The concept of the “smart home” is clearly gaining in popularity. More people are adding smart technology to their homes as different sales figures have shown. I’ve thought about all the possible benefits a smart home can have and selected the five most important ones, which resulted in this article.
What is a Smart Home?
A smart home is a home that contains smart devices to automate different activities in and around the home.
The smart devices are typically connected to a database and to each other through the internet, also referred to as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Besides being connected a smart device often has different types of sensors to monitor and react to its environment.
1. Saving Time
One of the first benefits that come to mind is the time saved as a result of using smart devices in the home. Some of these devices take over a part or a complete activity. People can reduce the time that they would loose doing activities that they don’t really want to do.
A clear example is a robot vacuum. It is a device that automatically vacuums an appointed area. Aspects like when, how long and at what intensity to vacuum can be programmed beforehand. Some vacuum devices can even empty themselves, which means that they can take over the whole process of vacuuming.
2. Energy Efficiency
A lot of types of smart devices are aimed at using energy more efficiently. This is one of the main benefits in my opinion of having a smart home.
Different smart devices can be combined to monitor energy use and prevent waste over time. By preventing waste you also save money.
Most of the electrical devices in homes are always plugged and simply wasting energy. A smart plug can be used to cut off these devices from using energy when it’s not necessary.
Another example that can save you a lot of energy on the long run is a smart thermometer. These exist in different kinds with different possibilities of programming them to match your energy needs.
3. More Convenience
A clear benefit of having a smart home is the added convenience. Very routine tasks can be automated so you don’t have to constantly do them. All the lights in a home can be put out instantly instead of walking to all the light switches.
Even when you’re not present in the home a lot of activities can be managed from outside. This gives you more options and of course adds to convenience.
4. Possible Health Benefits
Different types of devices are aimed at improving health. This is the most important benefit and area with the most potential as I see it.
Technological innovations are implemented into different types of practical devices regularly. One of these types are health monitoring devices. These devices measure your activities and point out areas of improvement. This can be helpful for people who are more vulnerable to diseases.
Another type are smart air purification devices, which can adjust the humidity and remove harmful substances from the air. Smart air purification devices exist in different shapes and sizes, with often the ability to monitor air quality over time.
Also smart water filter devices are an important category to mention. Especially if you only have access to low quality tap water. Smart water filter devices also exist in different forms with different features. Devices in the higher price category have more advanced features like the ability to program what substances to filter out.
5. Better Security
You can also benefit from better security by integrating smart devices like motion sensors or smart locks into your home.
Motion sensors monitor for unusual activity to detect intruders, when unusual activity is identified the sensor typically sends a message to the owner of the home.
Smart locks make it more difficult to brake in. Some of the available smart locks are installed on top of traditional locks and add an extra security layer.
The main benefits of having a smart home are saving time, energy efficiency, more convenience, possible health benefits and better security. Personally, the possible health benefits and the improved energy efficiency stand out as benefits.
The technology and devices needed require a decent amount of investment. Investing in health and waste prevention can lead to more benefit in the long run. While benefits like saving time and especially convenience don’t really improve the quality of living in a home as I see it.
Besides benefits there are of course also some possible drawbacks. One of these drawbacks is that making a home more connected also makes it more vulnerable to possible “hacking” or cyber attacks. Also with all the available options for devices there can be compatibility issues between devices of different manufacturers.