Switching to a smart home may seem costly and difficult at first, but do the benefits outweigh the costs and hassle? Let’s see why installing a smart home is a good investment of your time and money.
Convenient for (almost) everyone
When you install smart lights, plugs, thermostats and more, you are adding a lot of convenience to your home. It’s not that you’re unable to get off the couch and flip the light switch, but that you’ve given yourself the freedom not to go to the light switch.
We all accept some level of convenience in our lives. People don’t usually need electricity and light switches. However, you don’t often hear the argument that electric lighting is a product of laziness and people should use candles instead. Smart lights and other smart gadgets are just a natural extension of this progress.
When you start watching a movie, but only to realize that you prefer the lights to be dim or off, you will appreciate the convenience of doing so without interrupting the movie. Similarly, when you answer a call from your office for the first time, or even when you are away from home, you will appreciate the convenience of video intercoms.
If you’ve ever tried to teach a family member how to operate your sophisticated entertainment system, you’ll see the relief in their eyes when you can tell them, «Just say, ‘Alexa, turn on the TV.’ It’s so much easier than «Power on this remote, then this remote, then this remote» or hand them a universal remote with dozens of buttons.
Convenience may not be a necessity, but that doesn’t make it bad. Smart homes provide the comfort of creatures you might not have, and through routine, they even provide peace of mind because you don’t have to worry if you remember to turn off the lights in your living room.
Smart homes solve problems
Smart home technology will help you overcome some everyday challenges. Take the classic example of asking a child to deliver a message, only to see them scream for it from two feet in front of you.
With voice assistants, you can communicate with everyone in the house, no matter where they are, using intercom features. The version of Google Home is Broadcast, and it’s great. While the original message goes through every speaker in the house, Google Assistant sends a response back to the original speaker. Sure, you can buy intercoms, but they often cost at least as much as an Echo Dot. In addition, voice assistants offer you more functionality.
As a bonus, when you set up voice assistants in multiple rooms as intercoms, you also get music for the whole house.
Voice control of lights and plugs also solves some problems. For example, young children may say «Alexa, turn on the light» before they can reach the light switch. People with disabilities will also appreciate it. If you add smart sensors to the mix, you can even program lights and plugs to turn on and off when you enter or leave a room. With just a few devices, your smart home can go beyond solving problems — it can provide independence.
Smart plugs can also have additional benefits. Rebooting your router is still the best starting point for Internet troubleshooting. But routers often hide in inconvenient places.
You can buy smarter routers like Mesh kits that have apps that reset the device. However, it’s pricey (Google’s new Nest Wi-Fi starts at $170). Also, if your current router is working fine, you can plug it into the Z-Wave connector and reboot your router from anywhere in the house.
To save money
If you wake up only to find that every light in the house has been left on all night (again), then you’ve discovered the simplest problem a smart home can solve.
The more people in your house, the harder it is to teach them to do smart things like turn off the TV or the lights when they leave the room. If you have children, this problem often only increases.
It would be better if everyone knew and remembered the importance of energy conservation, but we are only human and prone to forgetfulness. So any additional help in overcoming this absent-mindedness is welcome! With basic procedures, you can program smart lights and plugs to turn off at night or even during the day when everyone is at work or school, saving you money on your electricity bill.
Even if you always remember to turn off lights and electronics, smart plugs can cut down on power consumption. Even when they are turned off, many devices still consume power. For example, modern game consoles consume more power than other devices when they are turned off because they are still updating in the background.
Vampire energy is not always worth solving, but you can use the electricity consumption monitor to find out. It is best to check devices that run frequently (such as dehumidifiers) or areas where multiple electronic devices are connected to the same power strip (such as an entertainment center).
You may be surprised at how much you can save by not using these devices. Especially when you consider the eight hours you spend sleeping and the six to eight hours you spend at school or at work.
Smart home technologies are not always easy to set up and a lot of work needs to be done to bring them into the mainstream. However, if you go for it with the understanding that you will sometimes have to deal with problems, the benefits outweigh any disadvantages you may encounter.
What are the disadvantages?
When it comes to smart homes, instability is definitely an issue. For example, your smart home may stop working and there is nothing you can do about it.
We once praised Wink Smart Hub for everything they are capable of, but we cannot recommend anyone to buy Wink hardware anymore. This can happen with any smart device.
Even if the company is successful, many smart home products are difficult to install. You can solve the worst aspect of smart home ownership.
However, despite all the shortcomings, smart homes can provide convenience, solve the problems you regularly face, and even save you money. If that sounds good to you, it’s worth the investment.