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How Can I Make My House A Smart Home?

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Have you ever thought that your home was clever? In many ways it really is – it keeps us dry and warm, it is safe from the world outside, and it seems to be cool and warm just when you need it. But what if you wanted to make your house super smart?

There are so many gadgets available these days that will truly transform how we live in our homes, and can easily turn them from comfortable and perfectly acceptable houses into smart homes of the future.

Many of these ideas are already in use in our houses, but we often fail to use them in a smart way. Or they may be ideas of the future that may or may not be useful – but they are certainly fun.

With the above in mind, here’s 7 top tips to take your energy efficient endeavours to the next level…

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Other systems employ a room by room approach, with individual thermostats on each radiator that can be adjusted accordingly. Some of these are completely interactive and can be controlled via an app, while others will need you to press buttons physically on the unit itself

Top Tip No.1: Invest In Thermostats/Heating Timers

Now most of us already have these in our homes and we use them to control our heating and turn it on and off at the times we want. But what if you decided to get really smart about it – what are your options?

You can choose one of these whole house systems such as Nest. This will control the temperature, the timings and even your electrical systems from one device.

This can be controlled via an app from anywhere, so you can turn on your heating when your on your way home to ensure your house is toasty warm, right when you need it.

Other systems employ a room by room approach, with individual thermostats on each radiator that can be adjusted accordingly. Some of these are completely interactive and can be controlled via an app, while others will need you to press buttons physically on the unit itself.

These are excellent, however, if you don’t want a wired system, as they usually run on batteries.

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There are now a number of smart pet cameras designed to allow you to have contact with your pet throughout the day and ensure they are still OK. One, known as Furbo, can even be filled with treats that you can control from your desk at work, one treat at a time

Top Tip No.2: Install Smart Lighting

Ever felt like you need a soft relaxing light in your bedroom, or maybe some bright white task lighting when you’re working? Short of replacing a light bulb, or having a number of different light sources, your options are limited. Well not any more…

The Phillips Ambience lighting kits allows you to use LED bulbs that can produce a range of 16 million different colours, and can be automated to come on at set times.

You can use the bridge unit to have a permanent set up, and then add lamps and candle bulbs for a different look. The system also works with the home assistants mentioned above.

Top Tip No.3: Pamper Your Pets With The Latest Technology

Most of us have to head out of the house each day to work (not really a smart thing to do, but work is still traditional in that way) so we are forced to leave our pets at home alone.

There are now a number of smart pet cameras designed to allow you to have contact with your pet throughout the day and ensure they are still OK.

One, known as Furbo, can even be filled with treats that you can control from your desk at work, one treat at a time. The microphone, camera and speaker will allow you to watch your pet, hear them, and talk to them, and then if they are being good, you can give them a treat as well.

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In theory, smart meters ensure your gas and electricity usage is automatically sent back to your supplier, ensuring accurate bills and easy operation of your account. You can also see how much you have used, and the subsequent cost in real time

Top Tip No.4: Use A Smart Meter To Control Costs

You have probably already been asked by your energy company to have one of these installed, and might be wondering if it really is a smart idea.

In theory, the way these work is that your gas and electricity usage is automatically sent back to your supplier ensuring accurate bills and easy operation of your account. You can also see how much you have used, and the subsequent cost in real time.

They can also offer an appliance breakdown to show you how much it costs to do a load of washing, or to have a shower. This is what makes them truly smart – however, standard issue smart meters from your energy company won’t do this.

There is some controversy surrounding these due to the fact that they do not yet have the ability to switch between suppliers. The new generation of smart meters should achieve this, but in the meantime, you will have to change your meter when you change supplier.

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Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Echo. These are the main home control units that can be bought currently, and they all work in a similar way by controlling certain compatible devices and gadgets.  For example, you can tell Alexa (your personal home assistant brought to you by Amazon) to turn up your heating or switch on the lights

Top Tip No.5: Utilise Home Control Systems

Google Home, Apple HomeKit and Amazon Echo. These are the main home control units that can be bought currently, and they all work in a similar way by controlling certain compatible devices and gadgets.

For example, you can tell Alexa (your personal home assistant brought to you by Amazon) to turn up your heating or switch on the lights. As long as the system is connected to something like a Nest system or Hive, it will do so. Or the service will simply interact with you, and answer questions (no matter how silly!).

In time, these devices will interact with more and more gadgets around the home. You might be able to turn on your coffee machine, set the slow cooker, change television channels, and call your kids-all without needing to move from your seat.

Simply speak to the assistant, and it will perform the task for you. It is very smart, but also a little bit lazy!

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Too busy to vaccum? A robot vac may be just what your after. The latest models now feature a range of smarter features to ensure that they get the job done your required standards!

Top Tip No.6: Enlist The Services Of A Robot Vac

If you are busy, or just hate vacuuming, a robot vac might be just what you are looking for. These have been around for a while, but the latest versions have a number of new and smart features that are making them even more useful.

The Dyson 360 Eye for example will work its way around your home, and will navigate its way around obstacles. But best of all, you can schedule it to come on when you are out and when it is done it will simply make its way back to the starting point. Not having to switch it on and off makes it smarter.

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Not only does a camera allow you to record what is going on around your home, it gives you extra security to allow you to see who is at the door, to interact without opening the door and even just the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are recording activities

Top Tip No.7: Seek Out Surveillance Cameras For Extra Security

While we don’t want to admit that we need these things, they can sometimes be a smart choice.

Not only does a camera allow you to record what is going on around your home, it gives you extra security to allow you to see who is at the door, to interact without opening the door and even just the peace of mind that comes from knowing you are recording activities.

The latest and smartest of these cameras will offer HD and digital recordings, motion and sound detection and will work with other devices in your home such as the TV or the fire alarms.

You can usually see the footage from your mobile phone and even talk through speakers in the unit if needed. These cameras will often work with home assistants too.

So maybe you think your home is pretty smart, but does it have all of these gadgets? They are supposed to make life easier, and in many cases, they do. For more top tips on the latest home technology on the market, simply click the button below!