Are you decided to transform your home into a smart home? but having a lack of knowledge. Looking forward to the best smart home setup. Building a smart home is an easy task. first, you should know about home automation, and here we will discuss smart home ideas.
What is smart home?
Smart home Definition: It is a house using appliances such as lighting, heating, Security System and other electronic devices which can be controlled and monitored through virtual Assistant (i.e Amazon Alexa smart home, Google Home ), smartphones, Computer with Wi-Fi or internet, and cloud network services from any part of the world.
Smart home meaning
Home Appliance is connected to the internet of things.
If you want to Building A Smart Home From The Ground Up check the guide and set up your smart home.
- You can control your AC, Heater TV, lights and doorbells with a smartphone.
- You can use the camera for your security purpose.
- You can use your voice to give the command listen to music, to call someone in your contact using Alex Echo, Google Assistant, Apple home kit, Cortana and Nest, etc.
- When you are near to your home, your garage door opens and lights on automatically its effect.
- Your room light automatically turns on when you open your room door which is good for your monthly bills.
- Your room temperature and humidity level can be maintained automatically, it’s also cost-effective.
- You can set time to feed your pets at home and can watch them through the camera on a smartphone.
There are tons of examples but it’s simple to give you an idea about a smart home or home automation.
Other terms use for Smart Home
Do you know basic terms related to smart home or home automation / smart home ideas?
Domotics: It is a Latin word that comes from “Domus” meaning house. Converting your house into a smart home and making it automated by using a combination of electronic, mechanical, and software integrated technology. Or Home Automation.
Home Automation: The process of turning your home into a smart home by using smart appliances which can be controlled through your virtual Assistant, smartphone, tablet, PC, and cloud networks.
Internet of Things (IoT): This noun consists of two words “Internet” and the other is “Things”. Any physical object is a thing such as a washing machine, television, Air Conditioners, Heaters, smartphones, watches, lamps, lights, doors, bells, etc (In terms of Smart Home or Internet of things). and the internet is the network through which these things are interconnected.
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Simply, all things (Machines & electronic devices) can be integrated or embedded with software, sensors and can receive and send data to each other through internet networking. It’s a machine-to-machine networking system.
Examples: Smart Home, Smart City, Smart Car, Smart Grid, Smart devices, eHealth, Remote industries, etc
Smart Home History
Smart home history is a vast topic we are discussing the only history which is the base of modern Smart home technology.
1908: When electric-powered appliances for the home were started to be part of every house like toasters, sewing machines, blenders, food processors, washing machines, and vacuum cleaners. That was the time when Huber Cecil invented the vacuum cleaner.
1933: In the Chicago World fair exhibition on the title “The House of Tomorrow” was launched. In this exhibition wide range of automated devices was displayed including electric light, adjustable light with dimming and brighten features, central air conditioner system, automatic door opener system for garage, automatic dishwashers, etc.
1939: “The Electric Home of the Future” the popular Magazine of that time on technology illustrated 2 ideas first cooking devices can use shortwave radio frequency and news can be recorded through electrical devices.
1960: Jim Sutherland invented ECHO-IV (Electronic Computing Home Operator IV). It is used for controlling house temperature, turn machines on or off, and make lists for shopping.
1975: It was the year when X10 was launched by company Pico Electronic, Scotland. It was the first home automation technology. X10 means the tenth project of the company. They introduced the idea of controlling appliances and light using a remote controller. X10 Ltd was formed in the 1980s. Now they have different brands i.e Smarthome, X10 Powerhouse, X10 Activehouse, etc.
The 1980s: The experimentally based houses called “Xanadu house” built in the US for checking home automation and showing computers. These houses were built in different areas of the United State. The Most famous house was in Kissimmee Xanadu where hundreds of visitors come daily.
1983: The personal computer handbook.
1984: New term was dug out for home automation technology. National Association of Home Builders (NAHB) named the term “Smart Home” at that time the smart home was also called “Cyber-tecture” because at that time appliance was used from a computer with the combination of architectural design.
1999: Disney movie “Smart House” presented the future of smart home technology in this movie whole house was controlled by the intelligence system called PAT or Personal Applied Technology. One dialogue from this movie was
“She just wants to understand you better so she can make your life as simple and comfortable as possible.”
2000: Near about the 2000s the Zensys, a Danish company introduce Z-wave automated protocol mesh network-based for controlling light systems with Radio Frequency (RF) waves. Z-wave chip-based products in which home devices communicate with each other through repeat signals i.e lighting systems, home appliances, TVs, energy controlling systems and security systems, and building automation systems. Z-Wave produces chips and now Z Wave has so many alliance companies producing Z-Wave protocol-based products.
2003: Zigbee is also a wireless mesh network. It was invented in the 1990s but in 2002 this company introduced its standards. Other companies produce a product based on these standards using a Zigbee protocol ( smart home protocol ). Zigbee devices having a wide range of application use i.e home automation, building automation, sensors data collection, etc.
2010: Tony Fadell the engineer from Apple and designer of iPod launched his company Nest Labs which produces Wi-Fi enables devices like security systems, thermostats, smoke detectors, smart doorbells, and smart locks systems. The first product was the thermostat. Google acquired Nest Labs for US$3.2 billion in January 2014.
2011: Hawkinson in the last quarter of this year come up with a prototype called SmartThings after an incident happens at his home. This company creates applications and networks through hubs. The applications can control and monitors smart home devices, appliances, TV, Air Conditioning system, lighting, speaker available on their servers. SmartThings Inc was acquired by Samsung Electronics in August 2014.
2013: Microsoft introduced the idea after the Internet of Things the “Lab of Things” or LoT to empower the studies and researchers to make and explore more ideas about smart home automation. They provided a flexible, platform and virtual environment for controlling and monitoring Smart home-connected appliances or devices and also developed standards relating to smart home building applications.
From 2010 onward the inventions are countless mostly these inventions are exhibited on CES (Consumer Electronics Show) smart home expo. The 1st Consumer Electronics Show was launched from 24th to 28th June 1967 in New York City.
Smart Home benefits : Why smart home is needed
Why home automation is needed? I will illustrate the benefits of using a different approach from your street to your smart home roof door. You can say it’s the simplest way to understand.
It is a vast topic because it is 2019 and a lot of products, smart home gadgets, and items are available for home automation. Here I will discuss the most commonly used products and searched.
- When you are not at home your security cameras and security sensors inform you about any situation regarding security break or even your smart home can inform security agencies when it’s so much alarming situation. You can monitor your cameras through internet browsers IP’s or your smartphones when you are far away from your home.
- When you are near about your home or in geofance your garage door opens for you & while had parked the car, the garage door will be closed automatically. Your home light automatically switches on. It amazing Naa.
- While you enter TV laugh or living room your smart Water Dispenser fill a glass of water and coffee maker make a cup of hot coffee for you for releasing stress. By voice, you can ask your virtual assistant (Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, etc) for the switch on the TV for news or music or any other entertainment.
- Smart thermostat can maintain your home temperature according to the environment or when it required i.e Heating, ventilation and air conditioning (HVAC) and it can save some bucks in your monthly expenses so it’s also energy saving and money saving.
- You can ask the smart home virtual assistant to adjust bath light as you want and to play music while you are taking a chilling bath. Digital showers can adjust the pressure and temperature of water according to your need. Smart bath mirror having built-in light features which could be dimmed or brighten as you need. A smart toothbrush can monitor your dental hygienic situation on your smartphone.
- Smart home has the option of home theater. You can arrange a party and allow you, home assistant, to manage it like a DJ, making lights shows, playing music. While when you ask for home cinema it turns your curtains down, making light dim or off as you desire and playing a movie on your smart TV.
- After all hard and busy day we need relaxing and comfortable master bedroom. Your voice assistant can adjust the light brightness, coloring, making your bed little vibrating, closing your curtains, can adjust room temperature.
- Smart kitchen plays a vital role in the smart home you can use a digital fan to maintain the temperature in the kitchen, your smart cooking range can cook according to requirement and tastefully hygienic cooking; smart fridge can control your food quality and inform you expiry items in the fridge. There is a wide range of smart kitchen products, gadgets, items, etc.
- Home lighting system can be managed from your smart home. You can switch on/off lights, fans, in any part of your home. Smart bulbs having features of changing colors, dimming, blinking, etc.
- You can monitor your children and pet at home from your smartphone.
- Smart Smoke detector informs you about fire when you are not at the home even you are busy at a home it alarms and showers if it’s an emergency situation.
- Your smart port can measure water, nutrients and fertilizer need for plant growth.
- Smart plugs and switches are really helpful, you have to no worry when you forget to unplug the TV, coffee machine or any other machine, you can switch off anything from your smartphone.
- Want to water your garden when it needed or you got late for office let Smart sprinkler do that through your smartphone or it automatically.
- When you leave your home garage door automatically, security system start working, doors locked, thermostat optimized or shutdown and you can watch your home from a smartphone
Best Smart Home Assistants for Best Smart Home Setup
Do you want to build a smart home from ground up or want to control your home through your voice; simply your Smart Home Assistant can do that. It’s also called Virtual Home Assistant. There is a lot of companies introducing their Home Assistant Products called Smart Home Speaker or Smart Home Hub. The popular companies are Amazon, Google, and Apple. Smart Home Assistant is connected through the internet and uses your command to control home appliances. All home appliance is connected through the internet of things (IoT).
Amazon: Best smart home setup with Alexa. So here is the question How to set up a smart home with Alexa? Amazon launched its first home speaker in 2014 named Amazon Alexa. Amazon Speaker uses a voice called Alexa. Amazon Alexa smart home Support more than 10000 products and a lot of third-party devices. Amazon Echo product having Alexa to control smart devices.
Amazon Alexa Variants: Echo, Echo Dot, Echo Look, Amazon Tap, Echo Show, Echo Spot, Echo Plus, Echo Auto, Echo Input, Echo Link
Google: Google developed Google Assistant in 2016 to compete with Amazon Echo speakers. The company introduced its first Wireless Google speaker with a voice assistant to control home devices. Google smart speaker is named Google Home. Google Home supported appliances and devices i.e Chromecast, devices from Nest, SmartThings, Philips Hue lights, LIFX, and Zigbee & Z-Wave integrated products. You start best smart home setup with google home.
- Hey Google tell me a joke.
Google Home Variants: Home (Google Home), Home Mini, Home Max, Nest smart home Hub, Nest Hub Max.
Apple: Apple introduces its first speaker called HomePod in 2017 but was released in 2018. HomePod Voice Assistant is Siri. Apple HomePad only supports devices produced by Apple Inc. Many apple lovers rely on apple products.
5 Best Smart home devices for smart home setup 2023
Need some assistance in selecting Smart home devices? I will show you 5 best Smart home devices. From each product.
|Best Smart Home Assistants||Amazon Echo Variants||HomePod||Google Home Variants||WINK HuB 2||Samsung SmartThings smart home Hub v3|
|Best Smart home lights||Philips Hue Premium Smart Bulb||ConteSengled Element Classic A19 Smart Bulbnt||Eufy Lumos Smart Bulb White and Color||Philips Hue Bluetooth White and Color Ambianc bulb||Cree Connected LED Bulb|
|Best Smart Home Plugs||Syncwire 2-in-1 Mini Wi-Fi Smart Outlet||Belkin Wemo Mini Smart Plug||TP-Link Kasa Smart Wi-Fi Plug Mini||Koogeek 2-in-1 Smart Plug||SmartThings Wi-Fi Smart Plug|
|Best Smart Home Security Cameras||Ring Spotlight Cam Battery||Arlo Pro 2||Ezviz C3W ezGuard Wi-Fi Security Camera||Reolink Argus 2||Lorex Security Camera|
|Best Smart Home Vacuum||Eufy RoboVac 11s||iRobot Roomba 960||Shark Ion R85||iLife V5s Pro||ECOVACS Deebot N79S|
|Best Smart Home DVR||Amazon Fire TV Recast||DirecTV HR44 Genie HD||TiVo Roamio OTA VOX||TiVo Bolt OTA||AVerMedia EzRecorder 310|
|Best Smart Home Security System||ContentADT Pulse||Ring Alarm Security Kit||Vivint Smart Home||Nest Secure||Abode iota All-In-One Security Kit|
|Best Smart Home Dimmers||PHILIPS HUE DIMMER||LUTRON CASETA WIRELESS DIMMER||WEMO DIMMER||Lutron Caseta||Brilliant|
|Best Smart Home Motion Sensors Motion Detection||Fosmon WaveLink 51004HOM||Ring Motion-Activated Camera||Kangaroo Motion Sensor||ADT Motion Sensor||Door Chime|
|Best Smart Home Leak Detectors||Samsung SmartThings ADT Water Leak Detector||D-Link DCH-S16 Wi-Fi Water Sensor||Honeywell Lyric Wi-Fi Water Leak and Freeze Detector||LeakSmart Sensor||iHome Control Wi-Fi Dual Leak Sensor iSB02|
|Best Smart Home Thermostats||Ecobee Smart Thermostat With Voice Control||Nest Learning Thermostat (3rd Generation)||Honeywell Lyric T5 Wi-Fi Thermostat||Ecobee4||Lux Kono|
|Best Video Doorbells||RemoBell S||SimpliSafe Video Doorbell Pro||Ring Video Doorbell 2||Nest Hello||August Doorbell Cam|
|Best Smart Home Door & Window Sensors||BRITISH GAS HIVE WINDOW OR DOOR SENSOR||PHILIPS HUE SMART MOTION SENSOR||Ring Alarm Contact Sensor||Nest Detect Sensor||ADT Door & Window Sensor|
|Best Smart Home Smoke Access Control& CO Sensors||Nest Protect||Onelink Safe & Sound||First Alert Onelink Smart Smoke + Carbon Monoxide Alarm||Leeo Smart Alert Nightlight||Roost Smart Battery|
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How Smart Home Works
Want to know how smart home device works? Smart home automation devices are connected through a network (Internet of things IoT) and they all are receivers, control through smartphones tablets, or computers.
Now smart home tech is using a modern way to communicate i.e internet, Wi-Fi, etc. While in the past it was only through short radio waves signals and complex wiring.
- Your smartphone sends command in the form of code.
- Internet signals are converted to mesh networking signals in smart home Hub.
- Hub i.e Zigbee, Z wave transmit signals to devices i.e lights switches, plugs, etc.
- Devices perform the task.
How to build a smart home system
Do you want to transform your home into a smart home? I will use a simple approach to show you how to convert your home to a smart home. “Straight forward and easy to understand”.
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- Get the internet from your local internet service provider.
- Buy Wi-Fi router device and insert internet cable in router Ethernet port and switch on the power button.
- Now you will be able to connect devices in your home to the internet through Wi-Fi.
- Select an ecosystem from Google home, Amazon alexa smart home, or Apple home Kit.
- Power the Ecosystem device and connect to Wi-Fi.
- Install ecosystem app on your smartphone.
- Take compatible smart devices with your selected ecosystem from above list i.e plugs, switches, speakers, surveillance cameras, door locks, bell, garage door openers, leakage sensors, lights, sirens, smoke detectors, water sensors, etc
Here is your smart home for living.
Note: Always start with simple things and first understand them and move further. Or you can pay to Home Automation setup companies but in my opinion, it’s expensive and not good for understanding what’s really going on and how these devices are working.
Smart Home setup Challenges ,Problems and solutions
Do you need a simple solution to your problem? As smart home technology is expanding day by day, the problems related to smart home tech are expanding as well and people need simple solutions.
Always start with a simple one i.e at first for starting the smart home journey just convert your normal switch to smart switch and go further.
Internet is not working properly or slowdowns?
Do not rely on hotspot or wireless internet services provider, try to find out the cable-based or DSL service provider and use Wi-Fi router for the inside of your home for connectivity of different devices.
All devices are not working properly?
Place smart home devices at the minimum distance especially when you are using Zigbee or Z-Wave products. Sketch Smart home wiring diagram and take the idea.
Smart home devices or security cameras is hacked or smart home hacks?
Always change the default password and use 2-way authentications for your smart home IP cams.
Smart home assistants or speaker always listing and performed task even you do not ask?
These smart home assistants are always listing and ready to listen to your voice command. If you are not at home and your smart home speaker has not switched off then someone from outside shouts “Alexa or Google open the door” or “switch off the main door security camera”. That’s really scary.
Always turn off the Smart Home Assistant when you are leaving the home.
My favorite smart home devices are not working together?
Use smart home hub for connectivity of different devices to work together or use server-based services like IFTTT or stringify.