Let’s get this out of the way: Having a smart home isn’t a necessity. There are obviously many more things a family can spend their time, money, and energy on.
However, we’re not your normal family. Creating a smart home has become kind of a hobby for us, and one that we view as an investment in our family over time.
Here are the guidelines we’re using to direct the course of our smart home project:
What family doesn’t want to add a little more wiggle room to their budget?
While not every product can justify its price, many of the solutions available today can actually pay for themselves and even save you money in the long run. From smart thermostats to LED lightbulbs, spending a little extra now can pay dividends later (and reduce your environmental impact).
I’m delighted by any product that eliminates an annoyance, or makes my day a little easier. We only keep products that simplify common tasks without adding extra steps in the process.
With two young children and a home in the woods, I’m constantly looking for more ways to keep my family safe. Smart locks, motion detectors, and cameras are a good step in that direction.
Additionally, I’ll only install products whose increased functionality is paired with common sense security. Smart locks must contain strong bolts, cameras must be encrypted, etc.
As is obvious to even a casual observer, the smart home market is still in its “wild west” phase. New products, standards, and APIs are a daily occurrence, and no major player has dominated the marketplace yet. This trend will only continue as Apple, Google, and Samsung make their presence increasingly known in the coming months.
With that in mind, I’m especially mindful to look for products that play nice with others. The last thing I want to do is invest in a product or system that is no longer supported a year from now.
Build Something Cool
As any geek will tell you, it’s hard to resist the pull of a shiny new toy. A smart home is especially compelling to our nerdy little family. Who doesn’t want to lock doors with your voice, have lights sync to music, or get cell phone alerts during an attempted break-in?
After decades of science fiction, the smart home is finally in reach.