Home improvements the smart way

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Opinion

UK online electrical wholesaler TradeSparky, highlights some key areas of a customer’s household where smart technology could be recommended. Happy home, happy client.

Renovating a room or home isn’t just about the aesthetics. It is also about functionality. A property may look perfect, but if there are any day-to-day niggles or gripes (the light switch is in an inconvenient place, a certain room is always cold) this will diminish the enjoyment of the occupants living there.  

In terms of functionality, layout remains very important in terms of switches and power points for lighting and appliances, but this isn’t quite as vital with the introduction of smart technology. Also, any equipment which can be introduced to potentially save costs and help the environment, can only be a good thing. 

Lighting

Smart technology can help with various aspects of functionality with regards to lighting, including voice activation and automatic timing through to creating different moods via dimming or even changing colour. 

Lighting can be manipulated for everything from creating the perfect scary atmosphere for watching Halloween XIII, to maximising children’s concentration whilst doing their homework. These functions can be achieved as a result of different technologies. Smart bulbs, switches, hubs and plugs, or a combination, can all be used to create the desired effects. 

There are many starter kits available on the market, some of which need to be fitted by a professional, and provide the ability to control the lighting in a room via a hub using a remote or smartphone app.  

Heating and ventilation 

Smart thermostats not only provide greater control over the heating and hot water, but can also automatically adjust to specific preferences, and potentially improve efficiency as well. 

One popular brand claims their product can save you up to 31% on your heating bill! Depending on the model purchased, there is the potential ability to control the heating through an app on a smartphone and/or through a voice controlled hub such as an Amazon Alexa. Some of these systems need a professional installation. 

A decent smart thermostat with all the functionality outlined above currently retails for approximately £200. This isn’t particularly cheap, but when you consider the flexibility and potential to save money on monthly heating costs it is a worthwhile investment for your customers. 

Some products can even be set up so that they detect when no-one is in, so that they don’t heat up an empty home. Similarly, app controlled ventilation systems are also available which can be set to automatically switch on whenever somebody enters the room. 

Security 

There are many ways in which smart technology can help maximise the security of a home. Automated lighting has already been mentioned, but there are also smart cameras, door locks and door bells to help protect the home from intruders (or just to spy on the kids!). 

Indoor/outdoor cameras are now incredibly sophisticated and all of the features listed below are readily available:

  • Wireless units providing the ability to monitor every aspect of the home
  • Two-way video and audio
  • Cloud video recording
  • Motion sensors and night vision
  • Phone alerts when activated

 

Smart door locks can be set to unlock when occupants are in close proximity of them in case their hands are full, or to only unlock for a set period of time, and can even spare them from the task of wandering around the house checking it is secure before bed. Alexa can simply be asked to lock all the doors! 

Entertainment 

Installing a multi-room speaker system and smart hubs within the home will allow the user to simply ask for the music they want to listen to at the required volume. 

Speakers can also be zoned, so that their favourite bands will follow them around the house as they carry out their choruses and will even stretch to the garden if desired.

What could be better than rocking out to K-pop whilst pegging out pop socks? For true aficionados, more sophisticated systems can even automatically tune the sound depending on the acoustics of each room for the perfect listening experience. 

Extra appliances 

As well as smart technology to improve the room itself, there are also many smart appliances on the market to make day-to-day living just that little more joyous. 

These include everything from coffee machines that you can turn on via an app (either before getting out of bed or arriving home) to a fridge whose contents can be examined from your smartphone. 

So, the next time a customer says, ‘I wish I could...’, Google it. You never know a smart application may already exist to make their wish come true.