You’re tired of bashing into furniture as you stumble your way to the nearest light switch. You wish you could listen to today’s news bulletin, but your hands are occupied as you’re making dinner for the family. And getting home in the middle of winter and having to wait an hour before it gets bearably warm is just depressing.
Congratulations, you’re ready for a smart home.
While we’re still not at the point where we have robots at our beck and call, there are plenty of futuristic solutions that are available today. Here are 4 ideas to turn your house into a smart home.
Voice Command Your Lighting
Remember that scene in Back to the Future 2, where Jennifer turned on the lights by simply saying “Lights on”? Yeah, that’s one thing that the writers of the blockbuster got right about the future (don’t get me started on hoverboards).
Smart lighting systems are incredibly easy to install and operate. All you need is a light that is compatible with a system like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, and you’re ready to go.
There’s more you can do with smart lighting, but I’m just a sucker for voice commands. For example, you can set the mood with dimmers, set up a vacation mode to thwart robbers, and set up a night light system for kids or those middle-of-the-night visits to the bathroom.
Video Doorbell: Your Front Porch Caller ID
Is it the guy delivering that Amazon you’ve been eagerly awaiting or your mother-in-law with an unexpected (and unwelcome!) visit? Get yourself a video doorbell and you won’t ever have to wonder about who’s at your door again.
What’s nifty about these modern front porch caller ID systems is that they allow you to have quick conversation with the person at the door (“Give me a minute, I’ll be right there!”). And if you’re not home, you’ll get a snapshot of the person who was at your property.
Entertainment Your Way: Smart TV
If you don’t have a smart TV, get one. If there’s a must-have for today, it’s this one. Once you get your hands on one, you’ll wonder how you ever managed without. Your old TVs will seem downright antiquated in comparison.
Smart TVs pretty much make getting up from your couch obsolete. Want to quickly check Facebook? Easy. Browse the web instead of watching Netflix? Not a problem. They’re also capable of taking voice commands, so you never have to go down the depths of the back of your couch to find the remote ever again.
Control Your Temperature (and Lower Your Bills)
Smart thermostats are going to be standard in homes around the country in just a few short years, I’m sure of it. They’re just that handy. They allow you to control your home’s temperature from your tablet, phone, or any other device that runs the relevant app.
Most people set up their heating to come on using a standard timer. These work well if your routine is identical day in, day out. But for myself, where my day can end on time at 6 or 11 at night if a project runs over, smart thermostats save a bundle of money (20% is standard, according to some).
What I absolutely hate is wasting energy on heating when I’m not going to be in. But I also don’t want to come home to a freezing place. I’ve had a hard day at work, so I want things to be nice and cozy when I get back! Smart thermostats have additional features depending on the model, including a safety and holiday mode which prevents pipes from freezing when you’re away on vacation.
Ask Yourself: Will Smart Improve My Life?
Okay, I’ve given you four ideas. But don’t head over to Amazon and start filling your cart. These solutions have worked incredibly well for a lot of people (including myself), but it doesn’t mean they’re suitable for your personal situation.
Ask yourself if a smart device will alleviate an issue or make a certifiable difference to your quality of life. If it’s just going to be a fad item for the sake of having a smart home, then it’s not going to be worth it. But I’m pretty sure at least one of these solutions will have a revolutionary effect on your day-to-day life.