What is a Smart Home?

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A smart home is an intelligently controlled and monitored home with the purpose of making your life easier. Within a Smart Home products can  intelligently communicate with each other and feed that information back to the Smart Home Panel. The panel then communicates with the app, meaning all of these products can be easily monitored and controlled from your phone or tablet.

Smart products can be controlled remotely over either a Wifi or mobile connection meaning your system will not go down.

Smart Homes are growing in popularity due to their many advantages. Smart security makes it easier than ever to keep a close eye on your home whether you’re inside or out and about. Energy management is also a main feature of smart homes. Adjusting the thermostat, turning on and off lights and monitoring water usage has never been so simple and convenient.

What Makes a “Smart Home” Smart?

The term “smart” refers to properties enhanced by technology. For example, a smart home will have a security system with motion and contact sensors, CCTV, connection to a Monitoring Service and the Gardaí, heat, smoke and water leak sensors as well as various intrusion detection and avoidance features like triggered lighting, alarm sirens, bell boxes etc.

Another prominent feature is the management of appliances, either by an automatic or manually input schedule. A home with smart lighting might turn lights on past a certain point in the afternoon, while smart heating monitors the temperature inside and adjusts heating and cooling, and a smart slow-cooker might turn on to cook night-time dinner.  The concept is nothing new and has been around since at least 1975, with the introduction of the X10. However, what is different about this iteration is that a computer system controls everything. That system can be several separate applications, blocks of applications of like functions, or one centralised smart home management program.

What Are the Advantages of Having a Smart Home?

The main advantage is convenience. With smart home systems, no one has to be home to turn the lights or heat on, start an appliance, or oversee the house’s security. Remote control of smart systems makes it possible for a busy household to go about their day without worrying whether basic home duties are covered.

A second advantage is cost savings. With smart heating, you could program it to turn on and off during the hotter or colder portions of the day and run with standard thermostat technology. In addition, lights are remotely controlled and no longer reliant on someone to be home to activate or deactivate them.

Security is another benefit, thanks to:

  • Intrusion contact sensors and glass break alarms
  • Motion detection alarms and lighting
  • Law enforcement and fire emergency services contact processes
  • Leak detection for heating and cooking gases
  • Carbon monoxide and radon gas detection
  • Fire, Smoke and Heat detection and alarms
  • Automatic lighting activation and deactivation, as well as dimming

These features all help make the average home “smarter” and more secure.

What Features Can a Smart Home Include?

Smart technology refers to any system or function that can be activated, deactivated, or adjusted from afar by computer systems. It also may have constant monitoring or surveillance of its core functions to adjust to changing conditions. Now you have the answer to “what is a smart home?” here is a sampling of typical smart features.

Smart Thermostats

Smart thermostats regulate your home’s temperature from multiple locations and adjust heat or cooling accordingly. These thermostats can also be programmed to turn on and off at specific points of the day, maximising effectiveness while minimising costs.

Smart Lightbulbs

Smart lightbulbs are controllable from a smartphone. They are dimmable, usually from around 5% upwards. This level of control over lighting can help give the appearance that you are at home when you are not there as a deterrent to unwanted entries. Smart Lightbulbs are also money savers and add major convenience to daily level.

Smart Electric Plugs

Smart electric plugs serve as a “middle manager” between a device and the end user. Via the “Smart Home Hub,” the plug lets the user turn devices on and off at their whim. Controllable power lets you manage them easily, even if you’re not home.

Smart Alarm Systems

The beauty of smart alarm systems is that the system oversees all smart security devices via an app, such as:

  • Motion sensors
  • Door sensors
  • Burglar alarms
  • Window alarms and breakage sensors
  • Fire alarms
  • Gas and water leak sensors
  • Lighting
  • Contacting emergency authorities
  • Home security cameras

An end-user has “one-touch” access to all security devices and can turn them on or off, adjust sensitivity, log breaches, control lighting and alarms, and communicate with the authorities, no matter their location.

Smart CCTV Cameras

CCTV cameras can be placed throughout a property to allow the operator to view everything happening in a home.

Smart Doorbells

The smart doorbell lets the homeowner see who is at the door in HD. It has a motion sensor, speaker, and recordable video camera. Audio is two-way so that the homeowner can discuss if they choose with whoever is visiting.

Smart Door Locks

Smart door locks let you control access to a home or room remotely. You no longer have to keep track of keys or multiple access codes. So, you can give someone access to your home via an app and lock everything tight by activating a button.Taking in deliveries or letting a neigbour in to feed a pet are just some examples of how modern living is served by having a Smart Door Lock.

Electric Vehicle Chargers

smart electric vehicle charger allows you to manage load input and balance it across all your other devices, appliances, and power needs. You can see power throughput and what other requirements exist at the time you want to charge your vehicle. In addition, you can schedule charging times and stop them when necessary. Best of all a smart EV Charger allows you to avail of lower cost time of day tariffs by configuring your charger to charge when electricity costs are at their lowest therefore saving you up to 50% on your EV charging electricity bills.

Can Smart Homes Save on Energy Bills?

You can save money by reducing the time systems, appliances, and devices draw power. There is no need for anything connected to draw power when it is not required. Indeed, you manage your devices remotely, turn them on or off, and schedule operations when needed.

Can You Manage a Smart Home From Anywhere?

A system runs on a smart home hub that “talks” to every smart device on the network, including the smart home app. The hub allows you to remotely control each of them and ensure they are only employed when you want them to be.

You control every operational aspect of the system, from dimming lights to turning on appliances to activating security across your property.

Can a Smart Home be Hacked?

It’s very unlikely but, yes, a smart home can be hacked. There are many ways to hack into a smart home, and the methods used will vary depending on the type of smart home system that is in place. The most common way to hack into a smart home is to exploit vulnerabilities in the system’s software or hardware. Once a hacker has gained access to the system, they can then control the various devices in the home, including the lights, thermostat, security cameras, and more.

This is why it’s important to have your system installed and monitored by trained professionals. DIY smart home systems may be tempting, but they can be far more vulnerable to security issues than professionally serviced systems.

Why Is Smartzone the Best Smart Home Company in Ireland?

Knowing the answer to “what is a smart home?” is one thing, but your next step is choosing the right path to transform your home or property. Smartzone has built a reputation for creating custom solutions to home smart-management needs. We are staffed by experts in security and smart management, with knowledge of the latest technology.

We are powered by Alarm.com, a leader in smart home technology that is used in nearly 10 millions homes worldwide, and you can rely on our professional staff to assess your needs and meet them with innovative systems and state-of-the-art technology.