In 2018, I came upon more and more smart home devices in the homes I was showing and selling. Smart devices are “next up” on our spectrum of higher technology that will integrate into our lives. It seems a bit overwhelming to this baby boomer; but, I must admit that I am thoroughly intrigued by many of the possibilities.
While writing this article, I engaged in a conversation with one of my friends who manages several high rise office buildings in Clayton. He has been a self taught innovator and leader in Energy and Environmental Design for over 40 years. He was spending the day at home but said he had actually been “inside” several of the Clayton buildings three times that day. He suggested that residential home owners embrace some of this new technology. It can be an energy saver and a big time saver.
SMART HOME HUBS
Home hubs are a key component of home automation and smart homes. There are hundreds of smart lights, digital locks, security cameras, thermostats, doorbells and more. A home hub is the gadget for controlling all of these gadgets from a single interface. One of the homes I sold this year had the security system, doorbell, the furnace, the door locks and thermostat connected to a hub. It was quite confusing to me and the buyer but obviously quite convenient for the owner.
According to PC Magazine, my favorite “go to” source, the top home hubs and controllers are: Amazon Echo (2nd Gen, 2017); Wink Hub 2; Brilliant Control; Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App, works with Alexa.
Tom’s Guide has a little different take on the best home hubs.
SMART DOOR BELLS
Some homes in the older neighborhoods still have “peepholes” in the front door. Well the smart door bells have expanded this theory quite a bit. With a smart doorbell you know who’s at your door from deliveries to people. It replaces your existing doorbell and provides video even at night. Today’s smart doorbells have everything from live video streaming to Wi-Fi enabled apps, two-way communication and home automation compatibility.
A smart lock is an electromechanical lock which is designed to perform locking and unlocking operations on a door when it receives such instructions from an authorized device using a wireless protocol and a cryptographic key to execute the authorization process.
Smart locks allow users to grant access to a third party by means of a virtual key. This key can be sent to the recipient smartphone over standard messaging protocols such as e-mail or SMS. Once this key is received the recipient will be able to unlock the smart lock during the time previously specified by the sender.
Smart locks are able to grant or deny access remotely via a mobile app. Certain smart locks include a built-in WiFi connection that allows for monitoring features such as access notifications or cameras to show the person requesting access. Some smart locks work with a smart doorbell to allow the user to see who and when someone is at a door.
Smart lights are becoming an integral part of the smart home. After reading up on them I can see why. They are fun. There are apps for making your lights simulate candle flicker and fireworks, for example, or the crackling of a log fire. The color of a room can be changed. Lights can be set to switch on gradually in the morning to simulate a sunrise and dim gradually at night when you go to bed. Bulbs can be grouped together into rooms on the app so you can switch entire rooms or even floors on and off at once, either with a tap or a voice command. Here are five reasons to switch to smart bulbs. Here are the first five things you should do with them.