Smart Home Starter Guide!

There’s no reason why apartments cannot be smart homes, but knowing where to start is half the battle. In this entry, our aim is to educate you on the fundamental components needed to start you own smart home! Whether you’re already sold or are just thinking about it, this guide is for you!

Why Go Smart?

It’s important to first ask the question: why? This kind of hobby might not be for everybody. It is an investment, but there can be some nice perks to “smart homing” that you might make great use of!

  • Ease of Access: Of course being able to remotely power your TV, stereos, lights, and thermostat makes things much easier for your quality of life and daily routine!
  • Superior Aesthetics: Perhaps one of the biggest sellers for “smart homing” is the amazing creative aesthetics you are able to make using lights. We’ll touch on this a bit more in a later section!
  • Overall Saving: And finally, having automated equipment that you set to go on/off at certain times will lends some benefit your energy saving. We’re talking about your Auto-Thermostats, smart sockets, and lights! Always-on devices don’t fit this category as much

What You’ll Need to Start

In order the successfully build you’re smart home, you’ll need a few components, and you may already have one in your home! A quality Wi-Fi connection is essential before you purchase anything smart related. You’ll also want to keep in mind that the more devices you connect, the slower your Wi-Fi might respond!
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s talk tech!

Smart Hubs

Before we take off, It’s important to know that having Wi-Fi is not enough to start plugging smart devices in. You’ll need to determine the kind of ecosystem you want your smart devices to thrive in, and hubs are what you’re going to want to use! Sometimes it may take more than one depending on what you’re going for, but without overcomplication, here are examples of popular smart hubs and their respective brands!

Apple TV 4k

The Apple TV 4k acts as a smart home hub that is controlled using the Apple HomeKit mobile app or the Siri Remote and will also connect to lights, locks, and more! Apple users are in good hands!

Samsung SmartThings Hub

Android users will apt for The Samsung SmartThings Hub. It will control all of your home’s smart devices using one mobile app. Smart security such as Ring and Nest are perfect for this hub.

Wink Hub 2

A popular smart home hub that connects to over 400 smart home devices. The Wink Hub 2 is compatible with brands such as Nest, Ring and Sonos. No matter you’re phone brand, Wink is an all around hub that functions using its own app!

Smart Speakers

Smart speakers are on the rise in our tech culture thanks to people like Tony Stark & Bruce Wayne! Everyone wants an assistant in their home that knows how to get the job done. Here are the leading assistants/smart speakers on the market for you to run your smart home with just a word!

Amazon Echo

Better known as “Alexa,” The Amazon Echo smart assistants act as your command tower, communicating your needs to the smart hub and your devices! Its settings can be customized in the Echo app!

Google Nest

Another great option for those who enjoy the google specific devices! Google Nest Devices enable your computer, phone, and other devices to connect, cast, and manage your home and gadgets using the Google Home app!

Lights & Ambiance

We’ve all seen the elaborate Pintrest boards filled with amazingly colorful, ambient spaces! It’s all done through the power of smart lights! Here are some of the best brands out there to make your space feel cozy and cool!

Philips Hue

Now we come to Smart lights! And Philips Hue is a cut above the competition. With ambient strip lighting, track bulbs and candle bulbs that change color, there are tons of options to choose from. You can fit almost any bulb in your space with a Philips hue! Note, however, that any of their lights will require the Philips Hue Hub in order to effectively work!

Sengled

Not as well known, but a great alternative to brighten your home with! Sengled brand bulbs are bit more affordable and have a great variety of warm, white, and colored lights to choose from! Just like Philips Hue, Sengled brand lights will also require their Sengled Smart Hub.

Home Security

Finally, we come to our home security devices! Perhaps one of the most practical ways to outfit and safeguard your home is through the use of smart security. These nifty eyes in the sky will be able to inform you 24/7 if any and all activities inside the house and on your doorstep. Here are some great one’s we recommend!

Ring

Perhaps the pioneer, if not the ambassador, of smart home security, Ring products provide excellent, user-friendly video doorbells, cameras and security systems that all function from their app. They also offer protection plans to increase the value/benefits of their products!

Nest (from Google)

Fully integrated into the Google ecosystem, Nest products provide indoor/outdoor cameras, locks, and alarms that work hand-in-hand with the google assistant to hold down the fort while you’re home or away.

Arlo

Not as well known, but a great universal smart security system to own. Arlo products pride themselves on their wireless, clear HD video cameras and doorbells! Keep your options open and compare prices to determine your best fit for smart home security!

And there you have it, You now have all the information you need to start investing and developing your own smart space. We’ve only scratched the surface! Smart vacuums, light switches, sockets, A/C’s and TV’s are just the beginning of it! But we hope you leave this post with the tools to make a more informed decision for yourself and for your home!