As the world of electronics is experiencing a tsunami of new gadgets entering the market with unprecedented regularity, consumers are left to grapple with the inevitable question ‘Are they here to stay?’ After all, the first influx of electronic devices, like television, refrigerators, and washing machines, have shown tremendous tenacity in the face of the electronic revolution we are witnessing right now. But in recent years, many promising innovations have lost their steam in the face of more creative iterations. Naturally, many new innovations are struggling to gain the confidence of consumers.
A smart home is the latest sensation that is gripping the market with remarkable speed. All the familiar appliances are receiving dashing smart upgrades, in keeping with the dominant trend in the market. But the rapid changes in technology are making many consumers wary of investing in smart home technology. Let’s look at what smart homes are and if they are worth it.
What is a Smart Home?
If you have a smart home, you will be able to access your smart devices through Wifi or your smartphone, even when you are not at home. Sounds complicated, but smart home technology makes it look very easy.
Smart devices connect to your home Wifi and can be controlled, either by apps installed on your tablet/phone or through voice control systems. You can turn your simple home into a digital den with the help of home automation hubs that can interconnect your devices through your home Wifi. You can use the hub to sync your home appliances to work together to create the perfect ambiance for your home.
The Biggest Gain
The biggest gain in this smart home revolution can be described in one word ‘convenience’. If you think washing machine and dish-washers are convenient, just imagine waking up with the blinds automatically opening at a pre-scheduled time. You can have your water-heater turned on before you leave the bed, while your toaster and coffee machine get busy prepared a hearty breakfast for you while you are getting ready in your room.
Convenience has been redefined with smart home technology. It adds a lot more flexibility and independence to your daily routine. You can switch on the TV, select your favorite show, dim the lights, and pull down the blinds, all with the press of a single button. With smart doorbells, you don’t have to leave the sofa every time the bell rings. Just use your phone to see who is at the door. Smart thermostats have artificial learning embedded in them, which progressively works to save energy and money by making your heating and cooling system more efficient.
Other than convenience, saving energy is another factor that motivates consumers into upgrading their houses into smart homes. As the global focus shifts toward global warming, a lot of smart gadgets have energy efficiency at the heart of their operations. Almost all smart devices, ranging from smart blinds to smart lights and plugs, have an underlying theme of energy efficiency moderating their functionalities. Eventually, all these features collectively save you a lot of money.
Blinds might seem like an unlikely smart home device, but investing in smart blinds might yield significant energy-efficient benefits. Smart blinds are regular blinds fitted with machines that can be controlled remotely with the help of smart technology. The regular features of blinds, like energy-efficiency, privacy, noise-cancellation, security, and light control, are taken to a whole new level with the incorporation of smart technology.
In summer, you can have your blinds come down automatically as the sun rises high up in the sky, saving your cooling system from working overtime to keep the temperatures down. Similarly, in the winter, you can have your blinds come down as soon as night falls, forming an extra layer of insulation on your windows to keep the chill-out and trap the heat in. When you are not at home, you can open and close the blinds remotely, giving the impression that someone is at home. Your smart blinds can also give you a peaceful sleep, by coming down automatically to prevent the early summer sun from flooding the room with sunlight. And the list goes on.
How Do They Work?
There is plenty you can do with your motorized blinds. You can operate motorized blinds with the help of smart home automation hubs or remote controls. Many leading blind manufacturers offer motorization options. Graber uses Somfy motors to motorize their blinds. You can either use Somfy remotes or your home automation system to control these blinds. A single remote can be programmed to operate multiple blinds, making it a one-stop solution for all the blinds in the room. You can also rope in voice assistants like Alexa and Google Assistant for operating the Graber blinds.
Smart blinds can be a blessing for those hard to operate skylights and awnings. With Somfy blinds for window awnings, you get to operate your patio awnings smartly, lights, music, as well as heating, just with a single remote or smartphone. These awnings can sense heat and wind so that it extends when the sun beats down and retracts automatically when the wind picks up. So, no need to rush outside to operate the awning. It can actually take care of itself. Similarly, make full use of your roof windows and skylights, with these motorized blinds. Open them when you want more sunlight, and bring down the blinds just in time for the movie to start.
Are There Any Downsides?
Smart blinds are costly, but the energy-efficiency achieves offsets the initial costs in the long run. Apart from the costs, there is a question of compatibility when it comes to smart home appliances. Do your research properly and make sure that all the devices you are planning to purchase can be synced together or is supported by the home automation system of your choice, to avoid the risks of incompatibility. If you cross this hurdle successfully, it is safe to say that smart homes at very much worth it. After all, you cannot put a price on comfort and convenience.