Everyone is busy and some of us are looking for the most efficient ways to get from A to Z. One of the best ways to cut down on vital minutes throughout the day is to install a smart home.
With the right smart assistant and connected devices, you can control many aspects of your home through voice commands, your smartphone, and even your smartwatch. For this article, we are going to show you how to set up a smart home, without spending a lot of money to do it.
Why installing a smart home is not a stupid idea
Futuristic films often show people talking to ubiquitous and omnipotent computers, each with a soothing and polite voice, to tap into almost every aspect of their surroundings.
While it may seem far-fetched and unrealistic, the present is closer than you might think. Most big tech companies have a smart assistant, and you get a soothing voice telling you they can’t do this, Dave.
The basic concept is that you can control aspects like lighting, heat and more from voice commands or with the push of a button. Sure, it saves time getting up and walking over to the switch, but there are plenty of other benefits:
- You can potentially save on your utility bills, given the plethora of automation options available to you.
- People with reduced mobility can still maintain some independence, as you can operate everything from one position.
- You often get more options with things like lighting to make a room more personal. For example, many bulbs offer a full range of color and intensity options.
There are a lot more benefits, but the main one is that you don’t have to spend an annual income when installing a smart home. Let’s discuss it further.
Configure a smart home for under $ 1,000 in 3 steps
In short, there are three steps you can take when setting up a smart home. Your first choice, and arguably the most difficult, is figuring out which company to go with.
1. Choose an ecosystem for your smart home
Since most big tech companies have smart assistants, that means you have a few options for your ecosystem. This is important, because each solution has a different take on the smart home and (of course) different price ranges.
- Amazon. We suggest that the Amazon Echo provides the best overall option, based on price, functionality, choice and quality. The emphasis is on entertainment, especially when it comes to its collection of Alexa skills.
- Google. This is Nest offerings look stylish, are price competitive, and deliver quality. The emphasis is on productivity and modern forms of downtime, such as video games.
- Apple. If your “strength” is with the Cupertino company, Apple HomeKit is for you. The speakers across the line are the best around, and connectivity to your other devices is excellent. However, the ecosystem is focused on connecting Apple products to each other, so skill type apps don’t exist. In addition, the price is expensive.
In our opinion, Amazon is the easiest way to set up a smart home. However, if you are a fan of Google, its range will appeal to you as well. While Apple has the best ecosystem when it comes to device quality and connections, the other downsides can put you off.
2. Decide which parts of your house you want to automate
Next, you’ll want to figure out what you want to do with your new smart home. Of course, you might already have an idea in mind. If so, your task is to find a solution. If this is an area you’ve never studied before, there are a few basics you should start with:
- Lighting is a common point of contact for a smart home, and there are many options available to you. Most work with LEDs because you can change the strength and color of the bulb.
- Power outlets are also getting attention as they are an efficient way to configure smart features. It is a good strategy to transform the so-called “silent” outlets into smart outlets by plugging in a suitable solution.
From there, your imagination can run wild. Depending on your ecosystem and the options available, you can transform almost every major aspect in a smart way. For example, you can buy kettles, refrigerators, blinds, and more.
Our advice is to start with the basics and grow from there. Often times you can do wonders with smart bulbs in every room and a few well-placed outlets. Plus, if you opt for a hub and satellite devices, you can control your home from anywhere inside.
3. Find solutions to meet your needs
Now on to the fun part! For a basic smart home setup, you will need the following:
- A smart assistant and hub
- Smart lighting
- Smart sockets
Regarding a hub, you will have already made your choice in the last step. From there, all you need to do is shell out the cash. Apple’s HomePod was once a big hub, but now only Apple’s HomePod mini is available for $ 99.
As for Amazon, there is much more to the Range of echo devices. A 4th Generation Amazon Echo Standard Edition costs around $ 75 to $ 100, with the Echo Dot at around $ 40 to $ 50.
There is a wide range lighting and outlets available, and you will have to do your research to find good quality options. Look to spend around $ 30- $ 40 for a pack of four bulbs and about $ 25 for a pack of four sockets.
Finally, Google offers the Nest Hub for about $ 80 to $ 100 and a mini version between $ 35 and $ 50. Depending on the brand and quantity you choose, the lighting can be $ 17-50 per bulb. Again there is less choice for points of sale, but expect to pay between $ 15 and $ 30 per take.
It should also be mentioned that Google offers a smart lighting starter kit, which includes two bulbs and a Google Nest mini for just $ 50.
Smart homes are now in the realm of possibilities for many households. As such, all of the big tech giants have ecosystems to jump into. For well under $ 1,000 – you might only need $ 500 – you can put together three hubs, lighting for each room, and a few outlets. This will cover your bases as a fully functional smart home.
If you want to see how far smart technology has come, check out our article on smart layers! Are you going to adopt your smart home, or is it something you are going to avoid? Let us know in the comments section below!
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