How to Create a DIY Smart Home

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Thanks to the Internet, and improvements in it, all kinds of things can now be linked via Wi-Fi to help create a ‘smarter’ home. While this can make your Waterloo Region home more efficient and enjoyable to live in, it’s easy to get confused by the still growing number of smart gadgets on the market.

However the good news is that there are lots of fairly simple DIY ways to create a smarter home. Here’s a look at some of them.

Smart TVs

Smart TVs are a great entry point into the world of IOT (that stands for Internet of Things) smart devices. Most smart TV options are simple to set up and the price points are falling even on the more technologically advanced models.

Smart TVS connect to Wi-Fi and allow you to stream and download all kinds of programming. This eliminates the need for extra steaming boxes and gadgets and opens up a whole new world of entertainment outside the usual options you might get from your local cable company.

Smart Thermostats

You’ll find there are lots of smart thermostats available right now and there’s a good reason for that; these gadgets are one of the very best smart device purchases you can make for your home.

A smart thermostat allows you minute control over the temperature in your home and their remote, control from your features mean that you can turn the temperature down (or up in the summer) while everyone’s out to save money on your energy bills but avoid coming home to an uncomfortable house by turning it back up again right before you leave the office.

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When it comes to installing these smart thermostats it’s a project most people can complete by themselves. Most manufacturers have created lots of video tutorials for you to follow and great support and help is available if you need it too.

Smart Smoke Detectors

Smart smoke/carbon monoxide detectors improve on standard detectors by sending clear warnings both from the device itself and to the smartphones of your family members or roommates. Many will go so far as to alert you about the specific room the smoke or carbon monoxide was detected in.

One of the biggest issues with a standard smoke detector is that there is very little difference between the sound of its alarm and the sound it makes when you have to change the batteries. This leads to confusion that smart detectors avoid, since many feature app alerts and voice alarms that say “Smoke detected” or “Low battery” rather than the traditional chirping.

Smart Lighting

Smart light bulbs are easy to install, and not only can they be turned on and off from your phone but many change colours and/or intensities at the touch of a button too.

Smart Outlets

Smart outlets allow you to turn older ‘dumb’ devices into smart ones with relative ease. These smart outlets plug into standard sockets and once they are properly hooked up to your WiFi you can take, for example, that five-year old coffeemaker you still love and make it smart, turning its power on or off directly from a home hub or your smartphone.

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Smart Hub

The finishing touch for a truly connected smart home is the smart hub. This is a device that can, ideally, control most—if not all—of your smart devices, such as lights, thermostats, and televisions. Instead of having a dozen different apps for all your separate smart devices, you will be able to run them all through this main hub, either through its own dedicated smartphone app or voice commands.

Before selecting a smart hub, do your research and choose the one that works with your other devices and any pre-existing services (such as a streaming music account) you may have. Your choice of hub could lock you in to many other smart device choices, so stick with one from a company you already trust.

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