. Not only is mapping them out fun, but it’s also an essential step in the process. When you’re typing “budget electrician near me” into the search bar, you’ll be ready to talk logistics.
The cheap, reliable electricians at Randy’s Electric are as excited about smart home technology as you are, and they’re ready to help make your dreams a reality. Here are some custom features they enjoy installing:
- The Nest Learning Thermostat learns what temperature you like and builds a schedule around your preferences. It programs itself, turns itself down when you leave the house, analyzes energy usage and sends safety alerts when it gets dangerously hot or cold.
- The Nest Protect Smoke + CO Detector tests its sensors and batteries over 400 times a day, sends messages to your phone and alerts you when there’s smoke or CO.
- The Nest Indoor and Outdoor Security Cameras allow you to see your home 24/7 in 1080p HD. When the app thinks it records something suspicious, it sends alerts to your phone or email. Its built-in speakers not only allow you to hear what’s going on from afar, but also to speak into the house through a remote location.
These popular features are just a fraction of what’s currently available for smart homes. Speak to a Minneapolis electrician at Randy’s Electric about setting up your smart home’s foundation for success.
Why Invest in a Smart Home?
Twenty years ago, the idea of video calling a friend would seem like it was straight out of a science-fiction movie. Today, it’s a totally commonplace occurrence. Although some smart homes seem (and are) cutting edge now, it won’t be that way for much longer, and familiarity with smart home technology will be a necessary social skill.
The Future Is Now — Don’t Get Behind
Many people have a parent or a grandparent who can’t text and, even though it’s endearing, it’s arguably an impediment to their communication. When it comes to smart homes, the future is here — don’t fall behind.
Automation Buys Back Time
Even though it’s sometimes used as a scary word, automation isn’t a bad thing. You wouldn’t beat your clothes in the stream to avoid the automation of a washing machine. So, why would you opt for less efficient, more time-consuming home appliances? At the end of the day, delegating the mundane to automated systems buys back time in your day.
As climate fluctuates and global temperatures rise, it’s important to save energy in any way you can. Many smart devices actually keep track of your lifestyle and try to find ways to reduce energy consumption. Unsurprisingly, some smart homes save between 30 and 40 percent more energy than a traditional home.
Start Planning for Your Smart Home Today
It takes a little bit of research and planning to set up your smart home, but once you’re done, it will save you energy, time and money. And the best part? You don’t have to do it alone. Get started by searching for a budget electrician near me, or by calling (612) 445-6549 to speak to a trusted electrician at Randy’s Electric today.