The major tech development of the 2000s was the Smartphone’s; the next big step in 2010 was the development of smart homes. The global smart home market is expected to grow to USD 119.26 billion by 2022.
Smart home technology refers to a set of devices and systems connected to certain networks to allow one-way and centered access. The smart device system only grants access to those with authority. A smart home makes everyday life easier and enjoyable.
Many parents after leaving the house for work purpose, a tension always stays in their head that whether they switch off the appliances, the kids are safe at home or not. With smart home devices, these things are not worried about, as in smart home all the devices can be connected through which communication is done, in order words we can operate with a remote. Also while coming from somewhere, from the road only we can switch on our ac or heater so that when we reach, we find comfort. Not only this one can close the garage door with the remote, switch off the lights, security camera any other electrical appliances.
There are many advantages of smart homes such as managing all of the home devices from places, maximizing home security, etc. The convenient factor is enormous. Smart homes provide services that fulfill the demands and needs of a user. Smart home devices are evolving day by day as the companies are approaching Artificial Intelligence. For instance the recently developed “Alexa”, by Amazon Lab126. This has been installed in a wide range of products. LG Electronics has adopted Alexa through its Smartphone product line. If a user calls “Alexa” from the smart refrigerator, that person can get access to shopping, searching for news, etc.
Smart home technology offers safety and security. Smart home appliances help to use energy more efficiently, protect belongings, it saves money also. The devices may be costly but energy efficient which means saving money. So we all should turn our homes to a smart home.
1Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat, 2nd Gen, Black
The Ecobee3 Lite is the most appealing 7-day programmable thermostat. It comes with a 3.5- inch glossy black digital display with a touch screen interface in 230 by 480 pixels. In the Ecobee3 lite temperature can be changed through various options, view forecast, set schedules and change the setting. Ecobee3 Lite can be said as the innovative solution for smart temperature control. Running an Ecobee3 Lite is really simple but for installation professional consult is better. It uses less than 3.5 VA of power a month. To run the Ecobee3 Lite we should download the Ecobee app on Android or IOS for remote access. The Ecobee3 Lite is also Alexa and Siri’s voice control enabled. For Alexa, we required the Alexa app and enable Ecobee3 skills. The same goes for Siri via the Home kit. To configure the Home kit, we can follow the steps in the Ecobee app or use Apple’s Home app. It can be also connected to other IoT devices from brands like Samsung SmartThings, Wink, and any IFTTT-enabled device.
The Ecobee3 Lite Smart Thermostat can also hold control of humidity and proximity because of its other sensor. It also includes the feature called geofencing which means connecting a phone’s GPS. Also, multiple user features are available on Ecobee3 lite- we need to give credentials and the Ecobee app works in an unlimited number of devices. One of the important features and a big difference between Ecobee3 Lite and others is that it includes a mini sensor. Although the mini sensor doesn’t come with theEcobee3 Lite we can buy the mini sensor as a pack of two.
- Easy to set up
- The installation process is also easy
- Touch screen interface is great
- The remote sensor helps to control from anywhere and keep an eye
- Works in different kinds of homes with gas, oil, electric or duel heating systems
- Requires C-wire
- Geofencing depends on an IFTTT channel
2Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-in-Alexa
It is a smart thermostat that can save up to 23% annually on heating and cooling bills. The Ecobee4 comes with a full-color LCD screen and is only 4 inches. It works on different kinds of the house included gas, electric, dual-fuel, conventional, ventilator, heat pump, HRV, ERV, humidifier, or dehumidifier. The main feature of a thermostat is to adjust the temperature but the Ecobee4 can also detect humidity, proximity, occupancy.
The devices come with four basic modes home, away, sleep, and vacation. Ecobee4 also includes features like Geofencing which means connecting the phone’s GPS to the ecobee4, enabled with Siri and Alexa’s voice control. For Alexa, the Alexa app is required and the same goes for Siri via Home kit. But the Ecobee4 doesn’t work with Google Assistant. The device also works with other devices like from those in the Samsung SmartThings ecosystem to anything the works with IFTTT. The Ecobee4 can work in temperatures from 44 to 92 degrees Fahrenheit. Also, the Ecobee4 user can see how much energy it using on HomeIQ. And also the feature of multiple users is available simply by giving the credentials.
The Ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa is different from others as it includes the feature of Room Sensors. The sensor includes a motion sensor that tells if a room occupied or not. The motion sensor allows the room sensor to perform several other functions like it detects the occupancy, it helps to optimize the temperature in occupied rooms and for total control, it includes the feature called sensor participation. Ecobee4 can be connected to 32 smart sensors. Other features that this device includes are reminder and alert, fan’s minimum run time, etc.
- Works with three voice assistants including Google Assistant
- Highly-rated iPhone app
- Touch screen
- In-built Alexa service.
- No ambient light sensing
- Dysfunctional Android app
- No onscreen integration for Alexa
- Doesn’t have built-in Bluetooth
3August Smart Lock Pro+ Connect Wi-Fi Bridge, 3rd gen technology, Silver
The August Smart Lock Pro replaces the original Smart Lock, which was first introduced in 2014. It turns the door of a house to a smart door. The lock is 3.4 inches wide and 2 inches deep. The installation of the lock is very easy, just need to download the August app, create an account, then open the menu and click “set up new devices”. But before installing we need to ensure that the deadbolt is compatible.
It works with the existing deadbolts locks if it’s compatible and does not replace the entire lock but replaces the portion. August Smart Lock Pro works mostly with single cylinder deadbolts. It will not work with mortise style, rim cylinder, or interconnected locks. It is powered by two batteries. One of the important features of the device is the inclusion of DoorSense, which is designed to tell August whether the door is open or closed.
Most of the smart lock doesn’t have this feature. The Auto-Unlock feature detects the arrival and unlocks the door automatically. Also, we can command Alexa or Siri to take control of the lock. The 3rd generation August Smart Lock supports Wi-Fi, Homekit, Bluetooth, and Z-Wave. Z-Wave benefits include increased range-up to 150 meters, 50% improvement in battery life, and 250% more bandwidth. With the help of this device, we can lock or unlock our door from anywhere, control keyless access, and keep track of who comes and goes.
Another important feature is that we can send guest keys from anywhere through the August app. It grants access to anyone whether for a few weeks, days or months. The August Smart Keypad allows us to create and share up to 220 unique entry PIN codes at once. Also with the help of the keypad, the door can be locked at one touch.
- Integration with Alexa, Siri, Google, Homekit, and Z-wave Plus
- Sturdy, high-quality with solid metal exterior
- Easy to install
- Auto-lock feature
- Geofencing an IFTTT support
- The auto-lock feature can be unreliable especially with Android
- The app does not show real-time information
- The feature of the touch screen is not available
- Requires additional component to control the lock remotely
4Yale Assure lock SL with Z-Wave
The Yale Assure Lock SL is Yale’s latest touch screen deadbolt with a voice assistant. Z-wave enabled smart locks are popular due to their integration with popular smart home hub and controlled devices. The lock is really simple to use, we just need to enter the access code and unlock the door. Once its lock or unlocked we can check the current status of the home through Alexa or Siri. We can create 250 unique access codes if we buy the lock with Yale modules or the Connect and we can create 25 unique access codes if we buy the lock without the Yale modules or the Connect. Each access can be between four and eight digits.
The lock is compatible with other smart devices only if additional modules are purchased. There is a different module for different systems like the Z-wave module, ZigBee module, and an Apple Homekit module. Yale Assure SL is also compatible with the stand-alone Connect by August Wi-Fi bridge. The installation of the lock is also easy, we just need a screwdriver, also an installation video for the lock is provided in the Yale website or we can download the Bilt app for extra help.
The Yale Assure Lock SL with Z-Wave is battery powered. It takes four AA batteries and has a lifespan of about one year. A low battery indicator is also provided. The lock also comes with its own built-in alarm to let you know if someone’s tried to break the lock.
It includes other features like Lockout mode, auto-lock mode, one-touch lock.
- Slimmest touch screen deadbolt up for grabs
- Z-wave compatibility
- Includes the feature of a low battery indicator
- It can be upgraded to work with most smart home platforms.
- Does not include the feature of Twist & Go unlocking
- No physical keys come with it
- Requires additional modules for all of the features
- Won’t communicate directly with the smartphone
The smart home devices are really helpful for one. In the article above we have mentioned the Thermostat and Smart lock which makes life really helpful and easier. With the help of Thermostat, we can adjust the temperature, switch on or off the ac or any electronics from anywhere. And with the help of smart locks, we can lock and unlock as well monitor who comes and goes from our house at any time and from anywhere.
Smart homes have become an important part of our lives. A smart home makes life comfortable. We don’t have to move from one place to the other to check that we have closed the doors or not or switch off the electrical appliances instead with one-touch we can do everything, at the same time we can also keep an eye on the house. Apart from all the comfort, smart home devices also provide security. The smart devices also save energy as well as control the expenses and these devices are very convenient. In a recent survey by August Home and Xfinity Home, 63 percent of respondents said family safety was their main motivator for adopting smart home technology.
The smart devices are of real benefit for elderly people living alone. A smart device would give an alert when to take medicine, alert the hospital if the resident falls ill, or the resident would also be able to close the door or shut off the water tub just at one touch.
Also, a smart home can be called a “cool” factor. As technology is growing day by day we have the ability to control our home by voices. The smart home devices are the best things to do investment in today’s generation.