How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

 All right now that we've gone through the different platforms and the different types of technologies used in smart home setups, let's talk about what types of smart home devices you can use in your home.

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

In general, I break it down into these categories: music, media, lighting, climate, security, appliances and furniture.

1) First let's look at music with whole home audio :

This type of functionality allows you to play music and media throughout your home typically using smart speakers that run voice assistants and you do have quite a few options here. Amazon, Apple, and Google, all make their own smart speakers, that will play various music streaming services natively on the speaker itself.

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

A few smart speakers, including the Google Nest Mini, Nest Hub, Nest Hub Max, Nest Audio, Google Home Max, Amazon Echo, Amazon Echo Dot, and the HomePod Mini.
The Google Nest Hub and Amazon Echo Show have the added benefit of having a screen on them, which makes controlling your media as well as other smart home devices even easier.

2) To control media rooms (TV) within your smart home :

Now typically this involves controlling a TV or projector associated speakers and then the lighting of your media room but we'll get to lighting in just a second.
Right now Apple, Amazon, and Google make the best TV streaming devices that will enable you to turn on and off your TV and related devices with an assistant.
They all deliver content from major streaming services and some can support the latest formats like 4K HDR with Dolby Vision and Dolby Atmos.

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

Personally, I use both the Apple TV and the Chromecast with Google TV and I love being able to ask the Google Assistant or Siri to turn off the TV and you can do that with just your voice with these devices, and it will not only turn off the TV but because it uses HDMI CEC the TV the receiver and either the Apple TV or Chromecast will also turn off as well.

3) Next up, let's talk about smart lighting :

This category is particularly interesting because neither Apple, Amazon, nor Google produce their own smart lights unlike with the speaker and media device categories.

There are generally two approaches to doing smart lighting within your smart home.

You can either make the light bulb smart or you can make the switch that controls the light bulb smart. And you can use a combination of these approaches as well. The main players in smart lights right now are Philips, GE, LifeX, Ikea, and Eufy. These smart light makers make LED bulbs that are typically in three categories: plain white, bulbs that go from daylight to warm light, or multicolored bulbs.

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

Sometimes the bulbs will use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi or other types will need a ZigBee hub or something else that connects into your router. Smart lights can save you a lot of time. You can turn off all your lights by just using your voice at night, you can control your lights through a smartphone app and you can set up routines for your smart lights as well. For example, I have mine to set to automatically fade in over 30 minutes in the morning and then I have them display sunrise colors. I'll have them automatically change to daylight during the workday and then change to a warmer hue in the evenings. There are also other accessories you can get with your smart lights like wireless dimmer switches that you can assign to control a variety of lights in your residence. Philips Hue probably has the most accessories and smart lights available today and they're the brand that I have in my residence.

For Smart Light switches some of the popular brands out there are WeMo, Casa, Ecobee, and Lutron. These switches connect to your home's Wi-Fi network and replace the switch you have in your existing wall allowing you to either control the lights with the switch or with a phone app or with a smart assistant.

4) Next let's talk about climate control within a smart home :

Here we're mainly going to talk about smart thermostats. These are Wi-Fi connected thermostats that can be controlled by your smart assistants. Most smart thermostats will work with each of the big three smart platforms and they're installation is typically pretty easy.

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

Some popular ones include the Nest learning thermostat made by Google, the Ecobee4, which Amazon has a sizable stake in and various other ones as well, like from big name brands like Honeywell. Some you can program like more traditional thermostats with a weekly schedule while others like the Nest Learning Thermostat, learn your pattern and use AI to predict what the temperature should be set to.

Most now allow you to stick sensors in different rooms around your house to aggregate the temperature data in your home to give you a true home temperature.

5) Next, let's talk about smart home security systems:

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

The Smart Home Security is a complete do-it-yourself route without a monitoring service which opens you up to a lot of other third-party devices out there, especially with cameras. Just make sure you buy cameras from a company that you trust with your privacy and you also want to make sure that the cameras you buy are compatible with these smart home platform that you've chosen because being able to tell the Amazon Assistant or Google Assistant to bring up a video feed on a display or tell Siri to arm the system, makes using these systems much more convenient.

6) This category of smart home devices is a catch-all category that I like to call appliances and accessories :

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

There are so many devices in this category and it grows larger and larger every year. The basic concept is that these are devices like your typical home appliances like your stove, refrigerator, washing machine. But also home accessories that can connect to your smart home platform like smart blinds, robotic vacuum cleaners, smart scales, smart plugs, etc.

7) The last and final is the Smart Furniture :

This is not in demand previously. But now, Smart furniture is one of the latest trends and in high demand in the home interiors industry. Along with the smart home, smart IOT devices, people also looking for smart furniture to save spaces and make more use of technology.

How to Make Home Automation Smarter With Smart IOT devices | Control your Home using Smart Devices

The concept of smart furniture is divided or can be categorized into 4 parts. The Space saving, Multi-functionality, Context and a place for everything.

How to Make Home Smart using Smart IOT devices

I personally have Google Mini Nest and Smart bulb in my home and my go-to smart home accessory over the past few years has been smart plugs. They turn any appliance into one that can be simply turned on or off by any of the major smart home platforms. They're especially handy when it comes to holiday decorating. Once you've chosen your smart home platform and start buying devices for your smart home, you're just going to be amazed at how easy it is to automate.

Like turning off the lights in every room of your house with your voice, having your room clean the kitchen after cooking or do things you could only have dreamed of years ago, like having blinds that automatically close at sunset or adjust their tilt throughout the day based on the angle of the sun.

Conclusion :

Most of the major smart assistant platforms have routines and automations that you can create within the platform to help automate all of your devices. So, for example, when you come home, your lights can automatically come on, your thermostat turns up, and your speakers start playing the latest news. Or when you start getting ready for bed your thermostat lowers the temperature, the lights turn to a sunset color and slowly dim over 30 minutes, the blinds close, your bedroom fan turns on, and your assistant tells you what's on your calendar for tomorrow and then starts playing ambient sounds of the forest to help you drift off to sleep.

This level of customized automation is no longer a dream. It's attainable and accessible to millions of people out there, thanks to these smart home platforms and the thousands of devices that run on them. Smart home tech has the potential to really change our lives for the better.

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