Smart Home Guide: The Beginner’s guide

Smart Home Guide: The Beginner’s guide

August 14, 2019 2 By Ini Brain

Smart home automation beginner’s guide: All you need to know and buy to make your home smarter

Discover Ways to Automate And Make Your Current Home Smarter

The home of the future can be the home you live in today. We are all naturally lazy. Well, that’s not your fault, that comes with being human. We all want some kind of device or robot to do all our daily tasks or activities for us.

We just relax and watch Tv or chat with friends and family on social media. A robot or device that would make your food, walk your dog, and instantly greet you when you came back home.

While we are getting close to that point, home automation has taken the home into a new dimension. Today, you can control virtually almost everything in your home with a remote, tablet, smartphone, or with a voice-controlled speaker.

You might think this is too hard to do, too expensive to get or that it’s too technologically advanced for you. There’s nothing to worry about because home automation has become easy and affordable. In most cases, you can get the smartest home device for less than $50.

Are you ready to step into a world that offers you the ability to take control of your home? We will prepare you to do just that. Learn what your options are, the different methods of control and just how to get these benefits into your home today. Yes, that’s right today!

What Is Home Automation?

We consider home automation to be anything you can automatically control in your home. So if you have automatic control over the functionality within your home, you have an automated home or a smart home. Today’s standards are high. There are different ways that you can install this automation system in your home, which you will see later.

What’s important for you to know is that automating your home does not require hard work, these days smart devices are easy to set up and it won’t cause you more than a few hours to install. Home automation is something that the average person can do and you can do it yourself (DIY). It won’t require tearing apart your home or spending thousands of dollars on a simple system.

What you should be interested in knowing now, Is what’s available to you, why you should be considering this, how to get started and where and what to purchase to make it happen.

First, determine your needs, wants, and budget. You need to take into consideration the vast number of home appliances you have at home. Depending on what your goals are, you could transform your home into something amazing.

Advantage of a smart home

Having a smart home can make your daily activities and home chores easier to accomplish.

You can watch all your security camera feeds from your phone, turn off and on the light while you are still in bed, start the coffee machine, turn down the blind from your couch and many more, or if you are forgetful like my friend Larry, who always forget to lock the back door of his home, you can do that with your smartphone from anywhere in the world.

All you need is a WiFi connection and a smartphone or tablet.

It doesn’t matter what task you want to accomplish; I am sure there is probably a smart home device out there that can help you make that happen.

Smart home ideas are everywhere!, simple and affordable. This technology is accessible online and in many home improvement stores such as Lowes and Home Depot. Amazon, best buy, and so on

Get started with the smart home.

Setting up a smart home is that simple to get started; you must figure out what it to automate in your home. Then purchase the device, you might need to download the app on your smartphone, tablet, or personal computer. And this is simple too, and it won’t cost you time to do. Once you that done, you will then assign each of your appliances to its task.

Step to set up your smart home system

  • A smart hub or a controller: The first thing you will need is a hub or controller. Then pick the smart home devices that work best with the ecosystem you’ve chosen.
  • Download the application: You will need to access the most home automation system through the app on your smartphone and tablet, while some require you to set them up with a computer
  • Create a profile or account: many smart home devices would take you through a simple set up process through the app; However, go to the provider website to create an account.
  • Add compatible devices: Now you can add the compatible devices to the hub or a controller, following the simple setup on the app or program.
  • Setup routine or scene schedules: This is the most brilliant part of it all, setting or grouping action to go off at a certain time. For an instant, Goodnight’s scene would make the lights go off, turn off the Tv, lock the door, active motion sensors and outside security cameras and play soft music. So if you go to bed by 9:00 pm, all of this action would take place every day at the same time.
  • Set up alerts and notifications: Send an alert by text or email when a certain event occurs. For example, you can get alerted while you are at work when someone tries to open your door or is at your door.

Connect the smart hub and the automation device’s power adaptor to the socket. Most devices require to be connected via AC adaptor at all times to work, some also have rechargeable batteries or accessories to make it work when there is no power supply.

Tips: Before picking an ecosystem, you need to know if there are a lot of devices that are compatible with the smart home ecosystem you have chosen.

Simple ideas for your smart home

Some leaders in the smart home industry offer a bigger choice of the smart home ecosystem so that homeowners can easily pick up a device that makes the most sense for their needs.

Google and Amazon are the leading ones in the smart home industry with a larger number of connected devices, and they can easily control and automate your home. But they aren’t your only option. You can also purchase some smart home kits.

There are some great advantages of purchasing the home automation kits, it won’t only make your smart home setup process simpler and easier, but you are also more likely to get groups of smart home devices, for an affordable price. Most home kits come with your specific needs. There are several options available for you to get them individually, which allows you to select what device is right for you and your home.

One of the best smart home ideas includes; Insteon home automation connected kits that you can purchase with a basic technology included, and you chose add-on products to meet your needs. 

Insteon Home Automation Connected Kit includes the following:

  • Two light dimmers
  • One wireless hub
  • One water leak sensor
  • One motion sensor
  • One open/close sensor
  • One thermostat
  • One IP security camera.

You can monitor these components from your smartphone or tablet. This basic system allows you to adjust the climate in your home, set your lights to a timer, monitor the opening of window/doors, detect leaks, and more. Receive text messages and e-mail alerts from each of the sensors. You can expand the base kit to meet the specific needs of your home; You can order additional sensors depending upon the home size and needs.

The Benefits of a Smart Home

You may wonder, why should I do this in the first place?

A smart home goes beyond the fun factors. You could make a case study for this being the way of the future too. But realistically, there are some key reasons why you need to install these systems into your home.

Home automation offers many benefits to homeowners; Let’s break down some obvious benefits that automation offers to you.


Turn the blinds down and lights low to prepare for movie night, all from the couch! Most systems are a button press away. Home automation saves you time!

Safety & Security

There are many home automation programs available to increase the safety and security of your home so you can leave your home with the reassurance that everything will be ok when you return. You can access most systems from your smartphone, tablet, or the web.

Energy savings

Home automation programs provide you with the opportunity to monitor your energy consumption and can improve your energy efficiency.

Improved energy efficiency = savings, savings, savings!

Whether you are looking for a full-fledged smart home or are just looking to automate specific home systems, there are technology and programs to accommodate all of your home automation needs.

Smart home technology is widely available and accessible to virtually every budget! From the pricey whole-home automation systems installed by skilled technicians to programs that you can purchase at Amazon and have DIY installation; home automation technology is attainable and accessible to everyone.

Best smart home system

Smart home ideas are everywhere! You can automate many home systems; There are simple and affordable.

Here are some options that you can consider in your smart home. Each company offers its unique design on them, but their overall functionality is the same.

Smart Home Hubs

A smart home hub connects smart home devices on a network to enable them to communicate with each other and easy to control. It is also called a smart home bridge.

SmartThings hub

Our Recommendation: Samsung SmartThings hub connects more smart devices than other competing hubs out there. The new version of the hub has Wi-Fi, so you have more flexibility wherever you place it. One of its cons is that it lost its battery backup, so you always have to keep it plug in to make use of it.

Smart Light bulbs

Have you ever forgotten to turn off the lights after leaving the house? Or, have you come home to find your house had been lit up like a Christmas tree, all day? A great smart home idea, automated lighting systems.

You can control all of your lighting devices from your smartphone or tablet! There are very easy to install and user-friendly.

Philips Hue White A19 Kit

Our Recommendation: Philips Hue White A19 Kit offers a great solution for automating your lighting system for a start. It includes four A19 LED smart bulbs, the bulbs can also fit a standard table lamp. A Philips Hue Bridge that controls up to 50 lights. It also includes a wall dimmer.

You can set the lighting mood to warm or cool, and also set timers, so they turn on as you get back from work. They work with a wide range of smart home devices, such as the Google Assistant, Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.

Automated Window Blinds

This technology offers the ability to control your window blinds with the use of a remote in the house and your smartphone or tablet when you are away! No more annoying cords hanging from your blinds. You don’t have to fiddle with that cord until the blinds are straight. Push the button until the blinds reach the desired position.

Soma Smart Shades

Our Recommendation: Soma Smart Shades is easy to use, and fit in perfectly on any window, Also work with the Google Assistant, Amazon Alexa, and Apple Homekit.

Smart speakers

Smart speakers are not for the music alone; They now have a voice assistant that takes action after hearing the wake word or commands. They can control all of your smart home devices, answer questions, play music, order Uber, control your smartphone and many more. Also, work as a smart home hub, some have a smart home hub, built-in them like the Amazon echo plus.

Amazon echo dot 3rd gen smart speaker

Our recommendationThe 3rd generation amazon echo Dot. There are lots of better sounding smart speakers out in the market. But with the Echo dot, you get a small speaker with all the functionality and features of a big smart speaker for a lower price and it works with a vast number of smart home systems. It also acts as a smart home hub.

Security Cameras

Security cameras are the eyes in your home. This is one of the most important smart home devices you should have. It lets you know what is happening and what happened in your house during the day and night.

You keep tabs of coming and going, all from your smartphone, laptop, monitor, and tablet. This means you will always know you secure your home, while you are at home, in the office, vacation in Paris or anywhere else.

nest aware camera

Our recommendation: Nest security camera, monitor what matters to you, from anywhere, for outdoor use. This is a weatherproof camera with 24/7 live streaming. No dead batteries; you also get intelligent alerts with nest aware.

Smart Locks

A smart lock adds secure keyless entries to your home. Lock and unlock your door with your smartphone or tablet. You can give keyless entry to families, friends, housekeepers, and other home services without worrying about losing a key. You will always know if your doors are a lock or not from your phone, most smart lock device would even lock itself when you leave the house.

August smart lock

Our recommendation: August smart lock pro (3rd Gen). It is a simple do it yourself (DIY) smart system that lets you monitor your doors from anywhere, and you can set auto-lock, so it locks itself when you leave and auto-open so it opens itself before you get to the door.

Smart plugs

A smart plug is the cheapest and easiest way to automate your home. you can add one to any home appliances that aren’t smart yet and control them from your phone, tablet or voice assistant smart speakers. For example, you can control your pressing iron and if you forget to turn it off before leaving the house, you can do that from anywhere you are. This gives you full control over your home appliances.

KASA smart plug

Our recommendation: KASA smart WIFI plug by TP-LINK. with over 15000 plus reviews on Amazon. you can easily automate your home with this. You can set a schedule to automatically on and off your home appliances.

The coffee machine comes on every morning at 7 am. Have your home run on schedule. saves your energy and money even when you are not there.

Smart Thermostats

Smart home ideas to manage your home climate! Temperature control technology is one of the most common and most sought home automation services. Temperature control not only makes your home a more comfortable environment, but it improves your home’s energy efficiency. There are many variations of the temperature control technology available for purchase.

Ecobee 4 themostat

Our recommendation: Ecobee 4 thermostats have a variety of settings to allow you to better manage your home’s temperature and climate. You can customize the thermostats for comfort or energy-saving and control it from your smartphone or tablet. This product has a variety of settings from automatic adjustments when your security system disarms to a minimum or maximum temperature setting. also, including a room sensor.

Another favorite automated thermostat is the Nest Learning Thermostat. This offers a sleek, modern look and some great climate control technology. It learns your preferred temperatures by monitoring the temperature changes you make. continue to adapt to your changing needs.

The thermostat can sense when no one is home, and it automatically adjusts the temperature. The biggest perk of this product is its ability to save you money! It has settings to increase your energy efficiency, and you can control it remotely with your smartphone and tablet.

Smart Doorbells

Always know who is at the door, from your phone, tablet, and PC before you open the door. Get live feeds to your smartphone or tablet when someone pushes the button at your front door.

You can hear and speak to visitors from your phone and get your videos to save to the cloud. It might require a subscription to access the stored video. A smart doorbell increases the sense of safety in your home.

Ring video doorbell

Our recommendation: The Ring Video Doorbell 2 is our choice here. apart from the fact that it can easily enable you to have a video chat with your visitor, it has adjustable motion detection and you can easily interchange the faceplates to match your home style.

Smoke Detectors

Using this technology is useful in preventing your home from being plagued by expensive fire damage. With immediate notification of any smoke and carbon monoxide, homeowners can quickly respond and remedy dangerous smoke or fire situations. This is highly valuable considering the cost of fire damage repair. You can avoid a fire outbreak with this smart home device.

Nest smoke detectors

Our recommendation: The nest protect is a great device for this. It can tell you what’s wrong and alert your phone if it senses any smoke and carbon monoxide.

Smart Robot Vacuum cleaner

Robot vacuums do a great job in cleaning; They can climb high-pile carpet most of the time, depending on how the pile is laying. This can make your vacuuming chores more easily, as you can schedule them on auto-cleaning, while you relax.

Robot vacuum cleaner

Our recommendation: Eufy Robovac is one of the best vacuum cleaners out there. with a nice look, size. This self-charging robot vacuum cleaner can clean hard floors quietly. You can control it with Alexa and Google’s assistant.

Universal Remotes

Most devices you will automate in your home are for entertainment. You will need one device to control the TV, home theater, cable box, Fire TV, and more. universal remotes let you do all of that, most remotes control your smart home devices, such as your smart light, thermostat, locks, sensor and many more.

logitech harmony remote

Our recommendation: Logitech Harmony Elite Remote. You can connect all of your entertainment devices with this. These remotes are compatible with Amazon’s Alexa for easy voice integration.

Garage Door Openers

Never wonder if you left your garage door open again. lock and unlock your garage door from anywhere with your smartphone. receive notifications when your garage door opens or closes. You can also connect the light to come open when you open the door and go off when you close it.

Chamberlain MYQ-G0301 garage door

Our recommendation: The Chamberlain MYQ-G0301 allows you to open and close your garage door from your smartphone, get alerts when you open or close your garage door. give access to up to 3 family members and set a schedule for closing and opening time.

Pros in having a smart home

Having a smart home can help a house run more efficiently, saving energy and money on utilities. A smart home would allow the homeowner to control and monitor the home from anywhere, using a smartphone. With a smart home, the quality of life increases and doing things becomes more convenient.

Cons in having a smart home

When technology releases, the main issues are the price and how expensive new upgraded technology costs. Since technology is new, there may be complications on how to use smart things.

Since the smart systems have some connection to the Internet (IoT), the network or cloud. hackers can easily hack them on the network. as smart homes become common. people will always want the newest device.

The Bottom line

The smart home may not be at the level we want it to be yet, but the home automation industry is growing fast and soon this would be the future. It doesn’t matter if you are tech-savvy or not, you can understand, install, and use home automation devices.

Home automation will continue to improve. As more needs arise and better ways of making it arrive on the scene, you’ll find that there are some automation devices out there already waiting for you to take the step into the future.

Today, you’ll find a wide range of smart home systems on the market. We suggest taking the time to compare them; you need to understand no device is perfect, looking at the benefits of each, and determining which offers the most bang for the buck, so to speak. You should also realize that the more advanced you go, the more in-depth the cost and the installation process will be.

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