The majority of households in the U.S. now own at least one smart home product at 69%.1 Even though home automation has become mainstream, there’s still a lot of confusion and apprehension surrounding the technology, including what is the difference between home automation and a smart home?
We’ll define a smart home, explain how to choose the right smart products for your lifestyle, and suggest five smart devices perfect for home automation beginners. Rest assured, achieving a smart home is easier than you think!
There’s no tried-and-true definition of a smart home, but in general terms, it’s a home that’s equipped with smart devices to automate and control household systems such as thermostats, lighting, security cameras, and more. The benefits of a smart home include everything from saving energy and money to increasing security and convenience.
Smart home devices can be managed remotely through an app on your smartphone or computer, with many also responding to voice commands using digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. Smart devices often communicate with one another through protocols like Z-Wave and ZigBee to create a home automation network. Take our room-by-room guide to see what today’s automated home looks like.
Many people want to enjoy the benefits of smart home automation, but they’re not sure which products to buy. That’s understandable considering the dizzying number of smart devices on the market, and each one claims to be the best.
We developed this four-step process to help you choose smart devices that are a good fit for your lifestyle.
Step 1: Determine Your Tech Level
Become familiar with how home automation works, then realize that some smart devices require much more technical proficiency than others. If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, stick to basic smart devices that are intuitive and easy to use, such as the products featured below.
Step 2: Decide How Much You Want to Spend
Smart devices are found at all price points from affordable to quite expensive, so before you go any further, decide how much you feel comfortable spending.
Step 3: Match Your Home Automation Device to Your Unique Needs
Remember, everyone is different, so the smart gadget your neighbor swears by might not be helpful to you. When selecting a smart device, consider your lifestyle. For instance, if you’re a stay-at-home parent, you might want the extra security of a smart doorbell.
Step 4: Research Products Thoroughly before Buying
Once you have an idea of what home automation tools are the best fit for your tech level, budget, and lifestyle, do your research. Before purchasing a smart device, read customer opinions, buyers guides, and independent reviews.
Getting started with home automation doesn’t have to be complicated or expensive. All of these SafeWise-recommended smart gadgets are user friendly, and some cost less than $100.
There are so many ways to automate your home, so it’s easy to get carried away and potentially buy smart devices you don’t need. We advise starting slow. Purchase one or two of our feature smart devices, and as you get comfortable with home automation technology, consider buying other smart products. Before you know it, you’ll be living in a twenty-first century smart home.