How To Setup Your SmartHome For Beginners
Want to control your smart home with the sound of your voice. Well, the good news is your ideal smart home is closer than you might imagine.
It’s Easier Than You Think
Building a smart home is easier than ever. From TVs to lights to coffee makers, companies are now designing products that can be controlled by a smart device. It is a given that your TV and home entertainment system has some sort of smart capabilities, but your light switches, thermostats, kitchen appliances may also have some sort of smart capabilities (Maybe even the air conditioner). So it might be possible that with a little tweaking and a few strategic additions, your smart home can be up and running in no time. Let’s get started
Choosing The Right Platform
Let’s start by checking the smart devices in your home. Find out which devices run on an OS platform and which run on the IOS platform. If your important smart devices run on OS, then you will build your network on the OS platform. If your smart devices run on IOS then you should build your network on that system. This first step is simple and easy and doing it right will save you time and money down the road.
Apps, Smart Hubs, Assistance/Smart Homes
If you choose an app to control your automated home, then you should get a multitasking app that can control all your devices instead of a bunch of apps that control different devices. Apps like the Amazon Alexa app, Google Assistant, and Apple Home Kit can control a wide variety of smart devices.
A multitasking app is probably the easiest and least expensive way to build your smart home. All that may be required of you is to install the app on your smartphone and link your smart devices.
The downside to these types of app-based controllers is that they run on smartphones or other devices that use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. The problem with Bluetooth is that its range is limited. If you own a pair of wireless headphones you know the frustration of losing the Bluetooth signal because you left the room. Well, the same thing happens with your cellphone, you have to be close to the receiving device. This defeats the purpose of the automated home.
App-based controllers work best when you are only connecting a few devices, like your home entertainment system and a few lights. If you truly want to build your ideal smart home, you are going to need a Smart Hub of a voice assistant
A Smart Hub is a device that transmits its single using low-frequency waves. The hub uses Z-Wave or Zigbee protocols to communicate to other smart devices.
Smart Hubs use low-frequency waves to communicate with smart devices on their network. This results in lower power consumption for all devices on the network. This is great for devices that run batteries
One of the advantages of the Smart Hub is that it works on a mesh network. Each device in the network is used to boost the network single. For example, the smart hub uses the smart coffee maker in the kitchen, to boost the signal to the smart plug in the living room, which sends the signal to the smart bulb in the bedroom to dim the lights. So unlike a Bluetooth device, the smart hub does not have to be close to the device to communicate with it.
Smart Hubs use the Z-Wave and Zigbee protocol. Though these protocols are beginning to fade. Enough products like Ring doorbell, Phillips Hue smart bulbs, and Stelpro thermostats, still adhere to these standards. If you own one of those devices or one of the hundreds of other smart devices that use this protocol. Then a smart hub is an essential part of an automated home.
The leaders in this space are the Samsung Smart Things and the Wink Hub 2. Both hubs support the four major protocols (Z-Wave, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, and Bluetooth). And both Hubs are OS and IOS-friendly. However, I give the Samsung Smart Things a slight edge because, it easily integrates multiple applications into one smooth running system.
The downside to Smart Hubs is that its features are basic and its applications are limited.
Smart Hubs are practical and efficient devices that can easily control your home ecosystem. But if you want a controller that is a bit more useful and dare I say, a bit more colorful. Then you are going to need an Assistant/Smart-Speaker.
Voice Assistants/Smart Speakers
Home Assistants are flexible devices that can integrate all of your devices into one ecosystem. The Assistant doesn’t just turn things on and off. It also interacts with the user in a variety of useful ways. In this regard, the Assistant is the polar opposite of the Smart Hub. For example, With a Smart Hub, you can preheat your oven, But with the Assistant, you can preheat the oven, get the recipe, and order the ingredients. Now that’s convenient.
One of the great things about the Assistant is that it is compatible with thousands of devices. Most companies design their products to be compatible with Assistants like Amazon’s Alexa. The Home Assistant also works seamlessly with other third-party devices like the Wink Hub and Samsung Smart Things. This ability to integrate multiple systems combined with the power of apps like Siri, Alexa and Google make the Home Assistant, not just a device that can turn things on and off but the true nerve center of the automated home.
The major players in this space are Amazon Echo 4th gen, Sonos One, and Google Nest. We tested all three, We were very impressed with Sonos speaker quality and built-in Alexa or Google Assistant options. But we found the Amazon Echo 4th, Gen, with built-in Zigbee protocol, had more overall value.
Now that you have the laid the foundation. You can now begin to add devices as you see fit. From smart lights and smart plugs to smart vacuum cleaners, the choices are all yours.