When you talk to most people about the smart devices that they have in their home, or the ones that they are planning on getting, they will likely go on and on about their plans or their current devices and how amazing they are. This is enough to make anyone jealous, and ready to stock their home with the latest smart products, but if you want to be smart about your purchases you will ask yourself a one question before buying anything:
“How will I use the products that I’m buying?”
This is an extremely important question, and one that will dictate exactly what you get for your home. Why do you need to ask this? There are actually a few reasons.
The smart products that you buy will depend on your living situation
It can be very tempting to go out and buy smart devices without thinking about the people living in your home. If you live with roommates or have a family then you will find that they will need to be able to use the smart devices that you install as much as you will, if not more. That means that if you install smart lighting, you need to be able to make sure that everyone is able to use the device, necessitating also installing smart switches and other items, rather than just running the entire system off of your smart phone.
If you live by yourself, you will still need to ask this question, because everyone that visits your home will need access to lights and other assorted smart devices. If you have a camera system, then you may want someone to look in on the cameras if you plan on being away in a location without internet access.
This doesn’t have to be a big process, but just taking a few hours to develop a plan around your specific living situation will save you a huge amount of hassle down the line.
You will want to plan for when you don’t have access to your primary controller
Even if you’ve ultimately decided that you want your smartphone to be the primary controller for your devices, it’s always helpful to plan for a backup solution in case your controller stops working. We’ve all had a time where our phone is low on battery (or dead) when we need it most, and you don’t want to be in a situation where your only smart device controller is inoperable when you need it most.
A fantastic backup plan could be having your primary device (say, a smartphone) and then a separate controller for each part of your smart device system that you consider essential (think things like housing, door locks, and the like). While many of these alternative controllers can also be ‘smart’, don’t hesitate to use more old-school options like a simple key (for your door lock) or a hard-wired light switch. It may be less futuristic, but it will keep you safe in the event of a smart home emergency.
When you begin delving into the smart device market, it can be tempting to skip the question about how (and with who) you will use these devices, but a little extra planning can go a long way towards adding to your enjoyment.