Smart Home Devices

Featured - Philips Hue ¦ TP-Link Smart ¦ Hive Smart Devices

Its been a buzz word for a few years now. A smart home. Everybody wants a smart home. But what is it and what cn it do for you?

Smart devices used to mean anything that was connected to your phone. But as time goes by, smart devices are getting smarter and they are becoming more and more connected. Now a smart device is basically anything that is either connected to the internet or does things when you shout at it.

What are Smart Home Devices?

Smart devices aren't just one thing, they are lots of different things. You can get smart lighting, smart security, smart heating systems....The list goes on and on and on.....But there are a few mainstream smart devices that are becoming more popular and are being seen as the norm.

smart lights - philips hue

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting is usually the first thing people try when they first venture into smart devices smart lighting is cheap, its easy to set up and it looks impressive. you can show it off to your guests and it is actually quite useful.

You can actually just buy smart bulbs by themselves but to get the most out of them you usually need a central unit that controls all the bulbs from a single box. Having the central unit has a few major advantages.

  1. Integrate your smart lights with other devices. This lets you have, for example, voice control over your lighting via Amazon echo or Google home
  2. You can group light fittings together for scene setting
  3. Control everything from your phone
  4. Integrate with everything else.....Such an important point, its worth mentioning twice!

Smart lighting is a great way to start your smrt home because its already a fairly mature area and people like Philips have been developing their smart lights for a few years now. Its also something you can set up yourself and can get going with a hundred pounds or less.

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Smart Speakers

A few years ago everybody was in awe at bluetooth. It was a major development and allowed any device to connect to other devices via the bluetooth protocol. Now we have smart speakers and bluetooth seems like something from the last century.

Smart speakers are taking over the world. Everybody has one. And with good reason, they are incredibly useful. Not only do they let you stream to them via bluetooth or over your wireless network, they also do lots of other cool stuff as well.

want to know what the weather is like tomorrow? "Hey google, whats the weather like tomorrow..." Its genius. You shout commands and the smart speaker obeys and answers all your questions you ever wanted to know. And when you link them to your network then they also have access to all your other smart devices. "hey google, set front room lights red...."

Google and Amazon dominate the smart speaker market but there are others as well.

Smart Heating

People like nest have been trying to sell their smart heating systems for quite a while with some success. It does make sense to integrate smart heating if you can because the heating forms a big part of your home...And just because it would be cool to control it along with everythign else!

Unfortunately, smart heating can be a little more difficult to incorporate because you are likely to need expert advise to install it. Gas boilers are a bit of a black art.

Before you consider smart heating you will need to check your boiler and maybe get some expert advise about compatibility because smart heating is still a little awkward to get working.

nest heating

Smart Security

Another branch of smartness that seems to be gathering speed is smart security. This includes cameras and intruder alarms and, believe it or not, door bells!

Smart security cameras have been around for a while now. They connect to your wireless network and allow access anywhere in the world. Its an obvious idea when you think about it.

smart cameras

Intruder alarms are very similar except you can now integrate it with your smart lighting if you wanted to. The lights could all come on and turn red when the intruder alarm activates.

And then we see the smart doorbell. Yes, a door bell that is smart! It is basically a camera in your door bell, but its still pretty smart. It pings your mobile phone and streams the video to it!

doorbell cameras

UK Smart Home Devices

The smart home started in the good old USA, but has now well and truely landed in the UK. More and more people want everything connected together in their home. An easy way to do this is with smart devices.

So plug them in and make life easier. The smart home generation is here.