Smart Homes

How Technology Can Improve Your Life

It’s no secret that technology is everywhere these days. Nearly everyone has a device (or more) glued to their hands at all times, and from one little gadget, we can access an unlimited amount of information. So why not harness that power in your own home? 

Enter in the concept of smart homes. While they’re convenient and can be whimsical and fun (think cute features like a toilet with music and changing lights), they can also save you a ton of money, reduce environmental impacts, and up the safety factor for your family.

On board yet? So are we. Let’s take a look at some of the best that technology has to offer for your home.


Convenience

Do you ever lie down in bed at the end of a long day only to realize you still have to walk across the room to flick off the light? Well, there’s a solution to that (and so much more). With smart home technology, remote access via a phone is all you need to make your life a million times easier (and eliminate the need to get up once you’re already tucked into bed).

Let’s say the garage keypad is frozen and you’re locked out. Or maybe you need to let people into your home when you’re away or not able to come to the door (e.g. you’ve had an injury and can’t get out of bed to let in visitors). Simply tap the app on your phone and voila! Door unlocked. Opening and closing your shades can be automated, too, since you can set up a program that draws the shades at a certain time at night and opens them again in the morning.

With smart technology, there’s no more hassle – just pure, wonderful, convenience.

August -    Source

August - Source

AXIS Gear -    Source

AXIS Gear - Source


Safety

Next up on the list is a biggie – the safety of your home. With smartphone connections, you can monitor everything from smoke and fire detectors to any potential water leaks – all of which could save lives and save you from costly repairs.

Take Flo by Moen, for example. A partnership between Moen and Flo Technologies, this smart system monitors water and detects any leaks by conducting daily tests on water pressure, flow rate, and temperature. If there’s a danger of pipes freezing or catastrophic flooding is detected, it can even shut down the water completely in your home. Much better than coming home to an unintended indoor swimming pool, wouldn’t you say?

Flo by Moen -    Source

Flo by Moen - Source

Flo by Moen -    Source

Flo by Moen - Source


Security

Your family’s security and well-being are essential and incorporating smart technology into your home can instantly put your mind at ease. From your smartphone, you can set up a variety of alerts to let you know if there’s an intruder, when the kids have arrived safe and sound at home, and if there are any unnoticed unlocked doors or open windows in the house at night (amazing, right?).

Beyond this, there are some fantastic partnerships in the works to prevent things like package theft, which constantly seems to be on the rise – especially during delivery upticks around the holiday season. Amazon recently partnered with MyQ LiftMaster garage door system to allow drivers to deliver your packages directly inside the garage instead of leaving them exposed on your front stoop. And while this may seem like a simple solution, it definitely wouldn’t be possible without technology, and smart home attributes like this one can make all the difference (and save you from losing those important purchases).

SimpliSafe –    Source

SimpliSafe – Source

Amazon Key & MyQ -    Source

Amazon Key & MyQ - Source


Energy Conservation

Finally, smart homes have major impacts on the environment, and this focus has been the driving factor in many smart technology developments. With your smartphone, you can automate exterior light shutoffs during the day, set up lawn irrigation based on the weather, close or open solar and thermal shades to coincide with the sunrise and sunset, and opt for a smart thermostat to keep your house comfortable without wasting unneeded energy (our favorite brand is Ecobee).

 

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor -    Source

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor - Source

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor -    Source

Ecobee Thermostat & Sensor - Source


Smart homes can literally be life-saving and are absolutely worth the hype. And while there are some up front costs (smart switches and outlets like Insteon), it’s actually surprisingly affordable – especially since you can add components over time. Plus, it won’t require extensive changes to your home (don’t worry – you won’t have to re-wire your entire electrical system). Keep in mind, though, that while there have been major steps in terms of innovation for smart homes, not all vendors are compatible with one another yet, so you may experience a few initial bumps in the road.

 

But, with the ability to control your home – even when you are away – well, that’s worth every penny.

 

By Megan Johansson