By: Demetrios Salpoglou You may have heard a lot about Smart Home design lately, but assumed it didn’t have anything to do with you. After all, if you’re a renter, you can’t very well replace appliances, HVAC systems, or water heaters with their smarter, more energy efficient counterparts. But Smart Home design is about more than the major systems of a home or apartment and it’s about more than efficiency. It’s also about convenience and personalization. There are many ways to make your home a smarter one, allowing you to take advantage of the functionality and cost-savings promised by smart accessory and appliance manufacturers.
- Smart Locks and Security Systems: There are a variety of smart solutions to make your home safer and more secure than ever before. Smart locks provide functions ranging from voice control (convenient when your hands are full of groceries or kids), remote locking and unlocking functions synced to an app on your phone, and more. Some of them even convert your current deadbolt into a smart lock, so you don’t have to remove the existing hardware and install a new system.You’ll also find smart security in the form of camera systems, door sensors, and more to ensure you, your family, and pets are taken care of and that, if anything does go wrong, you’ll be informed at a moment’s notice. While some systems are monitored like traditional security systems, some rely on your vigilance. You’ll want to compare different security systems so you can weigh the benefit of being always tuned in to the distractions it may provide.
- Home Assistants: With systems like the Google Home and Alexa home assistants, you’re one step closer to the Jetsons-inspired life of the future you’ve always wanted. Today’s assistants provide information like weather and sports scores, stream audio and video, make calls or Skype, add to your shopping list or order for you–the list goes on and on. While they can’t yet make your dinner like a robot, they can call a pizza place or a car to take you to your favorite restaurant, so that’s almost as good, right?
- Smart Lighting Options: Smart Lighting takes a variety of forms, from smart bulbs to smart lamps to smart light strips to smart bulb/speaker combinations. As you might imagine, this means a variety of different functions, from ambient accent lighting to remote controls, from the ability to change lighting colors to the ability to integrate other smart devices like an Alexa home assistant or a home theater setup.
- Smart Outlets and Switches: Smart Outlets and Switches allow you to control standard appliances through their connection to the Smart Outlet. Additional functionality is added by the integration of Smart Home Assistants like Amazon’s Alexa, which allows you to add voice recognition and commands to the equation. Many of these can be plugged in to the existing outlet to add Smart Home functionality without making any fundamental changes to the apartment.
- Smart Home Hub: As more and more devices become Smart-enabled, it helps to have someone in control. No, not you. Your Smart Home Hub, which can integrate a variety of Smart elements and help you control them all from one central gateway.