Once reserved for science fiction, the smart home revolution has transformed the way we interact with our everyday devices and greatly improved the quality of our home life… and consumers love it.
According to a study by research firm Telsyte, in 2017 alone the Internet of Things home market grew by 55 percent. So tremendous is this growth, the firm also predicts by the year 2022 the average Australian home could have up to 37 connected devices.
Sound ridiculous? Currently the average Australian home has 11.7 connected devices. When you think of all the devices you have in your home now – from laptops to smartphones, tablets, smart TVs, and digital assistants like Amazon Echo, Google Home and Apple Siri – this prediction doesn’t sound so far-fetched after all.
Most analysts agree this influx of new devices will be the result of smart home technology like smart lightbulbs, locks, IP security cameras and motion sensors. With this emerging technology it does raise an important question: is the existing home ready to make the switch?
Let’s take a look at what you need to achieve the smart home of your dreams.
Stable Wi-Fi Internet
As the number of IoT devices increase in the average home, so too will the amount of internet data you consume.
Thankfully, you won’t be scraping for data any time soon. Today the average home automation setup consumes only a small amount of bandwidth. In fact, if you made 10-15 queries to your virtual assistant each day for a month, it would only add 30mb to your monthly data usage.
One thing you need to think of – which can have a profound effect on the performance of your smart home devices – is the placement of your router. Wireless routers emit a Wi-Fi signal in all directions so it’s important to place the device in a central location (preferably the ground floor) where it can reach all connected devices both indoors and outdoors.
If you live in a big house, you may need to install a wireless repeater to extend the Wi-Fi signal. However, since the repeater rebroadcasts the current Wi-Fi signal to create a second network, this can lower bandwidth speeds by up to 50 percent and increase the risk of interference with other networks.
To take full advantage of smart home devices, they must always be powered on and able to function in almost any location.
Most IoT devices either run exclusively on batteries or a wired connection, but sometimes you have the option to choose. For example, home security hubs are powered through a wired connection, but other devices like IP security cameras and motion sensors can be battery-operated. This may sound inconvenient, but if the house does lose power, you’ll have peace of mind knowing your security devices are in working order.
Depending on your specific needs, you may need to install extra power points to accommodate for your new smart devices. This solution does have one drawback though – more cables.
Of course, you can hide your electrical goods in creative ways by installing power boards in kitchen cabinets, office desks, near windows to be shielded by curtains, and even your bookshelf.
You can also purchase cable covers cut-to-size… so people won’t think your home is on life support.
When it comes to smart home automation, everyone has different lifestyle needs and a vision of their ideal home. Whether you want to setup a fully integrated home security system, home entertainment paradise or improve the energy efficiency of your home – you have the freedom to choose.
Depending on the scope of your project, you may need to carry out some renovations around the house to meet your exact needs. Some of the most common renovation ideas done by Australian homeowners include:
- Home Additions – Dedicated home cinema and entertainment rooms
- Doors and Windows – Replacement of broken doors and windows to accommodate for smart locks and automated window solutions.
- Kitchen Renovations – Cabinetry upgrades and the inclusion of smart fridges, dishwashers and other appliances.
- Smart Wiring – For the installation of smart security devices, lighting and climate control
- Outdoor Entertainment – Installation of outdoor smart lighting, sound systems and even cinema systems
Talking to a smart home specialist can help you realise the potential of your vision and create a custom solution that suits your budget and lifestyle needs. As licensed professionals with in-depth knowledge, they can help you choose the right products and install everything for you at your home.
Find a reputable supplier and you’ll soon discover the true potential of your home.