We live in an ever-changing world, and in order to keep up with modern demands, we have seen a significant increase in the number of people who choose to automate their homes. If you are new to home automation, here is your buying guide to completely automating your home.
What can be automated?
This is one of the most common questions of all. Home automation is a broad term and there are literally hundreds of products that can be automated for your convenience, comfort and security. In the past, automation meant setting timers. Today, smart tech means that your devices can think for themselves and speak to other devices. Some of the most popular automated products include lights, locks, cameras, thermostats, and even coffee makers. Think about everything you usually turn on and off yourself and imagine there no longer being a need to do so. Think about your appliances turning on automatically without you having to lift a finger!
What about a hub?
Smart hubs control multiple devices and there are several varieties on the market. This is to ensure seamless automation. However, technology is constantly evolving and hubs might soon become a thing of the past. Many manufacturers have started integrating hubs into their products. One way around the need for a hub is to select all of your products that use the same software platform (like Apple). You can control several third-party devices from your iPhone thanks to HomeKit. You can also use this iOS-based software along with Siri for all your voice control needs. IFTTT (If This, Then That) allows you to create your own automation recipes which will start online tools, gadgets, and web services. You can select the cause (If This) and the effect it will have (Then That).
If you are starting out, it's best to keep it simple. Opt for smaller appliances and ease your way into the automated lifestyle. Before you invest in any smart devices, however, you should always make sure that you check their compatibility with other systems so that you can have a fully integrated system when you are ready.
Here are some of the top choices in home automation devices, all of which you can find in the home automation showrooms at Improve Canada.
Amazon Cloud Cam is a favourite for indoor security. This camera retails at around 120 USD and it has a 1080p HD live feed. It has a free 24-hour clip storage set and is ideal for prompt motion notifications.
Lifx Mini Wi-Fi Smart Bulb is a colour-changing smart bulb and retails for under 60 CAD. It offers all the features, colours and integrations of a standard-size Lifx bulb but at a fraction of the price.
Ecobee4 retails for less than 300 CAD and is a popular smart thermostat. It has a responsive display with a remote sensor and plenty of smart integrations (including a built-in Alexa speaker).
August Smart Lock with HomeKit Enabled is a great retrofit smart lock and it goes for less than 275 CAD. It's just what you need for your existing deadbolts and it has a very simple interface too.
Nest Hello is a smart doorbell and it costs less than 350 CAD. It has optional facial recognition and other advanced integrations.
Belkin WeMo Mini Wi-Fi Smart Plug is usually priced at around 35 CAD and it is compatible with Alexa and Google Home.
Lutron Caseta In-Wall Wireless Smart Lighting Kit is a popular in-wall switch available at under 200 CAD. This fully-featured smart switch is ideal for those who are serious about their connected lighting needs.
D-Link Wi-Fi Water Sensor retails for about 80 CAD and it plugs into the wall. You don't need batteries, and it uses Wi-Fi to send your phone push notifications without the need for a smart home hub.
Neato Botvac Connected Robot Vacuum is on the more expensive side of the scale at just under 650 CAD. This botvac is extremely effective and it has an intuitive app with remote control too.
Lutron Serena Remote Controlled Shades retail for approximately 420 CAD and these are great for flexibility. They can be scheduled and controlled remotely via your app. You can also use Siri to open or close them.
These are the basics you need to know about automating your home. The products listed above are a good place to start for anyone looking to dip their feet into the world of home automation. For the finest home automation experts, check out our listings at Improve Canada today.
- ARSO Smart Home Automations
- Galaxy Canada
- GTA Electric
- My Smart Home
- Sim Home
- Simply Smart