From light bulbs that change to suit your mood to turning on your favourite movie with just your voice, smart technology can help you to transform your home. With each gadget bringing you one step closer to your perfect smart home, it’s worth keeping a few simple rules in mind when buying or installing your new tech.
DO: Remember the Basics
You will need a home Wi-Fi internet connection to get the best from most smart devices. Each device will need to be connected to the Wi-Fi so be sure you know your password. A good tip is to write it down on a card or save it in your phone’s notes, so you don’t find yourself turning the router upside down to take a blurry picture every time you get a new device.
You’ll also need to have your smartphone or tablet handy to set up your smart devices. They are also used to control most devices on your network. Smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Home can be used independently of a smartphone or tablet but they do need to be set up on your Apple or Android device too.
DON’T: Be Afraid of Your Tech
Installing and using smart devices won’t be nearly as big a challenge as learning to use your laptop or first smartphone
While you may have settled into a connected life full of gadgets and gizmos, it’s natural to be afraid you will ‘break’ your new devices by pressing the wrong button or saying the wrong command. Trust us: you won’t.
One piece of advice hasn’t changed over the years - if you get a little lost, you can always turn your device off and back on again.
DO: Think Big
Using your imagination to envision what you eventually want from your smart home is a great idea. Whether you fancy living as a real-life Jetson family or you just want to set your lights to turn on and off while you’re on holiday, it’s important to have a goal in mind. This will help you to plan your purchases and set up your non-smart appliances or furniture to fit around your smart life.
Remember, you can buy smart devices individually and grow your perfect setup over time. So, when you set your goal, why not think big?
DON’T: Forget to Look Around Your Home for Smart Appliances You Already Own
While you are roaming around imagining your perfect smart home, it’s worth checking for smart appliances you may already own. Television sets made after 2012 are very likely to feature smart functionality as standard. Internet radio sets from the same time period will feature Bluetooth and can be used to play music on other smart devices or listen to your commands through an Amazon Echo Dot or a Google Home smart speaker.
DO: A Little Research
Like any appliance or device, you will have the pick of many brands and models. Some offer value for money, some offer durability and reliability, some offer a range of extra features. You can easily find a mine of information, including unbiased reviews, online. A simple Google or Bing search of “device name” and “Ireland” is a shortcut to average device prices and the real-life user experiences of people just like you.
DON’T: Forget to Add Multi-Adaptors to Your Shopping List
This small but important consideration is often overlooked when adding smart devices to any home network. Your new devices may be competing with existing appliances and devices so picking up inexpensive multi-adaptors will solve any potential problems before they arise.
A multi-adaptor combined with a smart plug is also a clever way to get more from a single smart device. Giving you the power to kill your entertainment centre from afar or just ‘go dark’ at bedtime at the tap of a screen or simple voice command.
So there you have it; some simple advice to work into your smart home journey. All you have to do now is get started.