As technology continues to advance, it is not surprising that smart homes have become more popular and prevalent in recent years. There are an estimated 27.8 million households that own at least two smart devices or hubs, the latter of which form the basis of a smart home.
Most UK respondents admitted to owning at least one smart home device in a 2022 Statista survey. Whether it was for ‘entertainment’ (e.g. Smart TVs, Bluetooth speakers), for ‘electricity and lighting’ (e.g. smart plugs or connected bulbs), for ‘smart speakers with integrated virtual assistants’ (e.g. Google Home or Amazon Echo), or for ‘energy management’ (e.g. connected thermostats or sensors), it’s safe to say that smart technology is widely adopted.
Still, many homes are not constructed for the sole purpose of becoming ‘smart’, but that doesn’t change the fact that this salient trend is on the rise. Smart tech is being embraced by more homeowners in the UK, whether they are buying a new build home or are renovating an existing property to bring it into the modern era, the digital era if you will.
Smart home technology has evolved to such a degree that homeowners can automate and control practically any function or feature in the home. In turn, this allows property owners all over the world to enjoy the luxuries of their humble abodes with increased security, comfort, convenience and peace of mind.
With smart technology advancing at such a rapid pace, it can be challenging to keep on top of the broad range of products that you could be utilising in your home. However, fear not, because we’ve outlined some excellent innovative ideas for you to consider if you’re looking to upgrade your home’s technology.
Voice-activated assistants such as Amazon's Alexa or Google Home have become incredibly popular in recent years. These devices allow you to control your smart home devices with voice commands, making it easier than ever to adjust your home's temperature, turn off lights, play music, set reminders, answer important questions, announce the news, make phone calls, and many other functions. What’s more, smart speakers also act as intermediaries to other compatible smart home technology like soundbars, smart TVs and computers. Therefore, if you need to close your blinds, check who is at your front door, or lower your bedroom lights, you can do so via your voice-activated assistant within your smart speaker.
Smart thermostats are a great way to reduce your energy bills while still maintaining a comfortable temperature in your home. These thermostats learn your schedule and preferences, adjusting the temperature automatically to save you money on heating and energy costs, something which many homeowners would jump at the chance to reduce this year.
You can also control your smart thermostat with your smartphone or voice assistant, making it easy to adjust the temperature from anywhere. For instance, if you programme your thermostat to turn the heating up before your normal home arrival time, and you are unexpectedly delayed, you can tweak that setting remotely so you aren’t wasting energy unnecessarily.
With soaring energy costs, many homeowners are looking at ways to make their funds last while still being eco-friendly. Smart thermostats can work long-term wonders, especially when you pair them with other green energy products like domestic solar panels or heat pumps, which would cross the minds of many when planning a home renovation project.
The idea of switching lightbulbs on or off via your smartphone or voice assistant seems unnecessary to many, but in truth, smart lighting allows you to control more aspects of your home lighting.
Not only can you switch lights on or off, but you can adjust brightness and colour, and even establish schedules for lights to turn on at specific times. Smart bulbs can work wonders at improving the ambience in rooms, which is handy if you want lights to dim as you prepare to retire for the evening or brighten slowly as you start your day. Again, all are controllable via your voice assistant or mobile phone.
This isn’t just convenient but also allows you to conserve more energy by only using lights when they are needed.
Smart home security systems include more than just fitted alarms. Security systems like these would also include sensors, smart cameras, keyless locks and video doorbells that help homeowners find ways to improve the security of their homes, particularly while they are away or abroad.
You can usually set up push notifications or text alerts when someone is approaching your house, and potentially take screenshots and video recordings of the visitor to use as evidence should they get up to any nefarious activity.
Smart fridges, ovens and washing machines are not exactly new concepts, but their benefits cannot be denied. You can control them via your mobile phone or voice assistant to make life easier, whether you want to remotely programme your washing cycles or customise reminders to order shopping when your fridge starts to get empty.
However, this collection is merely the tip of the iceberg, with more innovative smart appliances becoming all the rage nowadays. These include smart shower heads to help with water consumption and preservation, smart robot cleaners to intuitively clean around your property, and even smart lawnmowers to keep your garden in good shape. Also, if you’re a fan of fresh, inviting scents, smart diffusers can work miracles at keeping your home smelling delightful on demand.
There are many innovative and easy smart home ideas that homeowners can consider when looking at their technology. As technology continues to evolve, it’s likely that more off-the-shelf smart home products will become more readily available, so now is an excellent time to start upgrading your home with game-changing technology that makes your life easier, saves energy and maximises your return on investment. This is handy if you plan on letting your home or selling it in the near future.
This article was written by guest blogger, Annie Button.
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