Person looking at tablet with blue screen. Scattered across the images are various icons that show smart home conversion possibilities.

5 Tips to Convert Your Home Into a Smart Home

Advancements in smart home technology in recent years have seen many homeowners across Australia take advantage of the conveniences and benefits that it provides. The ways and means in which you can automate your home continue to grow by the day. From simple tasks such as setting the air conditioner to turn on before you get home from work, to activating the lights in certain rooms of the home, the possibilities are endless. But to really get the most out of home automation, it’s important that you do it right. 

But First, What is a Smart Home? 

If you’ve heard the term ‘smart home’ in recent times, but still aren’t quite sure exactly what it’s about, read on. 

Basically, a smart home is one in which the appliances, systems and devices in the home are configured to be controlled by a computer or (more typically) a smartphone. This technology enables you to automate everything from security to climate control and entertainment. Automation has the potential to add convenience to your daily routine, and enhance the efficiency of your heating, cooling, lighting and more.  

Here are five key tips to convert your house into a smart home in a smart and effective way.  

Operation Essentials

To really get the most out of smart home technology, you need to be able to operate them in some way.

The first is a smart assistant. You’ve probably heard of Google Assistant, Apple’s Siri or Amazon’s Alexa. They’re not strictly essential in the literal sense of the word – your smart devices will still work as long as you have a Wi-Fi connection and a smartphone or device to operate them with. However, smart assistants just make things all the more easier by using voice control technology to operate everything. Apple and Google smartphones all come with their respective assistants installed already; Alexa is not installed on any phone’s operating system, but all three come installed on various smart speaker models. 

Smart home speaker sitting alongside a smartphone.

Alternatively, you can use apps that are aligned with your smartphone’s operating system. The vast majority of smart appliances and devices are compatible with both Apple’s iOS and Google’s Android operating systems, However, the apps aren’t always compatible with opposition manufacturer brands which can potentially cause complications. 

Smart Home Lighting

Hands up those of us who are guilty of forgetting to turn the lights off in our homes once in a while. OK, we can ALL put our hands down now. Leaving a light in on a room as we leave it is an easily avoidable problem, but one that we’ve all done. It means you’re using more energy that is going to waste, and that you end up paying for once the electricity bill arrives. But by installing smart lighting you can set the lights to turn off at a particular time. Some even include motion sensor technology that detects when there is no one in the room and will switch off accordingly.

Smart lighting is one of the most common entry points for homeowners looking to dabble in smart home technology. Not only does it help to conserve energy and minimise wastage, but you can also use it to set the brightness, change the colour temperature or even (with the right globes) the colour itself. The perfect way to set any mood you like. 

Smart Home Security

We all want our homes to be as safe and secure as possible. Thankfully smart home technology offers a multitude of options that help us improve and monitor the security of our home, no matter where we are. You might opt for smart locks that offer convenient unlocking functionality from your smartphone or with voice activation. You might choose to install a  smart doorbell at your front door, which allows you to view and speak to anyone standing at the door without having to actually be there.

Hand holding a smartphone with a smart home security app alongside a compatible door handle

Of course, there are security cameras as well, which have seen a vast upgrade in their functionality in recent years. From indoor cameras that can provide you with a full 360o room view, to outdoor cameras with built in floodlighting for optimal illumination, they too have evolved with the growth of smart home technology. 

Smart Home Heating and Cooling

Smart heating and cooling offers a wealth of benefits. Installing a smart thermostat enables you to turn up or down the heating or cooling in any room, depending on your needs, from your smartphone. You can set your heating and cooling system to switch on at a certain time, say as you wake up or minutes before you get home from work, so the air temperature is just right.

You can also program the thermostat to switch off at a specified time. It might be at the time you typically leave for work, or an hour after you’ve gone to bed. You may find some models that feature room sensors that detect when someone has entered or left the room and adjust the temperature accordingly.     

Smart Home Entertainment

Even your entertainment devices and appliances have smart home options that expand your options and provide the optimal viewing, listening or gaming experience. All without the need for additional cables, connections or outlets.

A smart TV can allow you to do so much more than simply watch a program on a traditional free-to-air network. You can browse the internet, stream your favourite movies and music, play games and even use the screen for video conference calls. You can operate smart televisions by remote, with your smartphone or by voice control. 

Television standing on top of a wooden cabinet. There is a bookshelf and leafy green plant to the left and the door to the right.

Have you ever found yourself wanting some music in the background while you’re cooking, doing some housework, or studying, but can never settle on just what you want to listen to? A smart speaker just might be what you need. You can connect it to your music streaming service of choice (such as Spotify, Apple or Youtube Music) and, with the voice control function, ask the speaker to play a particular artist, a specific genre of music, or even a compilation to suit a particular task or mood. 

To Sum Up

When it comes to creating a smart home, you can go as basic or as advanced as you like. Knowing whether you want to start small and gradually build up, or make a complete transformation from the outset, will help determine what it is you want to do and how much you want to spend. WIth the aid of a virtual assistant, a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection, you can automate many of the systems of your home including:

  • Lighting 
  • Security
  • Heating and Cooling
  • Entertainment
  • And more

Smart home automation offers maximum convenience, safety and security, and optimal energy efficiency throughout your home. No matter how basic or detailed you want to go with automating your home, there’s no better time than now to explore!

Published: 2022-10-28

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