Building a smart home is an exciting adventure, a way to add the most up-to-date technology and design a place just for you. Lights are turned on whenever you want, in the colors you prefer, favorite music is played in rooms, digital helpers know when it’s time to go to work – and the best route – and locks and sensors keep an eye on you while you sleep , whether you are a night owl or an early riser.
As you begin your adventure, this guide will help you decide what kind of smart home you want. We guide you through decisions you need to consider before you start buying your very first IoT device, from the kind of voice assistant you want to talk to on a daily basis to the best devices to consider considering your budget.
Once you’ve got your ball bearings, you can go over to our guide to smart home products, details on all kinds of connected devices you might be thinking of adding from smart locks to lights to security.
At GearBrain, we are happy to help you build your new smart home. Let’s get started.
Today, the homeowner has so much to choose from when it comes to choosing the right smart home solution. They also need help understanding how all this technology works to determine which products / services you need. We have put together a list of articles that we know can help you understand the basics of building a smart home solution:
Smart Home systems
Learn how your smart home works, including the way all of these products speak to each other
Want to buy your first smart device but do not know where to start? These are the guides for you, overviews of what to consider before buying a connected device or product. In other words, read these first before clicking ‘buy’ or go to the store:
Smart Home Guide for Renters
Do you live in an apartment? There are plenty of smart home devices you can use
If you are a tenant, you probably have less control over what you can do inside your home. (Landlords can be like that. We understand that.) But that does not mean that you will be left out of this smart home revolution. There are plenty of units you can add to your rented space, and we have some guides that focus on exactly you and your requirements:
You can buy the best smart home devices even if you are monitoring your budget
See, we get it: Smart home devices can be added, and sometimes we get overwhelmed by what we need to buy first, or what kind of budget we need to set aside to get started. Fortunately, there are options for every budget, whether you have a $ 100 or $ 1,000. These guides can give you some suggestions on where to start, no matter how much you want to spend initially:
Smart Home Hubs
Hubs help smart devices talk to each other and then to you
Many smart home appliances need a hub to connect to the internet and then to each other. While not everyone does, it is good to understand which brands are more dependent on these than others. We run through what hubs you may need and to learn if this is something you may need at home:
You can now control devices inside your home just with your voice
More connected devices are coming to the market that can be controlled just with your device. This could be Amazon’s Alexa, Google Assistant or even Apple’s Siri. You can definitely control our thoughts on this way of controlling our home through our piece, Voice is the new app. But we also encourage you to look at the various digital assistants, what they can do, and which one you might think you prefer. What’s the key here is that you probably choose one and then build your smart home around the specific digital assistant. So it is good to understand how they work and which one fits best into your life before you start buying many units for your new smart home.
Alexa is Amazon’s digital assistant, and here you can use it to manage your home
Alexa is Amazon’s friendly digital assistant and tied to the Amazon ecosystem, which also includes Ring Video Doorbells. Here are a few guides that will walk you through some of Alexa’s better known products and how it worked:
Google Assistant is Google’s digital assistant
Google’s digital assistant is simply called Google Assistant, and there are also countless devices that this voice AI controls. Here are just a few devices that work with Google Assistant along with guides on how to operate them:
Apple Voice Assistant Siri can help you run your smart home devices
Those who own an iPhone, Apple Watch, Mac or MacBook are very (very) familiar with Apple’s Siri. But the digital assistant can also help operate smart home products. The cornerstone of Apple’s smart home plan is the HomePod, it’s a smart speaker. Apple’s push to get Siri into more homes continues, and for those Mac users who find themselves leaning toward Siri, we have a series of guides to help you understand what the voice assistant can do:
Microsoft’s Cortana is a smart assistant that also works with smart home products
Microsoft has a voice assistant named Cortana. It is not so prevalent in the smart home, although it is well known among Microsoft and Windows users. Here are some details about Cortana and how the digital assistant engages in connected products.
Before you start buying smart devices, make sure that the key products your eye sees work together
One of the biggest challenges you face when building a smart home is finding the devices that are compatible with each other. There is nothing worse than going out and buying a device and coming home and finding out that it is not working with your current device or system. GearBrain is here to solve this problem with our new smart home compatibility check called GearBrain. Using GearBrain, you can find all the compatible devices that work with a particular smart device, like Google Home or Amazon Alexa. Here is a list of just some of the connected devices, you can see which devices work with them:
As you add security to your technical devices, consider making sure your smart home products are also secure
Finally, one of the biggest concerns among consumers today is the security of their new devices. According to a recent study by Houzz.com, they found that more than half of the respondents in their survey would not buy a smart home appliance because they had security issues. Here are two articles to help you understand more about IoT (Internet of Things) security and ways to protect your newly connected devices:
Smart homes can drive the way you live in the 21st century
We hope these guides are helpful and prepare you for the next step in building your smart home. Although many of the new connected devices entering the smart home market may not be ready for prime time, we are very bullish on the market outlook. As more consumers understand how all of these new devices work and decide which ones are right for them, we expect to see a big increase in adoption. We look forward to joining you in your new journey of building the right smart home for you.
If you need help installing one of these Smart Home systems or products, You can visit HomeAdvisor.com to find a local trusted professional.