The ‘smart home’ has certainly become one of the buzz phrases in the building and home design world and it’s easy to get confused in deciphering what a smart home actually is. What you need to know is that smart homes are the way of the future and will make your life immeasurably easier.
A smart home is a home that has been fitted with technology so control of all electrical elements, from the lights to the garage door are able to be operated and monitored at any location within or even outside the home. Even parts of your home such as blinds, curtains, awnings, irrigation and water features can be incorporated into the electric system.
If you’ve envisaged coming home to a space that’s toasty warm, lit up and welcoming with security systems opening the gates and beckoning you in as you approach, then a smart home can do all of this at once.
If you’ve ever wanted to wake up, have the bathroom pre-heated for that morning shower with your favourite music playing without even touching a button or flicking a switch, then this is the kind of thing the technology can do.
Creating a smart home is about combining all of your electronic systems into one so your lights, audio visual (televisions, music, video), security and data (computers) all work through one easy to use system that you control through wall-mounted or wireless touch-screens placed throughout the home. With a smart home system you can say goodbye to copious switches, collections of remote controls and messy wiring. Whether you’re heading to bed and want to turn off the lights in various areas of the home, activate the security system and start a DVD in the bedroom or perhaps have guests over and get some music going whilst opening the gates and lighting up the driveway – you can do everything from the one place with the touch of a finger.
It’s not just for the new home either; you can have your existing home fitted with a smart home system that will take it well into the future.
If you’re interested in an update but aren’t quite ready to go completely tech-crazy, you can also choose to have one or two elements brought into a system. This might mean simplifying your audio-visual and lighting to go from running around flicking switches on and off, playing with your surround sound and wrestling with the DVD player to giving you a single remote control to change all of these elements from the sofa.
One of the greatest things about the smart home is being able to put together your own themes or moods. By pressing just one button on any of the panels around the home you can control a series of elements at once. You can go from a ‘daytime’ setting, for example, where lights are off, blinds are open and security systems are on, to an ‘evening’ setting where certain lights around the home come alight, music is switched on, blinds are closed and heating is turned on – all of which can either be selected by one button on a panel or can be timed to be activated at any time of the day, say around 5:30pm when you’re just about home from work. The options are endless with systems being able to be programmed for when guests stop by, when you’re about to head off the bed, when you leave the house in the morning or when you’re hosting parties.
The smart home can be as simple or as complex as you want it to be. It’s without a doubt how we will all be living in the not too distant future and it certainly doesn’t have to be daunting or scary. It’s simply a better way of managing your home.