Savvy Smart Homes

Smart homes are quickly becoming the norm in the modern world. With the rise of technology and the Internet of Things (IoT), homeowners now have access to an incredible range of devices that can help make their lives easier, more efficient, and more comfortable. As a certified techie and smart home enthusiast, today I'd like to introduce you to some of the most popular smart home options available, and explain how they can benefit you as a homeowner.

Disclaimer: Be careful with what devices you trust and give access to your home network and personal information! We're all wired up, 100% percent of the time these days, but it's still important that you only share your most personal information and access to the inside of your home, with providers you trust. Personally, I prefer to host everything locally with Free Open Source Software (FOSS) that is vetted by the community, like Home Assistant. While it's not as plug & play as Alexa or Google Home, it's not that hard to learn and setup. For me, it's a fun hobby and has allowed me to keep all that info private and local - which means when the internet goes out, it all still works, no cloud needed! Check out one of my favorite YouTubers doing an introduction to Home Assistant here.

Smart Thermostats

One of the most popular smart home devices is the smart thermostat. These devices can be programmed to automatically adjust the temperature of your home based on your preferences and schedule. They can also be controlled remotely via a smartphone app, which means you can adjust the temperature even when you're away from home. Smart thermostats can also learn your behavior patterns and adjust the temperature accordingly, which can save you money on energy bills in the long run.

If you're a Massachusetts resident, you may even qualify for some seriously huge discounts on Smart Thermostats! My go to is the EcoBee 3 Lite and with rebates, you can get this $150 thermostat for less than $30 through one of my favorite organizations: MassSave.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting is another popular smart home option. These devices allow you to control the lighting in your home using a smartphone app or voice commands, which means you don't have to get up to turn off the lights when you're watching a movie or going to bed. Some smart lighting systems can also be programmed to turn on and off automatically at certain times of day, which can help deter burglars when you're away from home.

As the owner of a home built in 1890 here in Malden with nearly no light switches, I rely on tiny motion sensors and smart lights for all my lighthing needs. This keeps mem from having to walk in to a dark room to find a lamp or pull the cord on the overhead light. They're also super fun around the holidays or for making your movie watching experience even more immersive. I'm a big fan of Lifx lights and recently got some Govee Envisual TV LED Backlights that react dynamicaly to the color on the screen - it's really amazing.

Smart Security Systems

Smart security systems are a great way to keep your home safe and secure. These devices can include smart locks, doorbells, cameras, and motion sensors. Smart locks allow you to lock and unlock your doors remotely, while smart doorbells allow you to see and speak to anyone who comes to your front door. Smart cameras and motion sensors can alert you to any activity in and around your home, which can help deter burglars and provide you with peace of mind when you're away.

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers like Amazon Echo and Google Home have become incredibly popular in recent years. These devices allow you to control other smart devices in your home using voice commands, and can also be used to play music, answer questions, and even order food. They're a great way to add a level of convenience to your daily life, and can help you get more done without having to lift a finger.

While I'm not personally a fan of these, they are super useful! If you're like me and just want the speaker with no microphone or Alexa/Google connection, Heos and Sonos make some great products that will integrate with your whole home audio nicely and work with Spotify and all the rest.

Smart Appliances

Smart appliances like refrigerators, ovens, and washing machines are also becoming more common in modern homes. These devices can be controlled remotely, which means you can start your laundry or preheat your oven even when you're not at home. They can also be programmed to adjust their settings based on your preferences, which can help save you time and energy.

Smart Home Hubs

Smart home hubs are devices that allow you to control all of your smart home devices from one central location. These devices can be connected to your home's Wi-Fi network and controlled using a smartphone app, voice commands, or a touch screen interface. They're a great way to keep all of your smart devices organized and easily accessible, and can help you get the most out of your smart home experience.

You can DIY a smart home hub if you want to give Home Assistant a shot but you can also buy prebuilt hubs and just plug and play. If you'd like to get some professional help, here are a couple options in the Boston area:

TSP Smart Spaces - Boston, MA

Smart Guys - Watertown, MA

All in all, smart homes are quickly becoming the norm, and for good reason. These devices can help make your life easier, more efficient, and more comfortable, all while providing you with greater control over your home. From smart thermostats and lighting to security systems and appliances, there are countless smart home options available to homeowners today. If you're interested in taking your home to the next level, consider investing in some smart home devices and experience the benefits for yourself.

While I don't do installs for my clients, I am more than happy to answer any questions and give advice on how you can make your home smarter or market the amazing features your smart home has to future buyers.

Reach out anytime you have questions about smart home stuff!