From voice activated devices to smart sensors, more homeowners than ever are opting to integrate technology in their home for automated convenience. But what’s the true measure of value the IoT can deliver in your home—and to your life?
Home automation products can enable you to manage simple to complex aspects of your home. From unlocking your front door or scheduling your sprinkler system to turning lights on and off or managing your HVAC system based on a direct data feed from the nearest national weather station.
Whatever your reasons for considering the values of home automation, here are the top three things many homeowners value about their smarter homes.
1. Feeling Safer
Amazon, Google and Ring all offer video doorbell options that can integrate into your home automation system. These motion-activated cameras have a microphone, speaker and doorbell all in one, which send an alert to your smartphone when someone approaches your door.
And while feeling more safe and secure is a great reason to explore home automation, it’s not the only way this technology can add value.
- 2. Saving Time
One of the biggest perks to home automation is convenience. Making sure your doors are locked when you’re out and about. Setting the thermostat to the perfect temp before you get home. Scheduling your lights while on vacation. Getting alerted when home supplies or food may need to be reordered.
Most smart home technologies let you set the level of automation you are comfortable with. So you can choose to manage your home with a totally hands-on approach, a more “remote control” mentality—or opt to go totally on autopilot.
- 3. Saving Money
Home automation can help you save money on heating, cooling and electricity bills. You can program smart lights and plugs to turn off overnight, or during the day when everyone is out of the house.
Temperature control: A smart thermostat can help heat and cool your home more efficiently.
Energy and water conservation: Energy management devices and smart sprinkler systems save energy and reduce costs and waste.
Lighting: From smart light bulbs to timer controls, energy efficient lighting systems can save up to 10% of the world's electricity bill.
The value of home automation is clear, but what it’s truly worth depends on you.
Home automation may seem equal parts convenient and complicated at first. And it’s not surprising that some homeowners can feel a little confused or intimidated by the tech. But the fact is, home automation is an investment in time, money and attention that can pay dividends long into the future of one’s home. Some smart home technology is simple enough to set up yourself, while other integrations require professional installation and configuration.
Ask Yourself: What's my comfort level with technology?
As with any technology, a certain level of comfort with updating, operating and installing software is necessary. But the truth is, this technology is built for people, so most interfaces are as simple as any app you might find on your smartphone.
Another question is compatibility. With so many smart home products on the market right now, you need to ensure the ones you choose work and communicate together. Will your video cameras at the front door integrate with your door lock system? One way to solve this issue is to choose a family of products that come from the same tech platform to ensure compatibility.
Amazon, for instance, now has a “Certified For Humans” rating on devices that meet their criteria for being “surprisingly simple to use”. One of those criteria is that a device is easy to connect to Alexa. So if you are comfortable working with Amazon Alexa, choosing a smart home device that integrates easily with Alexa is a great choice.
Whether you want to regulate the temperature of your home from a device or simply communicate within your home more easily, you have a variety of options at your fingertips. Want to know more? We're just getting started in our Smart Home Insider series—and will be diving into many topics and ways you can upgrade your home in future posts. For now, why not read more about what home automation system may be right for you?