The smart home, the smart home full of devices connected to the Internet, is not just a commercial trend: it is a new way of living at home, where lately we spend more and more time also working. Making your home smart also means making it comfortable and saving us time thanks to smart appliances that work for us.
But it also means saving energy, thanks to smart thermostats connected with weather forecasts and thanks to smart bulbs that regulate the intensity of the light according to the ambient light, or that turn off completely, thanks to the presence sensors thanks to which they know if the room is empty.
All this, as we have now learned, revolves around an excellent router and a smart speaker and, above all, the user’s basic choice between one digital assistant and another. Those who still do not have clear how to make this choice, before continuing to read this article, can learn more about the subject with our guide to voice assistants and smart speakers.
The first step in the world of smart homes by many users is buying a plug smart or an intelligent lamp and. These devices are the first taste of what a smart home can do: they connect to the hub, if they do not have a Wi-Fi connection, or directly to the smartphone or smart speaker and can be controlled remotely (even from outside the home, if have Wi-Fi).
The market now offers hundreds of smart bulbs, the only differences are compatibility with Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant (or both) to receive voice commands, the type of connection (always prefer the Wi-Fi ones, even if they cost plus), and, of course, the type of lamp, power, and color.
The two most common types are the classic bulb bulbs and LED strips, the main colors are warm white, cold white, and then ” RGB “, ” RGBW ” and ” RGBCW “. The last three abbreviations stand for ” Red, Green, Blue “,” Red, Green, Blue, Warm “and” Red, Green, Blue, Warm, Cool “and mean respectively: red, green and blue (you can choose one of these colors at a time), red, green, blue and warm white and, finally, red, green, blue, warm white and cool white. The choice of color is purely a matter of design and furnishings.
The sockets smart, however, are divided mainly into single and multiple socket outlets (the so-called ” smart slippers “). The parameters to be evaluated are compatibility, maximum absorbed power (never to be exceeded, otherwise they would burn out), and connection: also in this case we recommend Wi-Fi instead of Bluetooth
because it does not require an additional hub.
The power strips, almost always, give the possibility to turn on and off every single socket independently (and therefore to program them, via Alexa or Assistant), and sometimes they also have some USB ports, also remotely programmable (but usually all together, not one by one).
Smart sockets and slippers can make even floor lamps and table lamps that are not smart intelligent and programmable. If, on the other hand, we want to make a ceiling light smart, the only option available is to buy a connected light bulb, like the ones just described.
Home automation can not only make the home more comfortable, but it can also make it safer thanks to smart IP cameras and other security systems, such as anti-intrusion, anti-smoke, and anti-carbon monoxide sensors.
IP cameras are a strong deterrent against house rats and there are several types, both wired and wireless. A complete security system also includes a digital recorder to save the footage, which can be the smart heart of the system allowing remote control and which can possibly be replaced by a cloud recording system on a remote server.
Those who do not have much experience in this sector have two choices: either go to a professional installer or buy a ready-made video surveillance kit. In the second case, prices can vary greatly, depending on the resolution, number, and quality of the cameras and the functions of the recorder. It starts from just over 100 euros (for products usually without a hard disk to record, to be added after purchase) but you can easily exceed 1,000 for the best products.
The smart sensors that can be connected to the smart home are also infinite: they range from thermostats, to be connected to the boiler or air conditioner to optimize air conditioning, motion/intrusion detectors, passing through doors and windows opening detectors. , for that anti-flooding, anti-smoke, anti-carbon monoxide.
Each of these sensors can be configured either to trigger an action (typical example: the sensor detects an intrusion and triggers the alarm) or to monitor the house (typical example: I remotely read a low temperature in the house and remotely turn on the warm-ups).
This type of product is much less ” consumer ” than the previous ones and is usually intended for professional installers, for example, almost none are directly compatible with Alexa or Assistant, but can become so via the included app.
As it should be clear by now to all those who are starting to wonder how to make their home smart, therefore, there are dozens of devices that can be connected to the Internet in a single apartment. All these devices, if not connected to a hub, pass through the Wi-Fi router to be managed by cloud software.
This means that you need an excellent router to have an efficient smart home, otherwise sooner or later one or more devices will start to give problems. Choosing a router optimized for home automation is therefore very important.
Looking to the future, we recommend that you read our in-depth study on the latest generation Wi-Fi 6 routers before choosing the right product for you. Those who do not want or have time to do it, however, can find some recommended products below.
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