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What is a Smart Home

We've started a Smart Home category at Ethical Hackers Club, and we’ll be posting some really excellent tips on how you can start to make your home smarter. And coverage of smart home items is popping up all over the Internet. But what is a smart home? Ethical Hackers Club takes a look.

A Smart Home Is All About Connectivity

When we went from old cell phones to smartphones, we made a major jump in connectivity. From just being able to call and text, smartphones enabled us to connect to the Internet, send e-mail and instant messages, download files, and a number of other elements that require connectivity . You can estimate of a smart home in a related way.

What separates a smart home apart from other homes is that the appliances and accessories throughout the house are connected and regulated from a central device. Climate control, lights, appliances, locks, and different types of cameras and monitors can all be added to a home automation system and controlled from anywhere in the house or, often, remotely.

Smart Home Tools

This connectivity can be accomplished in a number of different ways. There are exclusive systems specially invented for home automation, like Z-Wave, Zigbee, KNX, and Control4, so you can use WiFi to control your appliances over the Internet, and many are also Bluetooth-enabled, so they don’t require Internet connectivity. All of these systems have benefits and drawbacks, and the one that’s best for your home depends on what you want to perform.

What’s the Advantage of a Smart Home?

What’s good about all of this connectivity? In a single word, comfort. Having a Smart Home lets you do a number of the things that you’d normally perform — like adjusting the air conditioner, switching off the lights, pre-heating the oven, lending a key to your neighbor — with a lot smaller effort. You can establish schedules for your appliances, so that specific things will occur at particular times of day, and some appliances will even learn your schedule and activities so that the amount of effort you have to put toward operating your home is drastically reduced.

In extension to convenience, however, a smart home also promotes efficiency. For example, the Nest thermostat determines how you choose to have your house heated and cooled and adjusts the temperature so you don’t have to, saving energy. It also goes into “away” mode when you leave the house, further decreasing your heating and cooling bills. The Insteon home automation system also learns from the actions that you take and makes suggestions on how to use your smart appliances and devices more efficiently.

What Are The Smart Home Products Available?

There are a plenty of excellent smart home products on the market right now, and several others are joining the market all the time. We’ll be describing a number of product categories in future, like these smart lamps. We also will give you some good ideas for using the WeMo system to smarten up your lighting. The Philips Hue is one of the most popular options out there for smart lamps, but others, like the Holi Smart Mood Lamp, are growing up. So what does a smart lamp do? In a nutshell, it allows you program your lights to turn on and off on a schedule or in response to triggers. Or just to turn them off from your phone without getting off the couch.

A smart appliance that you might be more familiar with is the smart TV, a TV that connects to the Internet to get content; you can easily sign into Netflix or Hulu, download movies, play games, or share on social networks. Just about every company makes a smart TV now, but we’ve reviewed one from Vizio as well as a Samsung model. We’ve also profiled some of the security risks of owning a smart TV.

Of course, there are a lot of other smart appliances, like refrigerators, ovens, smoke detectors, and, possibly the most well-known of them all, thermostats, smart locks that let you lock and unlock your doors from your phone - and even give temporary passes to others. Using all of these appliances together can give you a lot of control over your home, letting you run a very efficient house, even though it might use a lot of electricity.

Getting Started On Your Smart Home

While there are some really expensive options for starting your smart home (like this ₹6,156.00 smart toilet), you can get some basic devices that are well within your budget. You can get a Philips Hue starter pack on Amazon for less than ₹13,999.00, and a WeMo bundle for about ₹1,999.00.

But you don’t have to spend hundreds of dollars to start creating a smart home — you can even take on some of the projects yourself! Also, you can automate your home with an Arduino or Raspberry Pi, if you want to get into a bit of programming. And, of course, you can always look for good deals to save some money on smart home equipment. You’re limited only by your imagination, so why not get started today?

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