Smart Home Tech Ideas for Your Custom Home
So, how smart are smart homes? Depending on the types of products you choose, smart tech can save you time, money and simplify your life in ways you only dreamed.
“Smart tech has become more of a priority for renovating homeowners—28% say that it’s at the top of their lists. And in the luxury home market, these features are now expected”- Houzz.com
For now, smart devices are typically interconnected through a patchwork of devices, ranging from video doorbells to intelligent thermostats and everything in between. As smart technology evolves, it’s becoming more likely that we will one day be able to control every aspect of our homes using a single hub.
Homeowners and house hunters are more conscientious than ever about eco-friendly homes. Today’s smart home devices are an ideal way to create a Green Home. Beyond saving on energy costs, smart home systems are also now being factored into home valuations with security systems and safety devices like smoke detectors among the top devices appealing to buyers.
In fact, according to Statista, “The Canadian smart home market is forecast to grow with a compound annual growth rate of 10.7 percent between 2019 and 2023, reaching around 3.8 billion U.S. dollars in revenue by 2023.”
How Does Smart Technology and Home Automation Work?
Home automation is created by systems and devices interconnected with your Wi-Fi network. This connection lets you control their functions with a smart watch, phone, tablet, PC, or even by voice command. With smart home products, you can control any aspect of your home that you want. Whether it’s locking your door using an app on your phone or checking security footage via your iPad, smart home solutions let you stay in control.
It’s futuristic stuff, designed to help you live life smarter, complete tasks hands-free, even lower your energy bills. For example, we all have that moment where we’ve left the house and aren’t sure if we locked the front door or turned off the lights. In the past, we’d either have turn the car around to go home and double-check or try to forget about it. If you have smart bulbs installed throughout your home, you can easily turn them off from an app on your phone.
An automated irrigation system is another example. Being able to control your irrigation remotely means that you can go on that vacation, without worrying about needing to find someone to water your garden. If it’s raining you can cancel the scheduled watering and if it’s extra hot and dry, you can choose additional waterings. You can even program different zones to be watered at different schedules, depending on what your plants need.
Is Smart Technology Complicated?
Not at all! If you can use a remote control or a smart phone, you can use a smart device. These little conveniences are so easy to use that it’s no wonder the popularity of smart home devices keeps growing. All tech has a learning curve, but these devices are designed to be as user-friendly as possible.
All you need is a good Wi-Fi connection of at least 5 Ghz or an Ethernet connection to ensure a good signal throughout your home. Some homeowners use boosters to keep the Wi-Fi signal strong in those touchier areas of the home, like the basement. At LIDA Construction, we can design your custom home to support a strong Wi-Fi connection for a seamless smart home experience.
What About Smart Home Hackers?
Security technology is constantly evolving to protect consumers just like you. As with anything connected to the internet, there’s always a risk of a security breach but no one has been able to hack into smart home networks.
For best results, stick with individual, strong passwords and usernames for each one of your devices. These passwords should be very hard to guess (no birthdates, anniversaries or other easily identifiable information) and changed regularly.
Your best bet is to ask a professional installer for their advice to ensure you’re fully protected. Other ways to protect yourself:
- Make sure you have malware protection
- Make sure your security system is protected from internet hackers
- Complete regular security updates for all devices
- Store a copy of your passwords and usernames in a fireproof safe
How Can I Make My New Home a Smart Home?
When you’re designing a new house or renovating an existing house, it’s best to start with a few basic devices and add on over time. Developing a solid foundation first will help prevent technology overwhelm and overspending on features you might not want/need.
For instance, you could start with a smart lock for your main entrances. These door locks require a simple pin and can be used by punching in the code right on the keypad, or by using a proprietary app. The doors can unlock as you reach home, leaving you hands free to bring in your shopping bags. Many smart lock systems come with a separate tablet so you can see at a glance whether the doors are locked for the night. If not, you can lock them from wherever you are in the house.
Once you’re used to a smart lock, you might want to consider motion detectors, a security system or even a full surveillance system. Thanks to the wide array of products on the market today, these types of smart devices are relatively affordable and generally don’t require rewiring. Other excellent starting points are smart lightbulbs, smart thermostats, smart speakers or smart appliances.
What to Consider When Shopping for Smart Home Devices
When looking around for your first smart home devices, be sure to read reviews, ask around and do plenty of comparisons. The best part about automated systems is they’re expandable, from basic to sophisticated control options. They’re also a bit addictive and you just might find yourself planning new additions!
In this case, brands do matter. Choosing something from a big brand like Apple or Google increases the chances that your devices will be supported for a long time to come. Having devices from the same brand also means comprehensive support, instead of having to contact each manufacturer individually for help.
When deciding on your first smart home gadget, ask:
- What features are most important to you? What would you get the most benefit from?
- What are your goals for a smart home system? I.e. Energy savings, convenience, security, etc.
- Will this device fill a need? I.e. Will you actually use voice search?
- Who will be in charge of the system? Do they/you feel confident using it?
Would you like your custom home to include innovative smart home technology? At LIDA Construction, our talented designers and builders can design your new home from the ground up to meet all of your current and future technology needs. Whether it’s smart lighting, smart appliances or smart security, if you can dream it up, we can work with you to make it a reality. Building luxury custom homes on Vancouver Island since 1998, we know how to help make your house dreams come true. Contact us today to get started on your custom home project.