Why Use Smart Home Technology in Your Home?

posted 9/21/2021 in Insurance

Smart home technology, also known as home automation, refers to internet-connected devices that manage and monitor the systems and appliances within the home. Smart home technology makes it possible for residents to control nearly every aspect of their home through the Internet of Things (IoT).

More and more people utilize smart home technology for various reasons, with protection and convenience being the top two. Whether it's one device, such as a smart thermostat, or a complete home automation system, consumers are taking advantage of smart technology to ensure their security, comfort, energy efficiency, and convenience.

Here is what you need to know about it:

What are the traits of a smart home?

Now that you know the basics of smart home technology, here are the characteristics that define a smart home:

  • Interconnectivity: Smart homes integrate all devices and systems to enhance the home's productivity and provide safety and security.  
  • Remote monitoring: When smart homes are connected to a mobile phone, laptop, or desktop computer, you can manage them anywhere and anytime. The ability to remotely monitor thermostats, lighting, and surveillance camera footage allows homeowners to perform real-time checks on their property, giving them invaluable peace of mind.
  • Customized preferences: Some smart products can be programmed to coordinate with users' specific wants or needs. For instance, a smart thermostat will automatically alter a home's temperature based on the local weather conditions.
  • Flood sensors and leak detection: These two smart features help protect a home from destructive floods and leaks with real-time mobile alerts, helping to avoid costly damages before they occur.
  • Managing utilities: Controlling your heating, cooling, and lighting is another trait of the smart home that translates into saving money. By pre-programming your thermostat to a specific temperature for different times of the day, residents can ensure their comfort and reduce waste at the same time. Smart outlets can automatically shut down electronic devices, while smart LED bulbs allow users to turn lights on and off at specified times.
  • Home safety: Because of the interconnectivity of smart home technology, along with security camera surveillance and motion detection, homeowners always know what is going on in their homes, and they receive alerts when anything looks suspicious.
  • Video analytics: This advanced smart home technology provides another security layer similar to motion detection. Video analytics distinguishes among images of humans, animals, or vehicles, reducing false notifications and alarms. Tripwires and activity zones are programmed to provide real-time alert triggers, such as activating lights to discourage intruders. 
  • Appliance control: Stove and grill guard sensors automatically turns off the appliance. The relatively inexpensive sensors monitor hazards such as leaving on a hot stove, grill, or oven.
  • Wellness checks: Smart home systems can make it possible to check in on senior loved ones when you can't be there. Adding smart technologies, such as wellness protection systems and  Wellcam, allows for real-time, two-way audio, video communication, and peace of mind.

How can you make your home a smart home?

More companies are introducing various smart home systems and devices, making turning your home into a smart home easier. Even if you have no experience creating a smart home, you can start planning, including financing the project, once you know what is available.

Some of the upgrades might require professional installation, while others are simple do-it-yourself tasks. And the good news is you can create a smart home without spending a lot of money.

Take a look at these seven suggestions for a home automation system:

  1. Smart thermostats: If you want to efficiently control your home's temperature, smart thermostats are the way to do it. Since heating and cooling systems consume substantial amounts of energy, you can count on saving money with these smart devices containing a predictive system to set the house's temperature on their own.
  2. Smart lights: Smart lighting systems work with your home's Wi-Fi connection to control your home's ambiance and save energy. Most of these systems have a mobile app from which you can manage your lighting preferences with every light on the system connecting to a smart home hub. While most are compatible with Wi-Fi, some also work with Bluetooth.
  3. Security cameras: One of the best devices for handling security in your home is the smart security camera. Ideal for detecting unusual activity in your home, today's security cameras will also send you an alert. In addition to spotting intrusions and burglaries, the cameras will monitor your kids and pets when you can't be there. You can also control your home remotely when you're on vacation while deterring intruders and thieves with doorbell cameras that you can monitor from your smartphone.
  4. Amazon Alexa: Alexa is the virtual assistant that controls any Amazon Echo device throughout your smart home. You can play music through Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Pandora, and others by using your voice. You can also listen to Audible, podcasts, radio stations or pair it with Fire TV to provide voice control for movies and other entertainment. While the Echo smart speakers are the most popular by far, Google has a series of home speakers, and Apple has its Homepod.
  5. Smart sensors: Sensors play an essential role in smart home technology by being the eyes and ears of the system. These smart sensors detect motion in and out of the house, adjust the climate control system for optimum comfort, turn lights on and off, detect smoke, monitor air quality, and do many other tasks that make your home smarter and safer.
  6. Smart audio systems: These multi-room audio systems are composed of self-contained speakers that can be placed in every room and connected to Wi-Fi. They differ from speakers like the Amazon Echo in that they offer higher-quality audio. Also, they can be incorporated into your TV to enhance your total entertainment experience. You can easily control them with your smartphone or tablet.
  7. Smart sprinkler system: Smart home automation works in your lawn and garden, too. A smart irrigation system will automatically detect the moisture in the soil and take into account the type of plants there. You can also choose to control the irrigation process through an app, starting and stopping the watering with your commands. You eliminate the need to hire someone to irrigate your lawn and plants every time you leave.

What is the best smart home technology for 2021?

It's usually an excellent idea to be skeptical whenever someone proclaims a product is the "best" in its class. When it comes to electronics, "best" is a very subjective word. Having said that, here is a list of the best smart home devices, courtesy of CNET:

  • Best smart speaker: Amazon Echo
  • Best mesh router: Google Nest Wi-Fi
  • Best smart plug: TP-Link Kasa Smart Plug
  • Best smart light bulb: Philips Hue White LED
  • Best smart thermostat: Ecobee SmartThermostat
  • Best home security camera: Wyze Cam v3
  • Best home security system: SimpliSafe
  • Best video doorbell: Arlo Video Doorbell
  • Best outdoor floodlight camera: Arlo Pro 3 Floodlight Camera

After creating your smart home with the latest technology, be sure to protect your property with a comprehensive homeowners insurance policy. Contact the experts at LSB Insurance for all your insurance needs, including auto, homeowners, health, life, and business coverages.

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