A connected home should fit in with your lifestyle and make you forget how you ever lived without its being that way. After all, you should feel like home is where you belong.
Here are 3 steps to connect your home to your lifestyle:
- Take inventory
- Log your routine
1. Take inventory
To start, determine what systems you already have in place. Do you have a security system for example? Also take inventory of what types of controls you may already have, e.g. a smartphone or tablet.
By determining what your starting point is, you’ll save time and money, particularly, when you determine what’s compatible with the systems you already have.
One of the toughest decisions is choosing a protocol (e.g. Zigbee or Z-Wave) in order to connect your home. Figuring out which will work with your current devices can speed up the decision-making process.
A smart hub promises to simplify by consolidating multiple gadgets and supporting various wireless standards into one system, but no single hub can talk to all devices, yet.
Next, you need to identify:
- What you’d like to automate
- Which notifications you want to receive
- How you’ll control what you automate
To answer these questions, start by touring your home and logging your routine.
2. Log your routine
Over the course of a week, log the routine of your household to then prioritize your list by identifying what your main activities are at home.
While it’s fun to show off what your gadgets can do, the real goal of a smart home is to connect your home with your routine (like waking up or coming home), speed up conventional processes (like boiling water), and address the activities you often forget (like arming your security system when you go to bed).
Next, tour your home and tally up the areas and items you’d like to connect and control to address the goals.
- Areas you’d like to view remotely
- Thermostat zones
- Entry/exit points
- Plugged in devices
Once you’ve tallied up what you want to control, consider which notifications are most useful or interesting to you. For instance, if you often forget to clean your cat’s litter, then a notification when your cat leaves the litter box is useful to you.
Once you’ve locked down what you want to connect and what notifications to receive, you’re ready to connect your home and figure out how you want to control it. Setting up a connected home takes time and patience, especially since some devices and applications have incomplete installation instructions, resulting in calls with tech support or searching through pages of forums.
The most painless way to connect your home is to contact a home automation specialist to help you create a system that best suits you.