Initially, setting up smart home upgrades might seem daunting, especially if you think you need to connect the latest and greatest to some central device. In reality, it doesn’t have to be that complicated.
Yes, one way to create a smart home is to purchase many different components, such as cameras and sensors, and connect them to a hub that lets them interface. This method tends to be very expensive and often requires more work and equipment than is truly necessary.
You can get very similar results to high-end smart home upgrades by investing in fewer and less expensive pieces.
Tips to Keep In Mind
There are a couple of very important things to keep in mind when preparing for your smart home upgrades, including product compatibility and a good wireless router.
Purchase Good Wireless Router
You will need a good wireless router to support your smart home devices. All of these pieces of equipment will run off WiFi, so it’s vital to supply them with the best connection possible. Some of the best routers include:
- Netgear Nighthawk AX8
- Netgear Nighthawk AC2300
- TP-Link Archer C2300
- TP-Link Archer AX6000
- TP-Link Archer A7
Keep Products Compatible
When you focus on smart equipment compatibility, you’ll set yourself up for success later. Having smart devices that all work together will maximize the value of your smart home investments in the future.
One central hub is not actually necessary to create a home system of smart devices. However, should you decide to go with a single user interface, you’ll need to make sure every piece of equipment you buy will work with your hub. Examples of common hubs include:
- Amazon Echo
- Samsung SmartThings Hub
- Apple HomePod Mini
- Starling Home Hub
- Hubitat Elevation
Some of these hubs—like Hubitat Elevation—can interface with systems different from their own. Others, like the Apple HomePod Mini, will only work with Apple equipment. Keep that in mind as you decide on the pieces you want and calculate the cost.
Again, a hub is not necessary to create a smart home system that works well. We’ll go into some common ways you can build a smart home that is hub-free next.
Smart Home Upgrades to Consider
You can purchase any of the following smart devices as individual items. They can then be interfaced easily into your smart home systems.
Many smart lighting systems work perfectly without the guidance or assistance of a central hub. For instance, bulbs from Cree, TP-Link, and LIFX can communicate via WiFi. Others—such as Philips Hue bulbs—communicate through the Bluetooth radio in a smartphone. Consider installing smart switches and dimmers if your lighting is set high up and requires a switch to operate. A smart light bulb isn’t smart without the proper technology in place to activate its smart features.
Nothing is more convenient than controlling the lighting or playing music by uttering a simple verbal command. Linking a smart speaker to your lighting can do all of that. Amazon Echo and Google Home are leading the field in smart speakers right now. They have become so popular in this area that they function as hubs themselves, connecting to and controlling everything from smart cameras to TVs.
Home Security Cameras
These are highly useful, particularly when you’re on vacation and cannot monitor your home yourself. Outdoor monitors can detect prowlers, while indoor ones can keep an eye on children or pets. Some models can be incorporated into your doorbell or others (such as from Maximus, Ring, Netatmo, etc.) that use your lights to illuminate areas they film.
Smart thermostats are convenient and save you money as they automatically adjust the temperature to account for whether you are home or away. This can save you a fair amount of energy and cash spent heating or cooling your home. Many smart thermostats today use sensors placed strategically throughout the home. This way, they can anticipate the needs of the house based on the rooms you actually use rather than the hallway temperature used by most thermostats.
Nest has some great options to consider, as well as Wyze Labs and Ecobee.
Multi-room audio systems allow you to install speakers throughout the house. You can play the same song across all the speakers or drop a different track in each room—some models to consider come from Yamaha, Denon, or Sonos.
Contact AMP Smart Today
Call us at AMP Smart today to learn more about home security systems and other smart home upgrades.