Christmas is increasingly a time when we buy technology, but home automation is for life, so it’s important to select your purchases carefully so that they continue to give you good service long after the festive season is over.
The rise of internet-connected smart devices means there are now many gadgets that you can monitor or control remotely from a computer or smartphone or from a personal assistant or smart hub device like Amazon Echo. If you’re thinking about giving someone a smart home automation device for Christmas, you need to consider how practical it is and whether it’s compatible with other equipment.
A growing area for smart devices is security. You can get systems that allow you to control your garage door from your smartphone so you don’t have to get out of the car in the rain. This is extending to other areas, too, with electronic smart locks now available for your doors, too.
Of course, security devices were among the first to adopt the internet, with IP cameras allowing you to remotely monitor your home or your pets while you’re out or remotely turn lights on and off to make it look as if someone is at home. There are many home automation companies, such as http://digitalinteriors.co.uk, which can help you select the right systems if you’re unsure about what you need.
Dumb and smarter
In many cases, you don’t have to buy a completely new device to make something smart. Adding a smart plug can turn a “dumb” device like a lamp or fan – or even your Christmas lights – into a smart one so that you can control it from you phone or electronic assistant.
Replacing your heating thermostat with a smart version can also make your home smarter by allowing you to control your heating from whichever room you’re in or even turn it down while you’re out to save energy. These systems can also send you alerts when temperatures drop, allowing you to protect your home from frost damage while you’re away.
If you’re just getting started in home automation, a good first step is to buy a hub device and something simple like a couple of smart light bulbs. This allows you to get a feel for how automation works before you buy more complex devices.