7 Smart Home Technology Solutions to Improve Your Quality of Life
These days, the concept of building a new house without any smart home technology is almost unfathomable. From automating the most commonly used fixtures to improving monitoring of important services and systems, these technologies have a myriad of uses. They are also creeping into every element of a new home’s design, promising to make daily life that little bit easier.
But with new smart home technologies being released all the time, it can be hard to keep up with the latest developments. It can also be difficult to work out which solutions are truly effective and actually worth the investment.
To make things a little clearer, we wanted to share our seven favourite smart home technologies. In putting this list together, we have tried to focus on the smart home features that get the most use. We have also thought about the practical value these technologies provide and the impact they have on your quality of life.
#1: Smart lighting
We start with one of the most basic and widely used smart home features – smart lighting. In addition to being one of the easiest to use, this technology can also save you money. Smart lighting is also a great starting point for those that are new to smart home technology.
Traditionally, smart lighting was all about remotely controlling your light sources, usually using either your voice or a mobile device. Think about asking your smart home assistant to switch all the lights off when you climb into bed. Or using your mobile phone to turn on your entryway lights when getting home late.
But recent advances in smart lighting have added a few cool new features and significantly increased the technology’s functionality. Now you can program your lights to turn on and off based on certain conditions, like ambient light or the time of day. Some smart lights also allow you to adjust their colour to suit your mood and come with a range of pre-programmed effects.
Most smart lighting technology now also works off Bluetooth, making it much easier to fit and use. In fact, upgrading to smart lighting can be as simple as using a smart light bulb in your existing sockets. That said, some people prefer wired systems as they can provide greater control, especially when you are away from home.
More than just being convenient – and fun – to use, this technology has some really practical benefits. Most significantly, it minimises the risk of lights being left on, which helps reduce your energy consumption and power bills. Programming key lights to switch on and off at certain times can also keep your home safer when you are away.
#2: Smart security
Another key focus area for the application of smart home technology is in improving home security. While home security systems have been around for a while, smart technology has significantly increased their functionality. It has also made them much more accessible, with options to suit most property types and budgets.
Previously, a good home security system required large, often quite intrusive, equipment to be mounted on the property’s façade. While the visibility of this equipment could help deter criminals, it also had a major impact on the home’s street appeal. It was also generally quite difficult – and expensive – to install, often requiring significant wiring work.
These days, smart home security systems are so simple to install that almost anyone can do it. They are usually wireless and come fully set up and ready to go. Depending on the exact technology you choose, it should also integrate with the existing smart home system, making the setup even easier.
Most smart home security systems are also quite discreet and can be matched to the colour palette of your home. Cameras are generally not much bigger than a tennis ball and are often styled to look like a standard light fitting. Despite this, they are still able to capture high-quality footage, with many offering advanced playback options (like zooming).
Digital doorbells and smart lock systems have also become a popular way to improve home security. Thanks to their inbuilt camera, these let you see who is at your door, even when you are not at home. They also allow you to unlock the door remotely and let your visitor in, if appropriate.
#3: Smart office technologies
We have spoken before about how the pandemic has made having a home office an absolute must for most homeowners. With many people now regularly working from home, a dedicated office space provides privacy and can help increase focus. It also makes it easier to keep work and home separate, which many of us struggle with.
Some homeowners are taking this a step further by building smart home technology into their new home office design. Technologies that help manage noise and other distractions – like noise-cancelling windows – have become particularly popular. Reflecting our increased awareness of health and hygiene, wellness systems, like smart air filtration, are also in high demand.
For those who find themselves spending a lot of time on video calls, smart entertainment systems are also highly beneficial. Many of these technologies also double as digital communication screens, making it easier to interact with colleagues and clients remotely. They generally also offer better sound quality than standard computer speakers, which can make the video conferencing experience much more enjoyable.
#4: Smart home hubs
Central to any smart home system is a good smart home hub. And with a large number of options now available, it is clear that this technology is being broadly embraced.
Most known for their voice assistant functionality, these technologies play a key coordination role within a smart home system. But more than simply enabling voice control, a smart hub significantly streamlines and enhances the user experience. As such, it is a critical component for anyone looking to get the most from their smart home technology investment.
There are now many brands operating in this space, and each system has its strengths and limitations. As such, when picking your smart hub technology, it is important to do your research and consider your requirements. We also recommend sticking to one brand for key elements of your smart home system, as this will improve integration.
#5: Smart climate control
Much like smart lighting, smart climate control technology helps make some of your home’s creature comforts that little bit more comfortable. Most obviously, it allows you to turn your home’s air conditioning or heating on and off remotely. This means you can always come home to a house that is the perfect temperature.
Importantly, this additional control of your home’s climate can have a significant impact on your utility bills. Most smart climate control systems allow you to schedule the start of a heating or cooling cycle. This maximises the efficiency of these systems and minimises the energy wasted on heating or cooling an empty home.
Moreover, most smart climate control technology gives you better visibility of the performance of your heating and cooling systems. This should allow you to spot any issues early and have them fixed before they become a major problem.
#6: Smart water management
In addition to helping monitor your energy consumption, smart home technology can also give you greater control of your water use. A good smart water management system will significantly increase the visibility of how much water you are using and when. Based on this, many systems will also suggest easy ways to reduce your consumption, particularly during peak periods.
Most smart water management systems can also help protect your home from the serious damage caused by potential water leaks. Smart leak monitors use ultrasound technology to check the health of your plumbing and identify any weak spots. It will then alert you if there are any issues, which you can fix before any serious damage is done.
#7: Smart vacuum cleaners
This list would not be complete without mentioning the perennial favourite, the robot vacuum cleaner. While this technology has been around for over two decades, it continues to evolve, with new functionality being released regularly.
While the first smart vacuum cleaners were fairly rudimentary, the contemporary models provide a range of advanced features. In particular, their navigation has improved significantly, with an array of sensors helping them spot potential hazards. Most also allow you to target the operating area for each run, making them great for spot cleaning.
Many smart vacuum cleaners can now also help with monitoring things like the Wi-Fi coverage throughout your home. They can also measure air quality and many feature filtration systems, helping keep your home even cleaner.
Want more information?
If you are having trouble deciding which smart home technologies to incorporate into your new home design, Carmel Homes can help. As luxury custom building experts, we understand the significant impact the right smart features can have on a home’s liveability. We are also experts in bespoke build and tailoring plans to the homeowner’s unique style and requirements.
Contact us today to arrange your free design consultation.