Since the arrival of the Philips Hue and Energenie products at LED Hut, we’ve become a little bit obsessed with smart home technology!
Here are three types of smart home product that we like the look of at the moment.
Lights … Smart lighting
We use lighting for most of the time we are at home, which makes smart lighting one of the most noticeable and impactful devices you can buy.
With millions of shades of colour and colour combinations, you can pre-programme scenes for any mood; and by connecting your lighting to you other smart devices and services, you can make it change according to a near-unlimited combination of circumstances.
Philips Hue offers a great range of smart lighting products, including bulbs, lamps and lightstrips; and is compatible with a wide range of devices such as Amazon Alexa, Google Home and Nest.
The original smart light by LIFX is long-lasting, bright and doesn’t require a hub. It is also compatible with many third party devices, but it is a more expensive option.
Camera … Smart security systems
The internet of things (IoT) has truly revolutionised home security systems. Gone are the days when you had to rely on a conscientious passer-by to actually do something about your alarm going off, or pay thousands of pounds for a monitored alarm system.
Now you can take action yourself, as soon as an alarm is triggered, armed with just a smartphone and internet connection. And you don’t have to stop at simply calling the police – some systems allow you to talk to the intruder via a speaker in your security camera, as in this video from a Nest Cam.
In addition to burglar alarms and security cameras; door locks, window sensors, motion sensors, smoke alarms and even glass break detectors can all be part of the overall security system in your home.
Buying a smart security system
You have three broad categories of smart security system to choose from, which are self-explanatory: A do-it-yourself system, an installed system and or an installed and monitored service.
Before choosing a security system, decide which products you want, such as an alarm, motion sensors and security cameras. You can then choose the best options for your requirements and budget.
Also bear in mind any other smart devices that you own or intend to purchase, and check that they are compatible with the system you choose for added functionality.
Action … Smart entertainment and climate control
While it can be argued that any smart device is entertaining in its own right, the range and sophistication of smart television apps, streaming devices and speakers is increasing rapidly.
Amazon’s intelligent personal assistant, Alexa, can be most easily accessed via the voice activated Echo and Echo Dot. You can utilise Alexa to find information by asking questions (“how’s my commute looking?”), give commands to make your life easier (“find me an Indian restaurant”), or simply entertain you (“play Katy Perry”). It can also be used to control many compatible smart home devices.
Samsung Smart Hub
The Samsung Smart Hub is an advanced gateway that allows you to search, access and share content via your smart TV. It can also integrate with other devices, such as smart phones and security cameras, and has a range of apps available via the Samsung App Store.
Nest smart thermostat
The Nest Learning Thermostat is now in its third generation. Nest, which is owned by Google, claim that since 2011 the Nest Thermostat has saved over 8 billion kWh of energy worldwide.
It saves energy by learning based on what you do, identifying what temperature you want your home to be when you’re there and turning itself down when you’re not; and it does this after just one week of use.
It also works with a lot of other smart devices and apps, such as Google Home, Stringify, Alexa, Philips Hue and IFTTT, to name but a few; which is essential for any device that wants to be part of a truly “smart” home.
You can learn more with our article about how to get started with home automation here.