How to Set Up a Smart Home – A Quick and Easy Guide

A smart home is one with a collection of appliances that can be controlled remotely or automated. Imagine a home that lets you unlock your door with your print. As you step in, the lights come on and the temperature is just as you like it because the air conditioner came on 10 minutes before you’re due to get home.

We’re in an era where almost every electronic appliance claims to be smart. In truth, these devices make our lives easier. However, when it comes to integrating them for home automation, it’s a different ball game. So, to avoid any frustrations, we’ll tell you how to set up a smart home.

Smart homes are now popular and brands in the industry are making things so easy almost anyone can set them up. With your smartphone or voice commands, you can control a number of compatible gadgetries in your home.

According to alarms.org, 57% of Americans say that smart products save them about 30 minutes every day.

That’s about a week and a half every year. What would you do with the reclaimed time?

More people are getting smart products and about 70% of those who already own one are looking to get another. So, it’s safe to say the smart home craze is going in only one direction: up.

Set Up a Smart Home: Laying the Foundation

There are smart home devices, such as Nest or Ring, that have their own apps that let you control them. There are others that use a more generic wireless protocol, such as Z-Wave or Zigbee, to connect with a smart hub.

These smart hubs allow you to centrally control all connected smart devices. Popular examples of such hubs are Samsung Smart Things and Wink (more on these later).

Although there are brands that offer the best of both worlds. These ones let you use their apps to control an individual device or use a larger platform that serves as a hub.

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Finally, there are platforms, such as the Apple HomeKit, that limits the device you can connect to it. You can only connect other Apple devices to it.

We know this might feel like a lot, but don’t worry, we’ve got you. To make things easier, we’ll break the entire smart home setup into manageable chunks. Sounds like a good idea, yeah?

The easiest way to get started

When it comes to choosing among multiple options, as you’ll encounter with smart home devices, it’s best to be clear on what you need. This will help you narrow things down by a lot.

Once you have that covered, we suggest you start off with 2 to 3 smart home devices. Your needs will help you decide which areas of your home you’ll get those devices for. As you get used to these few, you can expand to other areas.

Here’s a pro tip: whichever device you choose to go for, ensure it is as widely compatible as possible. That way, you can easily expand the set up of your smart home without fear of compatibility issues.

Below are some of the popular smart home device category you might like to choose from.

Smart thermostats

These lets you control the heating and cooling of your home. The variants of smart thermostat allow you to automate it or control it remotely such that it can heat and cool depending on the time of the day.

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One cool thing about them is that you can set it such that the temperature is ideal by the time you get home. Ecobee and Nest are some of the major manufacturers of smart thermostats.

Some models of Ecobee even come with multiple sensors so you can place them in different areas of the house. That way, you can check the temperatures in different rooms in your home.

Smart lighting

Research shows that the amount and type of lighting directly affect concentration, mood, and appetite. Wouldn’t it be nice to have smart bulbs in your home?

Those such as the Philips Hue allows you to set the brightness and color of the light. That way, you can adjust the bulbs to match or improve your mood.

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That’s not all, smart lights also allow you to control an individual or a collection of the bulbs. You can also turn them on or off with different triggers.

If it’s going to be too much changing your bulbs, there’s an alternative: smart switches! These ones can control your built-in light in all sorts of cool ways.

Cameras and doorbells

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You probably have come across these before as they’re that popular. Smart doorbells have integrated cameras that let you know who’s at the door. That way, you can decide if you’re home or not.

Some of these smart doorbells have motion sensors and can start recording footage that store directly in the cloud. This is great for home security.

There are models with 2-way audio that lets you speak with the person at the door and hear them.

For times you’re truly not home, your doorbell will alert you of movement in front of your door and can even show you what’s going on.

Door locks

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Smart doors are sleek. There are some you can lock and unlock from your smartphone. You can also give someone else temporary access.

If you don’t live alone, some locks allow for multiple passwords unique to each member of the household, this one from Alfred does that. There are also variants that let you unlock with your fingerprint.

Security cameras

Wiring your home with camera installation is not all there is to securing your home. You can go the smart way which includes, motion sensors, sirens, door sensors, etc.

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There are full suite smart security packages that monitor your home for break-ins. Some of them, such as this one from Abode, allow you to closely monitor your security with a link to emergency services. The best part yet, there’s no monthly subscription involved.

TV and remote controllers

We know TVs are now smart. But what about remote controllers? This Logitech Harmony remoter control is like a magic wand. It can control Nest Learning Thermostat and Philips Hue Lights.

Logitech Harmony Elite Remote Control, Hub and App

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You can also integrate it with Amazon’s Alexa to issue voice commands when you don’t want to stain the remote with potato chip grease. Try not to speak with a mouthful.

Miscellaneous

There are many other smart devices you can get for your home. The list is quite long and we can state them all here.

What if we told you there are smart sprinklers that will spray your lawn at preset times or based on the weather.

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What about kitchen appliances that can start brewing your coffee 5 minutes before you usually grab a cup and dash out for the day?

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Window shades that open and close at the touch of a button. A smart refrigerator that can tell you when its content will expire.

There are lots of smart devices you can choose from. As we mentioned above, work off your needs so you don’t get overwhelmed by the sheer number of options.

Controlling Your Smart Devices

As you have fun with your new smart devices and hopefully acquire more, you’d have noticed its extra work controlling everything independently.

It’s probably time to get a smart home hub that’ll allow you to control multiple smart devices from one place.

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Smart home hubs

This is where we talk about the Samsung Smart Things and the Wink Hub. These two are the most popular ones. They both offer easy to use interfaces but the Samsung option is more powerful. They also both work well on Android and iOS.

Since they are a smart hub, it only makes sense that both have compatibility with a wide range of smart devices. It’s likely your smart devices of choice will integrate well with either of them.

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However, to be on the safe side, it’s important to check for compatibility before making any ‘smart purchase’.

Google Home and Amazon Echo also have a wide range of smart device compatibility. If you ask us, we’ll say you can get either of these for the voice control part. Wouldn’t you like to control your lights or robot vacuum with voice commands?

best smart home hubs
Google Shop

If you’d like to have a voice assistant with a visual control, Google Home Hub and Amazon Echo Show. You can view the feed from your security cameras or check the status of your thermostat on them.

One more thing, don’t try to set up your smart home all at once. That’s why we suggested you start with the ones you need. That way, you won’t go with the rave and get a bunch of devices you won’t fully optimize.

Smart devices can become frustrating if you don’t get them right. The last thing you want is getting triggered by something that should make your life easier.

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Conclusion

It’s great to have a smart home. It makes everything better and, of course, cool. Setting up your smart home is best done gradually. Another reason that’s the way to go is that the smart device’s landscape changes really fast. Don’t rush things, especially with devices you really don’t need. If you follow our suggestions, you won’t run into problems and soon enough, your home will become futuristic. We’re not promising The Jetsons level though.

Thank you for your time. If you find value in this post don’t keep it to yourself, share with loved ones. To learn more about smart homes, browse through our site.