Make your house a smart home before your next holiday.
Ever left home on a road trip and an hour in, wondered if you’d left a light on? Well, worry no more because these days there are a host of smart home devices that can let you control a heap of gadgets in your house from anywhere in the world with an Internet connection. Here are a few aspects of your home that you can automate, so you can enjoy a stress-free getaway.
If you want mum or a neighbour to pop in from time to time while you’re away to water your pot plants or feed your goldfish, then an easy-to-install smart lock is a product that offers welcome peace of mind. Smart locks can be opened with digital keys shared through the app. Track exactly who has come and gone, as well as provide emergency access if necessary from anywhere in the world. If your parents aren’t tech savvy, don’t worry - there are physical fobs you can hand them that can be programmed to open multiple smart locks in your house.
If your plan is to rent out your home whilst you’re on holiday through a holiday accommodation site, then digital keys could make life a whole lot easier, allowing guests access only for the duration of their booking. Virtual keys can’t be easily copied, unlike the physical version, so you won’t ever have to worry about changing the locks if a guest loses their smartphone or your key.
An upgrade to the smart lock is already available in the US. This takes intelligent doorware one step further by letting you lock or unlock your door from anywhere in the world, provided you have access to mobile data. It’s even compatible with smart home assistants. So if you’re one of those people who can never remember if they’ve locked the front door, then this is definitely something you can look forward to in the future.
Should you wish to keep an eye on your property, security cameras have come a long way, with affordable indoor and outdoor models available that deliver high-resolution 1080p live video on demand and non-stop recording. Some even offer motion and sound sensors, time-lapse video, two-way audio, and both local storage as well as free cloud recording.
If an intruder enters your home you’ll know about it straight away - with a push notification sent to your smartphone and the video recorded ready for you to hand over to your home insurance company and police.
Gone are the days when you’d have to leave your lights on all night to keep intruders out, or painstakingly schedule individual lights to turn on or off while you’re not at home. Advances in home automation technology mean you can remotely access your lighting from any data-enabled device, so you can create the impression that someone is home even when you’re on the other side of the city, country or even the world.
In the past decade, LEDs in particular have become the stars of the bulb world, by proving themselves incredibly cost-effective to run and able to last for years. The latest ranges come in an assortment of different colours - 16 million to be exact - and you can use apps to set timers, create ambience with different hues, dim the lights, as well as switch them on or off from wherever you happen to be. The system works with all popular home control apps so you can control it with your thumb and even your voice.
The final word
When you’re on the road and your house is unattended the last thing you want to be thinking about is whether your property is safe and secure. Using smart home technology, you can be more confident that everything will be just as you left it when you get back.
The smart home market is set to come of age in the coming years, so what you have to look forward to is ever-improving technologies that will make your house a better place to live. Who knows...maybe one day there’ll even be an app that can organise your holidays for you!