How-To Make “Smart” Homes Simple

samsung smart things

Smart home technology is a consumer category that is rapidly growing as more products are produced and more homeowners build their systems. There are so many options now that having a smart home can get really, really complicated. The truth is, you don’t have to be an advanced nerd or tech geek like me to have a simple, working home automation system. There are a few directions you can go, but either one of them, when do right, can keep things simple.

Connect it All

In the smart home world, you can use something called a hub to connect all of your smart home devices, and to use IFTTT (If This Then That) recipes for a customized experience. The hub gives you access to all of the devices you are operating, while also managing and unifying them. It can take a little bit of time and effort to get everything setup just the way you want it, but once you are set up, using your smart home hub for automation is be super simple. Using a hub is great for someone that is ready to just go all in with home automation. It’s the ideal alternative to using each device independently, which results in constantly having to find and open the right app to control your chosen device. The hub becomes your one-stop home automation shop, and makes using your connected gadgets fun and, obviously, simple.

Go Independent

The hub isn’t for everyone, though. Like I said, it will take a bit of time and effort to get it up and running, and not everyone is ready to commit that much to home automation yet. It’s also really the most useful for someone that is going all in – security cameras on property, smart door locks, a smart thermostat, a video doorbell, smart lightbulbs, etc. If you are just looking to connect a device or two to make your life a little more convenient, then you should definitely choose devices that work independently from a hub. These devices wouldn’t be able to connect to each other (for example, you couldn’t program the lights to come on when you unlock the front door), and they would each have to be controlled individually from their own apps. This is the perfect solution if you just want to have a switch that you can use to turn your light on before you head home from work or a thermostat that helps you conserve energy and save money.

Use Voice Control Options

As a bonus, you can make smart home automation even more fun, and simple to use, voice control options. You’ll need to purchase an Amazon Echo if you want to use voice controls, and you’ll need to carefully research which products will connect with the Echo in order to be controlled. This option can be used with independent devices as well as a smart home hub.

Photo by: Andrew Mager

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Jeff is a tinkerer. He loves gadgets, but usually waits until the reviews are out before buying something. He loves the DIY projects, and loves help setting things up too. Some of his favorite products and services may not be the most well known, but he loves his custom solution.