The world is rapidly changing every day and these changes are affecting every aspect of our daily lives. Remote work makes it possible to conduct business from anywhere around the world and self-driving cars are no longer out of the realm of possibility. It’s truly amazing to see what types of new developments come out every year and how technological advances are helping us solve modern problems. One of these problems revolves around how we live. Many people live a fast-paced lifestyle where they’re coming in-and-out throughout the day or are gone for hours at a time. Our homes are left uninhabited, waiting to welcome us back. An issue with this in the past was energy efficiency. Unless we ran our air conditioning or heating all day, we’d come home to uncomfortable temperatures that we’d need to endure until our thermostats kicked into gear. While many people used timers, the unpredictability of life made this insufficient. That is, until smart technology came into play. Now, there are hundreds of different options for thermostats that you can control from the palm of your hand, wherever you are in the world. This interconnectivity has improved the quality of life for many people, but it doesn’t stop there. Smart homes are on the rise and for good reason. In this article we’ll go over what smart homes are and what exactly smart homes can do.

What Are Smart Homes?

At the basic level, a smart home is a home that’s equipped with technology that allows homeowners to remotely control one or many devices or appliances. Smart homes take programmable settings to a whole new level, which makes it understandable why so many people are moving towards this system. When you equip your home with smart home technology, you will gain the power to control a large number of your household settings through the palm of your hand. There are options for thermostats, locking mechanisms for smart doors, lighting, security systems and alarms, cameras, entertainment system, and hundreds of other appliances that are starting to jump on the trend of the Internet of Things—which simply refers to the shift in our lives where things are becoming more and more interconnected by online capabilities.

Smart home technology integrates your house into an interconnected network that can be accessed, controlled, and manipulated remotely using an app or software. Because of this, smart homes need to connect to the Internet. As Wi-Fi becomes faster and more reliable, smart homes are advancing. Smart homes are great for people looking to reduce their energy costs and boost home security, but there are a lot of other things that smart homes can do too.

What Can Smart Homes Do?

Smart LockIn addition to the basic functions of smart homes—controlling the thermostat and supplementing home security—there are a number of things that can help simplify your life. For example, smart home technology makes it possible to lock and unlock doors using the touch of a button. You no longer have to waste time worrying about whether you remembered to lock the door or not. Smart home automation offers features to automatically lock your door as you leave or unlock as your approach based on smartphone connectivity. You can also remotely unlock and lock doors to let family or neighbors inside to feed your pets while you’re away or service providers that are scheduled throughout the week.

Similarly, you can control the lighting of your home from wherever you are. This not only saves you money over time, it allows you to give off the perception that someone’s currently home, therefore warding off thieves. You can control how your lights turn on, when they turn on, or remotely access them at any time throughout the day. While lighting is a great way to save on your energy bills, smart homes take this feature a step further. Since you can also control the thermostat, you’ll be able to stop wasting money on unnecessary heating and cooling throughout the day.

In terms of security features, smart homes allow you to gain more control and surveillance than ever before. Rather than using expensive, sometimes unreliable, security companies, smart home technology allows you to manage your system the way you want to. You’ll be able to trigger alarms, contact emergency services, and even set up motion-detecting surveillance cameras that connect to your phone. If you have boundaries that your children need to follow, your surveillance footage will send alerts to you when they’re in off-limit areas or trying to access dangerous places (medicine cabinets, cleaning supplies, etc.).

One of the newer smart home features to come out has been water monitoring. You can set up the technology so that if there is excess water pooling in an area or coming from a source that’s supposed to be off, you’ll be alerted. This is one of the best ways to prevent small, often undetected leaks from turning into expensive home-flooding situations.

Finally, one of our favorite features of smart home technology is the fact that it allows you to stay connected to your loved ones and consistent with your routines. You can check in on your children if you’re gone and keep an eye on your pets throughout the day. You can also set up your smart home technology to monitor your motion, learn your daily habits, and even start your morning coffee before you get out of bed. To accomplish these smart home tasks, your electrician will install motion sensors connected to an application that can be programmed for whatever action you want.

Some Things to Consider

While many people are hyper-focused on the benefits of smart homes, there are a few things that you need to remember if you want to start using this technology. First, creating a smart home can be pricey if you want to utilize all of the add-ins. A lot of smart technology is built into the appliance itself, so you’ll need to purchase new appliances and any accompanying parts. If things go wrong and you need maintenance or repair, these smart appliances are often more expensive to repair in the same way that smart cars tends to have more expensive maintenance requirements. The technology that’s incorporated in smart devices is often nanotechnology that requires someone who with a specialization to fix it.

Another thing to keep in mind is that not all smart appliances and smart devices are compatible with each other. Before you go out and buy a ton of new equipment, make sure you know what is compatible to save yourself money and a huge headache. If you want to pair your smart technology with smart virtual assistants like Alexa or Siri, make sure you confirm that they’ll work together. You’ll need to create separate accounts for each device and its corresponding application, so stay organized from the beginning to help things run smoothly.

Finally, and most importantly, since smart technology is connected to the Internet, there is always a risk of getting hacked. While you might not see the harm in someone hacking into your smart refrigerator, it starts to get worrisome when you consider interconnectivity and access to control. To help protect yourself and your family, talk to your electrician that’s installing your smart home for more information on safeguarding your privacy.

Finding an Electrician for Your Smart Home Installation

If you’re interested in installing one or more features of a smart home, it’s important to find a company you can trust. At Viper Electric, all of our electricians are here to help you install safe, reliable smart home appliances. We pair seamless simplicity with high quality work to ensure that your smart home is optimized to help you with whatever you need. Viper Electric is experienced in smart home accessories such as lighting, media, window treatments, TV access, security features, and more.

If you’re interested in adding smart home features to your commercial business, Viper Electric can help with that too. Our commercial automation options give your company access to all of its energy and automation needs through an integrated workspace using one centralized system. While the potential of smart home features are only just starting to make their way into businesses, Viper Electric is here to help you take things to the next level.

Viper Electric is a modern day business comprised of certified electricians who excel in smart home and business automation. We currently service the Northwest Arkansas area and are ready and able to make your home or business more dynamic than ever before. If you can dream it, we can do it. To learn more about our smart home automation services, or would like an estimate for your home or business, give us a call at 479-305-2296 today.