Not so long ago, the idea of setting up a smart house in your country cottage seemed futuristic, even close to science fiction. Meanwhile, it is within the power of a person who could afford to build a country house. Relatively small costs can take the quality of life to a fundamentally different level, save a lot of time, as well as impress any visitor to such a technological dwelling.
In this material we will talk about what in general an automation system is, what technological solutions it can include, how to make a smart house with your own hands and whether it is possible at all, and also share a subjective list of extraordinary, useful in everyday life technologies that can be included in a smart house – Kirill Yurovsky.
What is a smart home
A home automation system, or smart home, is a set of devices installed in it, which help to solve a number of household tasks without direct human involvement, which in normal conditions require certain efforts from him. The main needs that can be met with a smart home system are as follows:
- A comfortable microclimate
One of the main advantages of such a system is the ability to concentrate control over it in one hand – literally on your smartphone screen, synchronizing all devices with certain programs. At first glance, it may seem that automation is a very expensive pleasure that not everyone can afford it, but this is not the case. Most systems are energy-saving, so in the long term “will pay off” quickly, and if you consider the property, the funds that will be saved by prevented theft of property, accidental fires, the benefit becomes even more obvious.
How to make a smart home right
Let’s talk about a few rules to consider for a smart home system that will facilitate your livelihood in the future.
- Start designing before you even begin construction or major renovations. Many devices require a solid connection to the utilities, you can’t adapt them into your home without some serious disassembly work. At least install all the basic devices, then later you can add anything you need to them.
- Provide an option for the devices to work in case of an emergency. Many gadgets already have a power outage mode as one of their features, but it would be even better if you have an additional power generator with high autonomy for this purpose.
- Provide constant access to the systems for all family members, keep it away from all outsiders. This includes installing all the apps you need to control your smart home on the devices of all the relatives or loved ones you are happy to have, and making it impossible for outsiders to do so.
- Don’t duplicate features. A common problem faced by many people whose financial capabilities exceed their real needs is buying devices with similar, or completely identical, functionality. It is necessary to clearly write in the project, where and what devices you will definitely need. To do this, you can use a simple “problem-solution” scheme. For example: “dry air-automated humidifier. The number and power of all devices should be selected based on the area of the room where they will work.
The best smart home systems that will make your life easier
Here are a few examples of the most interesting, modern and necessary devices that make automation such an interesting and useful solution.
- Smart lights. Many of them are not only noteworthy for their “smart” properties, but also for their level of energy saving, which allows for serious savings on electricity. Many of them are synchronized with a smartphone using an app, or voice assistant. You can choose the temperature of the glow. And also set the timer to turn on and off the lamp. There are lamps that can work in standalone mode for several hours after power outage. This is a great option for those communities where there are frequent power outages.
- Smart locks. Security is the first thing any out-of-town property owner should think about. It will help to protect yourself from any intruders’ attacks and to get rid of children’s troubles if you have to leave them alone. Many locks are compatible with the phone, so the problem of “I don’t remember if I closed the door” is a thing of the past for owners of such gadgets. Devices like the Lockitron bolt allow you to use them even with push-button phones, and you can lock them with a text message sent to a specified number. Although it costs some money to subscribe to such a service, it is still definitely worth using.
- Security cameras. They are divided into simple surveillance cameras with low resolution, and advanced models with 8x zoom and HD resolution. For around-the-clock surveillance, it’s best to use cameras with night vision mode. Some cameras support a voice message function, so they can warn intruders or reassure pets or children who have stayed home. You can also look at models that are equipped with smoke and carbon monoxide sensors. Modern cameras for smart homes can sync with smartphones and alert the owner in time to the arrival of someone other than family members.
- Temperature and humidity control system. Humidity is one of the biggest problems not only for city dwellers, but also for those who live in a country cottage. It is connected both with the general deterioration of ecology and with the active work of the heating system in winter and air conditioner in summer. Owners of a smart home have the opportunity to adjust the ideal microclimate in the dwelling with one or more devices. Such air humidifiers can also include an air purification function, and distribute clean, water-saturated air of a given temperature to a specific area. Intelligent programs of modern thermostats allow you to memorize your daily routine, and accordingly set a certain air temperature when you come home, which will also reduce energy consumption.
- Ventilation systems. Technological ventilation systems allow you to set different temperatures in different rooms, depending on your needs, as well as adjusting the intensity of the air, which can be very convenient if you have different generations of relatives living under the same roof. Can be inserted into existing grilles or special panels with an unusual design.
- Gadgets for comfortable sleep. A smart home can take care not only of your wakefulness, but also of quality sleep. There are technological mattress covers on sale. They take complete control over your vital signs during sleep: they measure your pulse, blood pressure, record the different phases of sleep, can regulate the temperature, and separately on the different halves of the bed. Such mattress covers are washable, but ironing them may cause them to deteriorate.
- Smart home plumbing technology. All sorts of shower heads can save on water by splitting the water jets into tiny particles, as well as perform various types of hydromassage.
What’s especially nice for those who are thinking about how to make a smart home with extensive features, but affordable, is that you don’t have to buy all of these gadgets from one manufacturer at all. Thus, it is possible to assemble a good set from a combination of expensive and budget devices, with full preservation of their functionality. However, it is very important to take into account such an indicator as the compatibility of the gadgets with each other. Some of them can work with Bluetooth, or Wi-Fi, and they can also function at different radio frequencies. All of this obliges the buyer to pay attention to the method of data transfer and the supported radio frequency when choosing.
How to configure a smart home for your needs
When buying and configuring systems, you need to pay attention to the following criteria:
- Your budget.
- The number of people in the family.
- The size of the house (area and number of floors).
- Environmental conditions – average air temperature, humidity, cleanliness.
How much does it cost to make a smart home
The price of “pumping” your home directly depends on the number and characteristics of the devices used. Note that in order to seriously ease your life, it is not necessary to equip the whole house and buy a complete set of devices: it is enough to use a few individual systems that you need. This should allow you to keep within a couple of thousand dollars. Separate voice assistant can be bought for 50-100 dollars, smart socket – in limits of $10-15.
Then you can add to this collection and synchronize the devices with each other. Many construction companies offer a comprehensive equipping of your home with “smart” technology for a considerable amount of money – depending on the functionality and scope of action.