5 Tips for creating your Smart Home

What to look for with smart home systems and installations of smart home tech

Picture: Pedro Ribeiro Simões (Flickr)

Picture: Pedro Ribeiro Simões (Flickr)

In 2017, home automation is more obtainable than ever before. And, with both Google Home and Amazon Echo on the horizon, creating a smart home is set to become even more affordable. So, it’s not surprising then, that increasing numbers of Australians are taking the plunge.

However, while the price and ease of installing home automation technologies have come down, there are still a few things of which you need to be aware when creating your smart home. Taking the time to get the basics right will ensure that your smart home is as smart as it can be.

1. Plan out the system you want

Would you like the Imperial March to play every time you open your front door? Or would you prefer to watch your cat play in the living room from the office via your smartphone? Neither? How about the ability to stream to your television, footage of your muffins rising in the oven?

All these things are possible with various smart home technologies such as Bose Wireless Speakers, Creston Home Security Cameras and the June Intelligent Oven, respectively.

The question when creating your smart home isn’t what you can do with home automation, but what you want to do. Setting out a plan before you start purchasing products will ensure you get features which you’ll actually use rather than fancy but forgettable extras.

2. Install appropriate smart wiring and sub-systems

Your smart wiring and sub-systems are the backbone of your smart home. Installed in your walls, they’re what allows all your devices to function together as a whole.

A good example of such an installation is the Clipsal C-Bus Control System. C-Bus is a microprocessor controlled wiring system which can control multiple devices. It is also compatible with many 3rd party systems. So, you can use it to operate lighting, security, entertainment and more.

The ideal time for installing wiring is at the time of construction. If you’re building a new home, be

sure to ask your architect or builder about smart wiring before the walls are plastered over.

3. Do your research and choose the right products

Like all devices, smart home technologies come in a range of types from a variety of brands. And, again, like all devices, some types and brands are better than others.

You should do your research before you implement any system. Because removing and replacing home automation products later can be a costly hassle. Alternatively, you can speak with your home automation installer about which products are best for your smart home plans.

Another thing to remember is that competing brands may not communicate harmoniously. If possible, try to stick to one or two brands for your entire system. For example, if you choose a Sony Full HD SXRD Home Cinema Projector, it may pay to couple it with the Sony Sound Bar system, rather than an equivalent sound setup from Samsung or Panasonic.

4. Connect it all with a fast internet connection

The heart of any smart home is a fast and reliable internet connection. It’s what all your systems will use to function and to communicate with one another.

If you’re going to lash out on one device in your smart home setup, it should be your WiFi router. A good one such as the Ruckus Mediaflex 2825 Multimedia Smart WiFi Router will ensure your system runs smoothly with no slow-down, drop-outs, or unexpected disruptions.

Remember, even the best systems can be brought to their knees by an unreliable or laggy router. In many cases, when people experience an issue with their smart home, it is because of their router.

5. Hire a professional installer

As with all electrical work, the installation of your smart home technologies, sub-systems and smart wiring should be carried out by a licensed professional.

A specialist in home automation will ensure that all components are implemented properly and that different components integrate seamlessly. Involve your installer early on in the process, and they can also advise which products are suitable for your desired outcomes.

If the initial setup is completed properly and appropriate components chosen, then updating and modifying your system in the future shouldn’t be a problem either.

Founded in 2005, Integrated Technologies Australia (ITA) have been helping Australians to make their homes smart for over 10 years.

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