A few decades back, smart homes were something which you could only see in sci-fi movies. But, technology progressed at a rapid rate.
And now here we are. Smart homes made possible which were previously seen in sci-fi movies. The smart home technology industry is growing every single year and smart devices are getting better and better.
More people are turning their traditional homes into smart homes because of the benefits associated with it. But there are also some drawbacks associated with smart homes. If you plan on buying or turning your traditional home into a smart home.
Here are the advantages and disadvantages of smart home you need to know about before making that decision.
What Is A Smart Home and Home Automation (Domotics)?
A smart home is simply a home that has smart devices installed. These smart devices are either interconnected or standalone devices that automate certain tasks in your home. The automation of these tasks is what is called home automation or domotics.
A home automation system manages the majority of the tasks in the home. From switching on the lights, fingerprint door locks, adjusting the thermostat temperature, smart smoke detectors, smart refrigerators etc.
These are a few examples of smart devices making use of the home automation system. Some homes even come pre-installed with smart devices. This increase the overall living and comfort in your home.
There are so many things a smart home can automate and control provided you have the right devices installed. And it doesn’t end there, you can extend the benefits of having a smart home to your car making it a smart car.
The main reason why smart homes are called smart is because of how the devices communicate with each other and flawlessly execute those tasks.
The devices are connected to a hub and your smartphone. It is through these devices that you can control and change the settings of the smart devices. You can also receive notifications when something goes wrong in your home.
Advantages of a Smart Home and Home Automation (Domotics)
As you can already see owning a smart home or turning your home into home carries a lot of benefits. And it will continue to grow as the technology gets better and better. Here are a few advantages of owning a smart home.
You Can Customize Your Home
Smart home and home automation allow you to customize your home to your technological taste. You can customize your lights to show different colours depending on the time of day.
You can remove the need for wall switches because the lights will be automated. The curtains will automatically draw or close when the sun is up or down.
The customizations are endless depending on your imagination and the smart devices.
The number one and advantage of why smart homes are becoming popular is because of the convenience they bring. If you have a smart home and you pull up to the house. The garage door or gate opens for you.
This can be done automatically or by sending a command to the smart device in charge of that. Talk about convenience!!! You don’t even have to get down.
And it doesn’t end there. Smart vacuum cleaners that clean your home around the clock keeping it clean. Smart thermostats that adjust the temperature during the day.
Doors automatically open or close when you are close by. Some even have fingerprint scanners. You don’t have to sleep outside just because you misplaced your keys. These are just a few conveniences smart devices and home automation brings to your home.
It’s Efficient And Saves Energy
There have always been times where we forget to put off the gas, lights, adjust the thermostat etc. You know those things which can easily escape your memory. Only to realise at work or some other place you forgot to do those.
And when the bill finally comes it’s more than you expect. Yes, it happens to the best of us because we are all human. Well, it doesn’t happen in a smart home.
A smart thermostat can automatically adjust the temperature at the right time. Smart lights turn off the lights when you are not in the room or on when you enter a room. You can schedule smart plugs to turn on or off devise.
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As time goes on some of the smart devices that have artificial intelligence learn from your routines. You can also program smart devices. These leads to efficiency and energy savings. Since the smart devices automatically turn on or off depending on the program settings.
Safety And Security
Smart homes add an extra layer of safety and security. The installation of smart security cameras allows you to view your home from anywhere in the world. This becomes super important when there is a break-in and you trying to identify the perpetrator.
As mentioned above, smart door locks have fingerprint scanners and some go as far as having a camera. Since fingerprints are unique amongst human beings.
No one can open the door without your fingerprints and permission. You can also record and view people who stand in front of your door with the help of smart doorbells.
Smart smoke detectors are also able to detect the slightest change in the atmosphere and can even tell you where the problem is.
What makes the smart devices so great at security and safety is the notifications. You are sent alerts when a potential problem is detected. Because of this you immediately know what is happening and can take immediate action before the problem escalates.
Increases The Property Value Of Your Home
Believe it or not. Owning a smart home or turning a home into a smart one increases its property value.
Because having a smart home comes with a lot of benefits – convenience, increased safety and security etc. This turns the property into a modern tech home and high value one.
You Save Time
Automating certain home tasks saves time. Which one do you think will be faster? An automated garage door or you getting down, opening the garage and getting back inside your car. You already know the answer.
When you take the amount of time saved for each task it might not seem a lot. But, put all the tasks together and you quickly notice the amount of time you save in a day. This allows you to pursue more important things.
Disadvantages of a Smart Home and Home Automation
Nothing is perfect in the technological world. And this applies to smart home technology. Even with all its awesome benefits. It has its drawbacks.
Buying a smart home or turning a traditional home into a smart home is expensive. Depending on how many smart devices you buy and how good the technology is. You can easily spend above USD1,000.
A single smart plug costs between USD9.99 – 29.99. Most smart hubs costs above USD100. And that’s to name just a few. There are more expensive smart devices like the smart refrigerator which costs above USD1000.
You have to be ready to spend above USD1000 if you want to completely turn your home into a smart home. If you don’t have that amount of money you can slowly introduce smart devices into your home. This at least keeps costs down.
Although it’s expensive it increases the property value of your home. Which is great if you are looking to sell shortly.
Learning and understanding how to use smart devices are important. Because without the knowledge and understanding your home can’t truly be smart.
It’s this reason why there are companies and experts that install and set-up smart devices. The learning curve is not steep but you will do a fair amount of research and learning. If you want to install the smart devices yourself.
Even with all that knowledge. There will be certain times where you have to call an expert if you encounter a problem. The learning curve also depends on how far you want to customize the home automation.
Complex home automation will require a far greater understanding of smart devices than simple home automation. So this all depends on far you want to customize your smart home.
Smart Devices Can Be Hacked
Believe it or not, smart devices can be hacked compromising your safety and security. Smart devices use the internet to communicate with each other. And devices are vulnerable to cyber-attack when connected to the internet.
This vulnerability is more pronounced when manufacturers stop rolling out software updates or no longer produce or support that device. Once your smart devices have been hacked. Your safety and security are no longer assured.
The hackers can monitor your every movement through the security camera. And when you are not around they can enter your home and steal your things. Worse of all they can steal your passwords and get access to your accounts.
This happens without you knowing and by the time you realise, it’s already too late. There is always a chance of your smart devices being compromised.
Big Tech Are Listening
Ever mentioned something to someone and later see an ad of it on your phone? That’s big tech listening and smart devices are not exempted. Manufacturers that make smart homes can have access without your knowledge.
It’s already known that Amazon and Google voice assistants are listening to your every conversation. Not only do they listen to your conversations they also record them. It’s like having a spy in your own home.
And it is a serious privacy issue. So unless you greatly value your privacy. Having such devices are a privacy concern.
Are Smart Homes and Home Automation A Good Idea Overall?
Those are the pros and cons of owning a smart home. All that is left with is if smart homes are a good idea. Owning a smart home that automates all the mundane tasks is a great thing. As time goes more tasks are going to be automated thanks to smart devices getting better and better.
And this is a great thing especially if you have elderly people in your home. And more important if they live alone. Because elderly people have old and frail bodies moving around is difficult.
Their memory also fails them most of the time. A smart home makes things easier for them since the easily forgettable tasks are automated.
Another reason why having a smart home is a good idea is when you live alone. You can easily customize your home to your taste and get rid of annoying tasks which are automated by the system.
Overall, owning a smart home is a good idea. But, to know if it is a great idea. You have to carefully look at your living conditions and home routine. Understanding these two will let you know if owning a smart home is worth it or not.
One more thing. If you take your privacy seriously then it will be best to avoid certain smart home devices like the security cameras and smart voice assistants. You might also be better off without having any smart devices in your home.