The proliferation of smart home devices has made it easier than ever to use technology to control nearly everything in your home. Smart homes save costs by controlling utility usage and add convenience by, for instance, turning on the lights when you arrive home or automatically watering your garden while you're on vacation. Learn how to get started with a smart home and what smart tech can do—both for you, and for your bottom line when selling.
What Can You Do With Smart Tech?
Almost anything in your home can become a smart device, thanks to the Internet of Things. If that sounds overwhelming, try starting with common smart home upgrades like lighting, plug-in appliances, thermostats, sprinklers, or home security systems.
Smart lightbulbs connect to WiFi, so you can adjust their brightness using an app. Replace timed lights with smart home lighting, then customize lighting to go on and off or to dim per your schedule.
Smart plugs open up the entire world of kitchen and household appliances to become smart. Rather than programming a coffee pot to brew at a given time, you can plug a hot water kettle into a smart plug to heat the water at a desired time, then use the pour over filter you've come to love. A fan that's connected to a smart plug can be programmed to go on and off via app. This works well if, say, there are dogs in the home or Los Angeles condo and you want to keep them cool in a heat wave.
Smart thermostats, such as Nest, are among the most well-known smart home tools. These save energy by shutting off heat and air conditioning when no one is home. Adjust thermostat settings via voice command, or rely on the smart thermostat to pick up on your preferred heat settings and adopt them.
Smart home security systems add peace of mind while monitoring for things like floods, fires, carbon monoxide leaks, and break-ins. These smart home tools vary but generally include motion sensors that can be placed anywhere in your Orange County real estate, sensors for doors and windows, exterior cameras, doorbell locks, and remote monitoring from a security company.
Smart watering tools conserve water usage and promote a healthy lawn, garden, or landscape. Smart sprinklers can track things like rainfall or how much water certain areas of the yard need. For example, a vegetable garden could receive daily watering while front-yard shrubs could be watered on a weekly basis.
What Do You Need to Make a Smart Home?
To make the most of smart home devices, you'll need a voice-controlled assistant. If you have an iPhone, you can use Siri to control your smart home devices. If you have an Android phone, Google Assistant is a go-to. The other common option is Amazon Alexa, which is summoned through the Echo speaker tool.
Amazon Alexa has the most options for smart home connectivity, and it also integrates with Amazon utilities so you can play Prime Music or stream videos with Amazon Instant.
Due to Apple's strict privacy requirements, Siri controls the fewest smart home tools. However, homeowners can get started easily with any of these voice-controlled assistants.
Get Started With Smart Home Technology
Start with one or two things that would really make a positive different in your Monrovia home, whether it's a smart plug for electronics or a smart thermostat to reduce energy bills. Once you've successfully implemented a couple of smart home tools and are comfortable with these utilities, add another device.