Smart home technology is shaping the future of humankind. Over the past twenty years, contemporary models have evolved with the science and manufacturing to support a copious number of products to enhance our daily lives. Including smart home technology in your new luxury home build or re-model can offer benefits such as comfort, energy efficiency, security, and convenience.
A smart home uses internet-connected devices to track and manage appliances and systems. Usually, smart devices are controlled by an app on their smartphone or other devices. Systems often connect and automate processes based on the data they collect.
Within the past few years, the most common piece of smart technology has been wireless speakers, with 17 percent of people owning one or more. Smart thermostats came in second in terms of frequency with 11 percent of people using such devices.
Including smart technology in new home builds has been growing in popularity. Data from a 2017 survey tells us smart thermostats are installed in 42% of new homes. The same survey notes that monitored security systems are installed 34% of new homes, automated lighting control systems are installed in 9% of new homes, and energy management systems are installed in 6% of new homes.
Smart home technology has been around for longer than you might realize. Contemporary models were released in the early 2000s. As interest in home automation grew, a variety of domestic technologies began to emerge, including home networking, smart locks, and CCTV security. A British model home was opened in 1998 called The Millennium House to demonstrate the automation of computer-controlled heating, security, lights, and doors.
Current Smart Home Technology
Hubs and similar technology connect to smart systems in your home. Amazon Echo is one of the most common models at present. There are many hubs on the market with a wide range of skills. Some feature video displays, while others are voice-activated. There are complex and robust models that require hard wiring into your home to set them up. Smart hubs can be powerful and can control home systems including lighting, HVAC and security.
Home Security & Smart Locks
With smart security systems, a vast array of features are available, including systems that are continually monitored and those that are motion or other sensor-based. Residents can also watch their homes when they are away. Smart motion sensors identify the difference between residents and burglars and can notify authorities of suspicious behavior. Some systems are powerful enough to include central locking of all perimeter doors and windows.
Smart doorbells can stream video to your smart hub or phone when it is rung. Other smart camera features include 4k video streaming, sound and motion detection, fire/flood monitoring and cloud storage of video feed. Using smart locks and garage-door openers, users can grant or deny access to visitors, even on a temporary basis. Smart locks can also detect when residents are near with Bluetooth technology and unlock the doors for them.
Smart Lighting & Blinds
Smart lighting systems, like Hue, detect when occupants are in the room and adjust lighting for you. Their color is customizable, along with their strength. Smart lightbulbs can also regulate themselves based on daylight availability. Some of these systems also connect with Alexa and Siri and are outdoor compatible. Smart lighting can also be retroactively installed with a smart plug as a connection between an outlet and a power source to a lamp or other lighting. This version can also be controlled remotely with an app or set on a timer.
Smart blinds function similarly to smart lighting and can be app or hub controlled. If someone enters or leaves a room, blinds can open or close accordingly. In addition, systems can be set on a timer and offer exceptional energy efficiency for your home.
Smart Outdoor Maintenance
Maintaining your lawn can be simplified with the installation of automated systems. Both houseplants and lawns can be watered by way of connected timers through your smartphone or can also be controlled with voice assistants like Alexa and Siri. Plus, this technology will not water the lawn if it’s raining, saving natural resources.
In high-end smart home technology, there are wireless, robotic, GPS enabled lawnmowers. With a mobile app, you can start and stop the mower, create schedules and review a map of its progress.
Smart thermostats, such as Nest, come with integrated Wi-Fi, allowing users to schedule, monitor and control home temperatures. These devices also learn homeowners’ behaviors and automatically modify settings to provide residents with comfort and efficiency. Smart thermostats can also report energy use and remind users to change filters. Some newer models are voice-activated, which make them even more user-friendly.
Smart Shower Systems
Built with sensor technology and AI, a smart shower system knows what water temperature, pressure and the timing of your shower, while minimizing water waste. One of the most popular models on the market is the U by Moen. Along with the showerhead comes a digital valve that needs to be fixed on the wall to interact with the shower. With this technology, you can pre-time your shower, and it turns on automatically when it senses you have entered the bathroom. This model, in particular, utilizes an app, an in-shower device or voice-activation.
Smart Homes are Here to Stay
One of the biggest benefits of home automation is peace of mind by allowing homeowners to remotely monitor their home through smart technology. This automation also improves energy efficiency and can save time. With the integration of these products, energy is used more effectively, and financial resources are saved. The addition of smart technology to your luxury home may add another level of comfort and security that you might not have realized even exists.