So you’ve decided to take the next step in your relationship with your home: transforming it into a smart home. Whether you’ve always wanted to live in a futuristic smart home or you’re simply ready to see what all the buzz is about, setting up your first smart devices can seem overwhelming. Take these four simple steps to help start your journey to life as a Jetson.
Pick a Digital Assistant
Before purchasing smart home devices, choose your assistant and smart home hub. Whatever smart home technology you want, most products will connect through a hub, and you’ll use a digital assistant to implement your commands (such as turning on or off the lights). There are several digital assistants available, including Alexa, Cortana, Siri, and Google Assistant—each has its own benefits depending on what you need. For example, while Alexa is considered the most comprehensive with thousands of compatible devices, Siri is ideal for Apple fans who already use multiple Apple products. Your hub determines what products you can sync together, so think about the tech you plan to buy before you decide on an assistant.
Choose Products Based on Your Needs
With hundreds of smart home products on the market, how do you decide which ones are best for you? Start by addressing your goals for a smart home. Do you want to boost home security? If so, consider smart doorbells, security cameras, and a home security system. Do you want to automate your daily tasks? Go with a smart thermostat, smart lightbulbs, and smart outlets. While these products add up in price, many popular options are affordable. Spread out your purchases and slowly build your smart home.
Check Your Internet Plan
The more technology in your home, the more internet speed you’ll need to avoid lags. You won’t enjoy your smart home if it takes several attempts to use one of your products due to a slow internet connection. Instead of worrying that you’ll need the top-tier internet package, run a speed test to figure out if you currently have enough Mbps in your monthly plan to support a smart home. Some devices can use up to 4 Mbps of bandwidth, so plan accordingly. If you already have faster internet, you shouldn’t have a problem starting with a few devices.
Determine Your Installation Method
If you’re renting an apartment or home, you have a few extra steps to take before you can set up your smart home. Review your lease and, if you were provided one, a community handbook on the dos and don’ts of installing any tech in your space. You can also call the property manager to confirm if they allow any hardwiring—they may or may not want you swapping out the standard thermostat for a smart one. If they don’t allow any hardwiring installation, never fear. Many smart home products need only an outlet to operate.
With these tips, you’re ready to pursue your smart home dreams!