Fashion Magazine

Be Smart, Live Smart: Automate Your Home

By Heather Hahn @HeatherHahnn


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Over the last decade, home automation has gone from sci-fi fantasy to a reality. Nowadays you can have your lights turn off, your heating & water controlled and even your food delivered when it’s running out. Of course, these luxuries are great, but they usually come at a great cost.

Most home automation systems require interior wall tear downs and extensive work from contractors. So, how can you possibly get your hands on some of this tech yourself? It’s simple! Obviously, there are limitations, but a lot of the areas covered by a full system can also be controlled by individual products.

  • Video Door Bells

Wouldn’t it be great if you could always see who’s knocking at your door? It would be so much easier to avoid those pesky door-to-door sales folk and religious zealots. Thanks to high-speed networking and the popularity of smartphones, this sort of technology exists! They’re installed just like a regular doorbell, and anyone can do it. They connect to your home’s WiFi router, allowing them to cast HD video to your phone.

  • Smart Thermostats

In a busy household, it’s easy to leave heating or water on when you go out. And, whenever there’s a long trip, there’s bound to be stress over whether or not things have been turned off. To take away this first world problem, Google has invented what they call Nest. Their thermostat learns your water and heating usage to optimize it for you. It also knows when you’re home and when you’re out so that it can turn things off for you. These systems are relatively expensive but can save you some good money in the long run.

  • Smart Lightbulbs

Ever found yourself lying awake wondering if the lights are off downstairs? Or, worried that you’ve forgotten to leave a light on when you’ve gone out? These are fairly common occurrences in a busy home, and it’s easy to stress over these things. It’s a good thing technology has the answer! Using smart light bulbs, you can setup every light in your house to be controlled by your phone. And, if that’s not enough, you’ll be able to choose the color of your light from thousands of options.  They can also act as dimmer bulbs; which would usually require a new fitting.

  • Smart Power

Like most of these things, smart power sockets and strips can turn things off for you! There’s more, though. These devices can be programmed to switch on or off at set times. They can be controlled remotely, from anywhere with an internet connection. And, they will also shut down if they’re overheating or under too much load. This makes them much safer and more convenient than traditional power outlets. You will need to install smart power sockets, but strips can be used in an existing “dumb” socket.

With technology moving fast, new home automation products are coming out everyday. Do some research, and you’ll find a host of options to suit your household’s needs. Make sure to hire professionals when it comes to installing anything electronic.

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