At one point, the idea of a smart home seemed impossible and only existed within the realms of sci-fi films and TV. Now, however, more and more people are beginning to embrace the idea of a smart home and, with new smart devices being released all the time, it has become easier than ever to automate your home.
What is a smart home?
A smart home is a residence that uses a variety of internet connected devices to enable the remote monitoring and management of different appliances and systems, such as lighting, heating and security.
What are the benefits of a smart home?
Smart homes provide an array of benefits to homeowners including greater energy efficiency, lower running costs and improved safety and security.
However, the biggest advantage to homeowners comes in the form of convenience. The myriad of smart devices on offer allows homeowners to automate almost any task including adjusting the temperature, opening and closing windows or blinds, making coffee and playing music.
How to automate your home
Automating your home is now easier than ever, yet there are a few things you must bear in mind before you go out and buy your first smart heater or Alexa controlled lightbulb – the main one being compatibility.
It’s essential that your smart devices are compatible with each other to allow you to automate routines and avoid having to manage several apps and smart home assistants. For this you will require a ‘smart home ecosystem’ which is one place that all your devices can connect to.
Currently there are four main ‘ecosystems’ to choose from – Apple’s HomeKit, Amazon’s Alexa, Google Home and Samsung SmartThings. Most devices will be compatible with multiple ecosystems but it is always best to check beforehand.
Living room smart devices
Once you have chosen your ecosystem it’s time to begin automating your home, and what better place to start than the living room.
There’s an array of different living room smart devices and accessories for you to choose from including TV’s, lamps/overhead lights and even ceiling fans. With such a wide range of options we have narrowed down our top picks for living room automation.
Smart TV’s – A smart TV is a must in any smart home and most modern TV’s will now come with some sort of smart features including the ability to connect to Netflix, Amazon Prime and more, and you can always improve the effectiveness of a smart TV with additional accessories such as a Chromecast or smart remote.
Smart Heating – Whilst we may be a bit bias, smart heating is becoming more and more popular everyday and can be a life saver in the winter months as you can always come home to a warm house.
There are a range of different smart heating options available, including built in and portable options, as well as more energy efficient smart heaters that offer an increased level of sustainability.
Smart Lighting – It would be hard to leave smart lighting off our list and voice activated lightbulbs are often the first stepping stone into home automation and are, therefore, a must have in any smart living room.
Kitchen smart devices
Automation options in the kitchen seem to be more limited than the living room with the main options revolving around lighting and heating. However, we have seen plenty of smart appliances available that are designed to make cooking a simpler task, including smart meat thermometers, pressure cookers and air fryers as well as motion-controlled taps and sinks.
However, our must have smart kitchen appliance is the smart fridge. Recent advancements in technology now means that smart fridges can do anything from help you keep track of shopping lists, track expiry dates and even keep you entertained whilst cooking with music or TV.
Bedroom smart devices
Smart lighting is a must in the bedroom as being able to turn your lights on and off without having to leave the comfort of your bed is a dream come true, however, smart devices for the bedroom are in no short supply with a range of useful devices and gadgets on offer.
Smart Curtains/Blinds – Automating your curtains or blinds can be done in any room of the house but waking up to natural light in a morning and saving the hassle of finding the right cord for your blinds make them one of our top bedroom smart devices.
Smart Speakers – Whilst you may have smart speakers throughout the house, having one in the bedroom to help control the TV, play music or set an alarm is paramount and many smart speakers now come with a morning routine option that lets you know the weather and morning news before you even get out of bed.
Smart Space Heaters – Similar to a smart speaker, this option isn’t bedroom specific but there is nothing worse than a cold bedroom in the winter months and having a stand-alone smart heater allows you to get the sleep you deserve by always creating the perfect ambient temperature.
Other smart devices
Our list of smart home devices for each room of the home is far from comprehensive and, with new devices being released every year, it can be hard to keep up to date with all the latest options. Luckily, we have compiled a list of other smart devices ideal for helping automate different parts of your home.
If you are looking to begin turning your house into a smart home you could consider the following:
- Smart alarms/security camera
- Smart vacuum cleaners
- Smart ovens/microwaves
- Smart toilets
- Smart coffee makers
- Smart rubbish bins
Ultimately, it’s up to you to decide how you begin your home automation journey and the constant influx of new and innovative smart home devices will allow you to create your dream smart home in no time at all.
Get Smart with Rio Heating
If you’re in the market for a smart heater and want something that’s modern and sleek with built in smart features, our Rio ECO and Rio Arc are just that! Our smart WiFi heaters are sophisticated pieces of tech which you can control from a range of digital assistants and of course, your phone, anywhere, anytime.