10 ways to update your smart home


Just a few years ago, a smart home sounded like something out of the future. Now, some experts expect there to be more than 480 million smart homes by 2025. New technologies are released all the time, so it may be time for an upgrade.

Smart home technology can make your life safer, more comfortable, and more convenient. It may take some work to get all the benefits you can get out of it, though. With that in mind, here are ten ways you can update your smart home.

1. Get a Smart Assistant

If you don’t already have a digital assistant like Alexa or Google Assistant, you should get one. These devices are some of the most useful IoT gadgets around, especially if you have other smart tech. Controlling everything else with these items is much more straightforward.

Make sure that you get an assistant that’s compatible with all your other gadgets. Amazon claims that Alexa works with more than 100,000 smart home products, so the Echo is your most versatile option. Look at what your current devices support before making your decision, though.

2. Expand Your Wi-Fi

IoT gadgets use a variety of wireless protocols to communicate with one another. Still, chances are you run most, if not all, of your devices over Wi-Fi. In light of that, you should bolster your Wi-Fi network to get the most out of your smart home.

You can buy a few Wi-Fi range extenders to provide even coverage throughout your house. If you have a lot of devices, you may want to consider upgrading your internet service. If you go that route, look at bandwidth and latency, not just speed.

3. Upgrade Your Locks

Smart home gadgets are valuable, and thieves know it. When you start to accumulate many of these devices, you should probably pay more attention to security. One way you can do that is with smart locks.

These devices enable you to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere with your phone. That way, if you ever forget to secure the door behind you, you don’t have to worry about being vulnerable. You can make sure all of your belongings are safe with the push of a button. 

4. Boost Your Security

IoT locks aren’t the only gadgets you can get to improve your safety. You can also install smart security systems or doorbell cameras. These devices enable you to access everything you need from your phone.

Any added layer of safety is welcome when you have valuable gear inside your home. It’s no wonder that people make 75% of smart home purchases through service providers like security companies. 

5. Buy a Smart Thermostat

It’s wise to consider getting a connected thermostat. These gadgets are convenient and can also save you money. Smart thermostats control the temperature using as little power as possible, helping you cut down on your electricity bill.

While IoT devices tend to be efficient, if you have a lot, you could spend more on energy. A connected thermostat will help you save electricity where you can. You could use this to spend less or to create more wiggle room for additional gadgets.

smart home
The ecobee is just one smart thermostat available.

6. Add Mixed Sockets

Modernizing your electrical sockets is an excellent way to upgrade your home. Mixed sockets include both three-pronged and USB outlets, giving you more options for your electronics. Since not all IoT devices have three-pronged cables, this hardware can make plugging in more convenient.

It will take some money and work to install these, so you don’t need to upgrade every outlet. They can be handy resources in rooms where you have several smart home gadgets, though. They’re especially helpful for wireless devices that need occasional charging.

7. Swap Out Your Lightbulbs

No smart home is complete without some smart lights. These are some of the most accessible connected home gadgets around, and they are cheap and easy to install. All you have to do is swap out a few of your current lights for these versions.

Like connected thermostats, these lightbulbs are more energy-efficient, so they’ll help you save money. You can use a digital assistant to control your new lights. Adding smart lightbulbs to your home is an affordable, straightforward way to give it some extra value.

8. Install a Smart Garage Door Opener

A lot of connected home upgrades focus on your living room or home office. You can take it further than that by adding IoT technology to your garage. If you often forget to shut your garage door, a smart opener can help.

In addition to being convenient, these gadgets are also more secure since you can get opening alerts. Standard garage door openers are always in standby mode, which consumes electricity, so an upgraded version can save money. 

9.  Automate Your Gardening

While we’re on the subject of bringing the IoT to new places, consider your lawn. You may have plenty of smart home tech inside, but what about outside? One option you might consider is self-watering plant pots or something similar, like IoT lawn sprinklers.

You can also find autonomous lawnmowers, which are especially handy when it’s hot out. There are far more options for smart garden tech like this than there used to be. If you’re in the market for a connected home upgrade, give these some thought.

10. Manage Your Cables

With all of these connected devices in your home, you may have cables everywhere. Loose or dangling wires can be an unattractive sight, but they’re also an easy fix. Use some cable ties or wiring covers to keep everything neat and tidy.

Not all smart home devices have wires, but you likely have at least a few that do. Tidying your cables can improve the aesthetic of your home and protect any crucial wiring.

Bring Your Home Into the 21st Century

Smart homes are becoming more popular by the minute. You can get the most out of yours by following these 10 steps. With just a few of these, you can turn your house into the home of the future.

How have you made your smart home? Let us know in the comments below or on Twitter or Facebook. You can also comment on our MeWe page by joining the MeWe social network.

Last Updated on February 3, 2021.


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