Smart home systems have really risen in popularity over the past few years. This is partly due to the fact that some major brands are all getting in on the action and competing to make the best product. But does your home actually need one and do potential buyers even care? What are the benefits, and are they worth the cost? To help you make a decision, here is everything you need to know about smart home systems.
What Is a Smart Home System?
For starters, it’s important to understand what a smart home system actually does. A smart home system aims to make life easier around the home, either by automating certain processes and by allowing you to control things by your voice or through the Internet. With a smart home system you can do things like play music, control the temperature of your home, order household supplies, or adjust the lights.
Who Makes Smart Home Systems?
There are three major brands competing to sell you a smart home system – they are Google, Apple and Amazon. Each one of these products is different, coming with its own positives and negatives. If you decide you want to get a smart home system for your home, you’ll have to decide which of these products best fits your needs.
First up there is the Google Assistant. This device is based on the Google Assistant you’ll find on many smartphones, and allows you to do things like search the Internet, play music from your library, or read items from your calendar. The big advantage that Google provides is that it can sync seamlessly with your other Google devices, which is perfect for anyone who already owns one of these. On top of that, the Internet search function, while available in other brands, tends to be better on the Google device, as Google is the most popular search engine.
Your second option is the Apple HomeKit. Other smart home devices can connect to third-party systems that allow you to control things around your home – such as your lights or thermostat. The Apple HomeKit aims to make this process easier by bringing all of your home automation apps into one place. If you like using Siri and other Apple devices, this is a good option to consider.
Finally, there’s the Amazon Alexa. Amazon Alexa is great if you use Amazon a lot, and want to be able to order products with just the sound of your voice. With Alexa, you can install new “skills”, expanding its abilities. More skills are being added all the time, meaning Alexa keeps improving. If you use Amazon a lot, and have some of their other products like the Fire TV, consider this option.
Should I Get a Smart Home System?
Ultimately, this decision comes down to how much you’re willing to pay for convenience. Do you want the ability to adjust the temperature of your home while you’re on your way home from work? Or how about the ability to turn on the lights before you arrive home? Do you like the idea of being able to play music throughout your home with just the sound of your voice, or ordering paper towels when you’re about to run out? Or do you want to use Rachio to control your sprinklers through your smart home system. If you answered yes to any of these questions, a smart home system may be right for you.
Take some time to explore the options available to you, and weigh the costs. Keep in mind that if you want to control things around the home, such as the lights or temperature, you’ll need some additional hardware in order to make it happen. When you purchase a smart home system like Alexa or the Google Assistant, you are getting the ability to control your home, not all of the hardware needed to do it.
Hopefully this guide was able to answer some questions for you on whether or not you should get a smart home system. As time goes on, more and more homes are going to start using these systems, so it’s a good time to consider whether they are right for you.