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You might think that a smart home sounds amazing. But what about your family? They will have to live with gadgets too. And it’s much easier to set up a smart home if everyone loves the technology as much as you do.

Assess your family’s feelings

If you haven’t set up a smart home yet, or if you have but plan to add more technology, you should start by checking with your family. You may be bigoted, but if your family is wary or intimidated, consider putting your plans on hold and find out why. They may have legitimate issues that you haven’t considered and want to resolve. Remember, if you want your family to take your smart home plans seriously, you need to take their problems just as seriously and work to solve them.

While you’ve got your family’s hearing, it’s time to talk about which SmartHome devices you plan to add to your home. Explain what the various gadgets are, what they do, and what the potential benefits are. Measure their interest in each device to help you decide where to start.

And remember, the best benefits aren’t always the most obvious, so go over them. Smart light bulbs may not seem as interesting until you specify «what else» they can do besides simply turning the controls on and off.

It makes all the difference. Here at How-To Geek, one of us convinced a family member to love smarthome technology by showing them that a smart bathroom light bulb can automatically switch to 15% brightness and red at night. The idea of ​​not being blinded late at night should appeal to just about everyone.

I also convinced my mother-in-law of the benefits of smarthome gadgets by adding a smart lock before any other device. Smart blocking meant we could give her a simple code to remember (which made her happy), but one we could control, or even block (which made us happy). Revoking a digital code is easier than a physical key. Most importantly, he started the process of home normalization based on smart gadgets.

If a particular promise of smarthome excites a family member, add it to the list of gadgets to implement first.

Start with unobtrusive devices

Echo, Wink Hub, Google Nest, Smarthings Hub, Nest Hub, Schalge Lock and Nest protect.
Just because you can install everything you see here doesn’t mean you should do it right away.

We think video intercoms are one of the best smart home devices you can own, and we’ve discussed in detail the various Wi-Fi cameras you can sprinkle around your home. But just because a smarthome gadget is great doesn’t necessarily mean it should be installed first. Cameras can at least be offset, as can occupancy sensors and other automation tools.

Your goal is to make it easier for your family to be smart at home, so you should start with the devices they choose to use and control. Smart locks, smart plugs, smart lights, and a voice assistant are a great place to start.

As long as voice assistants are always listening, you can avoid some of the «spooky factors» by starting with one Echo or Google Home and placing it in a shared room, like the living room. Avoid places that feel private, like bedrooms. While slightly more intrusive, voice assistants are essential to making your smart home accessible, so we still recommend them.

CONNECTED: Why Video Doorbells Are the Best SmartHome Gadget

Make it easy to use

iOS folder with 14 smart home apps.
The last thing you want to do is tell your family to install the 14 SmartHome apps.

Smart homes work best when they are easy to use, including the family. Unfortunately, without planning, they can quickly become complicated and frustrating. Even if you only have smart bulbs, if it’s hard to remember which app to use or which command to say, no one will use them.

To this extent, as far as possible, you should try to set up your smart home to be controlled by a single application. By running all the commands through one app, you can only install that app on your family’s phones and they won’t have to guess what to use.

Voice commands via Alexa or Google Assistant are incredibly useful as they don’t require you to use the app at all. This is especially helpful for your younger family members who may not have a smartphone or tablet.

But instead of asking them to remember how to name a light in a particular room, be sure to name and group your devices for easy voice control. In groups, your family may not even need to memorize names, at least in some rooms they will be able to say «turn off the lights» and it will work.

Cut down on what they have to remember and your family will be more likely to use your smart homes.

Teach them how to use it

Now that you have the hard work of convincing your family and building an easy-to-use smart home, it’s time to take the final step of teaching your family how to use a smart home.

Again, consider starting in one room and showcase the possibilities. Start with the simplest things, like turning off the lights with your voice. Introduce new concepts slowly to avoid overinformation.

And consider making cheat sheet posters and hanging them in every room that has SmartHome devices. List a few voice commands that you might find helpful. Do you have an extended family member who insists on cooking? Show them how the timers work on your voice assistant and post a sign with the timer commands. The idea is to make the use of SmartHome technology normal.

Reinforce lessons by using smart home in your daily activities. The more your family sees that you control your home with your voice or app, the more they’ll remember it’s possible.

Keep your family happy

After everything works, keep an eye on what doesn’t work. If your family never interacts with a smarthome gadget, find out why. Try to determine if they don’t understand the device or if they don’t like it. Teach where needed, but when a family member understands the ins and outs of a smart home feature and still isn’t using it, try to understand why. You may need to rethink the implementation to make your smart home more useful for your family.

Creating a smart home that the whole family loves is a lot of work, but ultimately it is this family acceptance factor that determines whether your smart home will last long. Without this, you may not be able to justify the additional cost of the SmartHome controls you use.

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