A guide to choosing the right smart home technology

Matt Powell from Broadband Genie shared his tips with us on how smart home technology can help organise your home, improve security and save money.

Central heating
For many of us the first step into smart homes is an upgraded central heating control system. It’s reasonably affordable and offers immediate tangible benefits. Smart thermostats can manage your heating without any human intervention, learning your preferred temperature and maintaining it when you’re home but also shutting down the heating when nobody is around. As well as making your house more comfortable it can save money over a standard thermostat that works on a set schedule.

Another distinct advantage is that you can control these from your home, so no more realising you forgot to set the heating and returning from work to a freezing home. A few taps and you know that you’ll be toasty and warm when you return. This also means that you can turn on the heating without leaving the cosy comfort of your bed – perfection!

Power and lighting
One of the simplest and cheapest smart home gadgets you can buy is a Wi-Fi power socket. Not only is it easy to set up an automatic program to switch on/off anything attached to it using a mobile app, it can also be controlled remotely. There’s a multitude of uses for these for the enterprising smart home owner, but if nothing else they’re great for switching on lamps at night for extra security. There are also smart light bulbs which again can be programmed with schedules or remotely managed, either individually or as a group.

Some potential uses for this include turning on your coffee machine when you wake up, or turning on lights for when your children return home from school. This also can give you the peace of mind on whether you’ve actually turned off your hair straighteners after leaving the house – simply have them attached to a Wi-Fi power socket and you can do it manually from your phone.

Home security
Home security is another area that’s rapidly changing thanks to smart home tech. With a connected security system you can get instant alerts if an intrusion is detected, manage visitors with a smart lock and keep an eye on your home wherever you are in the world. Smart security systems range from basic indoor Wi-Fi cameras (good for monitoring pets and kids) to complete security setups which integrate lighting, CCTV, alarms and locks.

This can give large peace of mind that you won’t return from holiday to a nasty surprise, and can alert friends and family if a break-in is detected. But more than that, for those who operate rental properties, especially if they’re short term lets, the option to have smart locks where you can remotely change the PIN gives lots more security and flexibility than having to go and change it manually.

Overall, smart home technology has benefits, no matter who you are – with different technology for each person. Hopefully this has given you a good idea of just some of the ways it can help you.


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