Creating Your First Smart Home

From voice assistants to remotely controlled thermostats and doorbells, your home is set to get a lot more intelligent in the coming years.

what is a smart home

Imagine living in a home that reacts to the way you live, that’s tailored to your needs and is constantly evolving. With the rise of the Internet of Things, homes are becoming smarter every day which means soon we’ll be controlling our lighting, heating, entertainment and more, from just a few swipes on our smartphones.

It might sound like something out of a sci-fi film but smart homes are already here and over the next few years smart devices are going to become a reality in our lives.

So, if you’re toying with the idea of adapting your current home, or building a new home, with smart design and features in mind then this should provide some guidance and inspiration.

Now, let there be heat, light and…fun!

Control

controlling your smart home

Control is potentially the biggest selling point when discussing smart homes, although time and energy efficiency might be a close second, and there are multiple options out there including Amazon Echo (Alexa to you and me), Apple Homekit and Google Home

There are pros and cons to each system but the differences are generally small. When choosing one think about your priorities before exploring the world of compatible devices and accessories.

Heating

whats the best smart heating control

Every home needs heat, especially here in Northern Ireland & the whole of Ireland where Slemish Design Studios operates, and a smart home provides more than a few options when it comes to keeping you and your family cosy!

Here in the UK, the most visible smart home heating device currently in the market is Hive as it is designed and maintained by British Gas. Hive, and other similar devices like Nest, will allow you to control your home heating and hot water from one central app.

This control includes the ability to turn the heating on and off at specific times, even when you’re away from home, put your heating system into holiday mode, include geo-identifiers that turns the heating on in preparation for your return and stops pipes freezing during the winter.

Whether you’re designing a new build or considering a home heating upgrade it might be worth considering a smart option as we gradually move closer to this style of heating.

Lighting 

smart lighting systems in kitchen
smart lighting can be brought into your dinings & kitchen area to create a mood

Right next to heating at the top of the list is lighting and there is a growing list of options and possibilities when it comes to smart lighting.

To get started you’ll need wifi bulbs or light strips that connect to your chosen smart home system. Most smart lighting sets, including the Philips Hue range, feature LED bulbs that can be turned on, off and have brightness altered and dimmed depending on the mood you’d like to set.

Beyond that, you can begin to explore the various options available including setting lights to turn on or off at certain times as well as being able to use them as an alerts system when preparing food or boiling the kettle to ensure you never burn another dinner again. Tasty!

Devices

Moving on, heating and lighting are obvious essentials but, if you do a quick poll amongst your own household, it will probably become clear that food and entertainment aren’t too far behind either.

Luckily there are more and smarter home devices entering the market every day and the Internet of Things trend is set to grow over the coming years.

At the time of writing, you can get smart TVs, smart fridges, smart kettles, that can be boiled from the comfort of your sofa, and more!

Our advice here would be that if you can think of it, it probably already exists in some shape or form so a quick search on Google should steer you in the right direction.

What’s Next? 

At the time of writing, we’re only at the beginning of the Internet of Things and smart homes so over the next few years more and more devices and opportunities will be created so keep your eyes peeled…

In the meantime, if you have any other questions get in touch, we’re always happy to have a chat and offer advice where we can!

Send us a message & we'll be in touch.