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May 13, 2021

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The smart home for beginners


The 2021 and even though there are no flying cars, we do have smart homes. Sound-activated hardware, app identifiable lights, and doorbells that keep an eye on our front doors – these used to be a science fiction feature, but not anymore they’ve become luxury items, and now they can turn your home into a smart home.

However, it pays to have a plan. Know your budget and what you want to do. Start small with a smart bulb or smart home speaker, or go all out and automate your entire home.

We can do this at a modest pace. First of all, you need to set up a good home wi-fi. Good coverage means all smart home devices will have a connection to work.

Mesh is not cheap, but it is recommended.

While starting with a smart lamp may be the cheapest way to go, a central smart home device, such as a Google Home Mini or a set-top box like an Apple TV, is the best foundation for building a smart home.

These devices will act as the CPU of your smart home. Think of it as a home messaging program that transports your requests, such as schedules, presets, or remote commands, when you are not at home. This will also free your other smart home devices from being dependent on your smartphone.

It’s easier to choose Google as most smart home devices work with it. But if you choose Apple, find the Home Kit compatible devices.

Then, when automating home, we often neglect smart plugs and smart switches. They are not as flashy as smart bulbs but they can be more versatile. However, if you rent or aren’t comfortable working with home wiring, smart plugs and smart bulbs are the way to go.

Also, the light switches in your home can be replaced with smart switches that can be controlled with an app or voice command. For example, switching from TP-Link Kasa’s flagship smart home system is affordable and highly recommended although some come with a dimmer, a feature that not every light bulb supports.

On the other hand, a smart plug works with almost any device that plugs into a wall socket. Almost any device that needs to boot up and give additional commands to work, such as a washing machine, will not benefit from automation. Think about appliances like lamps, televisions, kettles, and the like when connected to one of these devices.

Finally, the simplest step in installing a smart bulb is installing the light bulb, but getting it to work the way you want it may be a hassle at first, but be patient.

For example, the Philips Hue system is easy but expensive. Yeelight has a good balance of price and features but relies on the central smart home device to function at its best.

From now on, the sky is the limit. You can add smart speakers, cameras, thermostats, and more to your home to make it just the way you want it.

However, one of the most powerful ways to get smart home devices to work together is to know IFTTT (If This Then That) program. Automation is her specialty.

You can do simple things like turn on the coffee machine at certain times of the day or turn on the lights when you are near the house.

Some swear by it as a powerful productivity tool because its power in automation goes far beyond the home.



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