Creating a smart home from scratch can be a little daunting with knowing where to start or what you need but, having recently made the switch myself, it’s a lot easier than I had originally thought.
What is a smart home?
We have been thrust into the 21st century where home automation is now a part of everyday life. A smart home uses devices that are connected to the internet allowing them to work together to let you control and see what’s going on in your home. These devices allow us to set up smart home systems to monitor and control attributes of our homes such as lighting, heating, home security, entertainment systems, and even a whole range of appliances. This is all done at the touch of a button on an app, or even through voice commands meaning that you can operate those devices remotely.
Why Make The Switch?
There are so many benefits of setting up a smart home
One of the main benefits of smart devices is that you have the convenience of managing all of your home devices from one place, whether that’s whilst you are at home or out and about. It eliminates the minor inconvenience of turning the lights off before you go to bed, getting up to dim the lights when you are watching a movie or adjusting the thermostat when you wake up in the morning. Smart devices give you more control of your home at the touch of a button.
Increased energy efficiency
This is especially beneficial when it comes to heating your home. Typically, we had our heating on a timer system to come on in the morning for a couple of hours and again in the evening. This was all well and good but there are times when we might be out of the house for those periods. The smart thermostat still allows us to put the heating on a timer, but we can turn the heating on and off remotely and can control and customise the temperature to ensure maximum comfort. It has been ideal for making sure that our home is lovely and warm when we return home from walking the dogs on these cold winter evenings.
Whilst you have the added benefit of reducing your energy usage which can result in lower bills, there are other ways in which a smart home can save you money. Water leak detection systems can help prevent severe water damage to your home which means no huge costly repair bills.
Ease of Use
Coming home in the dark is now a thing of the past, you can turn on lights as you are on your way home or ask Alexa to turn on lights when you walk in the room etc. One of my favourite features is being able to group together devices to create actions like ‘Turn on a light when there’s motion in the dark’ and ‘Turn off all lights’
How do you set up a smart home?
What do you need?
In order to set up a smart home, you will need the following
- A decent Wi-Fi connection so that your devices remain online, if the connection is patchy you can lose connection to your devices.
- A Hive Hub to connect your devices
- Smart phone app to control your devices
- Smart Devices
What Hive Smart Devices can I use?
You can control most aspects of your home using the following
- Smart Hive Lights
- Smart Thermostats & Radiator Valves
- Smart Hive Active Plugs
- Smart Motion Sensors & Window/Door Sensors
- Smart indoor and outdoor cameras
You do not have to go the whole hog when you are first starting out, I opted to start with smart lights in the rooms that were used the most and also the smart Thermostat from Hive.
Purchasing the Heating pack from Hive has everything you need to get your lighting and appliances just right from wherever you are. The starter pack includes
Hive Active Heating Thermostat
2 x Hive Dimmable Lights
Hive Motion Sensor
Hive Active Plug
Use your devices with Smart Speakers such as the Amazon Echo by asking Speak to ‘Alexa’ by asking questions or giving voice commands. Don’t you have a smart speaker? With Hive Heating Pack you get one Amazon Echo Dot for free!
Is it worth switching to smart?
Switching to smart has made our lives so much easier, we’ve been able to add our Christmas tree and outdoor Christmas lights to smart plugs which means there’s no messing with turning them on/off manually in the mornings and evenings. It means we no longer have to get out of bed during the night to turn the bathroom light off when our daughter leaves it on. And we have made full use of the smart thermostat now that the colder weather has set in. In short, Yes! I’d definitely recommend making the switch to smart, I honestly don’t know how we coped without it before.
This post is in collaboration with Hive, but all thoughts are my own.