A smart home is a place that has the ability to anticipate your needs and gives you the flexibility to fine-tune your surroundings. This is the pitch when someone asks what a smart home is.
To put every little aspect of a smart home together isn’t a smooth road, but if you were to set it up in the right way, with the right kind of smart devices, there will be a good level of convenience and ease added to your everyday life.
With there being different types of smart home ecosystems and standards to decide from and not forgetting the many choices for smart devices, it may seem daunting to set up a smart home.
In this article, we have decided to put together a smart-home guide to help you understand the many options you have, explain how you can go about it, and highlight the consequences you can expect from your choices.
A little planning will bring you a long way!
First, Choose Your Smart Home Ecosystem
It’s vital to decide on an ecosystem for your smart home before you start shopping for devices. Currently, there are three major ecosystems for you to choose from: Google Nest, Amazon Alexa, and Apple HomeKit.
Today most of us have iPhones, iPads, and Macs at home. In other words, if that’s the case, the latter is the most obvious choice for your household. Whereas, if you are an avid Android user, you might prefer Google’s Nest platform.
Of course, third-party devices tend to offer support for different devices, but if you wanted things to run more smoothly, it’s best to choose one main ecosystem. Here’s a little bit more on the three ecosystems mentioned earlier:
The main strength behind the Nest ecosystem is its voice assistant, Google Assistant. It not only has the ability to respond promptly to voice commands but is extremely smart when it comes to understanding complicated commands.
If you’re using an Android device, it already has Google Assistant built-in. In fact, this way, Google Home is able to offer the user much faster access to smart-home shortcuts.
When it comes to the smart-home industry, Amazon’s Alexa has the most compatible products. Even though its answers might not be accurate all the time, you can ask it anything. Moreover, you can control Alexa through its app on your phone and even use voice commands via it.
In all reality, Apple HomeKit is the most restrictive ecosystem among the three. That said, it’s still the best option for Apple users because it has tighter control and even ensures that you can use it without any hindrances.
There aren’t many HomeKit-supported devices as compared to Google Assistant or Alexa, but some of the major smart-home brands are still being covered, and its platform is the more secured.
Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or Smart Hubs?
Smart-home devices generally offer you three options to connect from Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, or smart hub such as the Philips Hue Bulbs. The best option is indefinitely Wi-Fi, as Bluetooth has far slower connectivity. Whereas, a smart hub offers more stability and reduces congestion. That said, you’ll need an Ethernet port for your router.
Setting Up Smart-Home Devices
Renowned smart-home brands usually offer easy compatibility with the three major ecosystems. For instance, Philips Hue bulbs can be added from both the Apple Home and Google Home apps.
However, this is rather rare. Most smart devices require the user to use a third-party app in order to set up the initial settings, and some even require that for control and configuration. Every smart-home device has its own setup guide.
This setup guide usually directs the user to download the companion app. You might need to enter the device’s serial number or scan its QR code, therefore make sure that you do this before you mount any deice onto the wall or so.
The linking of your devices to the ecosystem might be in the setup process that said, it might not always be this case. You might have to dig into your Google Home or Apple Home settings to manually link the devices to your account.
In most cases, once the devices have been linked, you may never have to use third-party companion apps again, but this ultimately depends on your devices, The Google Home, Apple Home, and Alexa apps usually offer easy setup but it’s advisable to keep their-party apps.
We just shared how all three ecosystems work, their connectivity protocols and how to set up smart-home devices for them. Make sure you have a power surge protector so that if there’s a voltage shift, your devices and appliances are well-protected.