The Best Smart Home Devices
The Best Devices Are Ones That Work Better Together
We are sure you know all about smart devices. You may be reading this on one right now, such as your smartphone, tablet, or laptop. Of course, those devices are smart; at their core they are computers.
When it comes to smart home devices, it seems like a new one is announced every day. You might be thinking – just how useful are these things? Yes, they may be cool, and it might be interesting to control it from my smartphone. But is it useful on a daily basis? Is it something I’m going to benefit from after the novelty wears off?
We think that smart devices are everyday useful when they’re part of the same ecosystem, so they work well together. What’s an ecosystem? In technology, it means an interconnected set of products and services that interact and work well with each other, making for solutions that are greater than the sum of the parts.
In the smart home device world, that means that there is a smart home automation system that can help derive even more value out of a smart device. For example, a smart thermostat is great in part because it can be remotely controlled by a smartphone. But what it if works in concert with automated lights and window treatments to better manage energy use? Then you have something delivering more value through the ecosystem.
With that in mind, let’s talk about a couple of smart home devices that bring real value to your Plano home when plugged into the right smart home automation ecosystem. Read on to learn more.
SEE ALSO: 3 Automated Features Your Home Needs
The Smart Thermostat
Let’s take the smart thermostat we mentioned above. First, there’s incredible convenience in not having to get out of bed to turn the heat up as the chilly fall mornings descend upon Texas. You can just reach for your smartphone and do it from an app. That’s a great feature, but what if it were combined with something more? What if turning the temperature up was combined with your automated shades rising, your lights gently fading up, and the morning news automatically coming on to start your day? That’s what an ecosystem of smart features can do, like one from our smart home partner Control4.
Beyond that simple elegance of a “good morning” routine, the smart thermostat can combine with those other smart features for energy savings, too. In our hot Texas summers, electric bills can rise precipitously. With motorized shades and the right sensors, your smart home devices could work together to curb energy use. When there’s too much sunlight streaming through, the shades can be drawn, and the smart thermostat can maintain a higher temperature while still maintaining comfort. When the system senses you’re close to home, you can change the setting to what you like – bringing up shades halfway, turning on necessary lights, and setting the AC to your preferred temperature.
The Smart Doorbell
Smart doorbells are gaining in popularity. Most of them incorporate a camera and audio capability so you can see and talk to someone at your door. That’s a nice feature in and of itself, just like the smart thermostat. What if the smart doorbell did a little more than that?
The Control4 Door Station is a smart doorbell made smarter by being part of the Control4 system. It can function as a 2-way intercom, allowing you to answer your doorbell with an audio and high-definition video conversation from either your smartphone or one of Control4’s camera-equipped Touch Screens. It also doubles as a security camera with motion detection and can send alerts and emails with a camera picture if movement is detected outside your door.
If you combine the Door Station with smart locks and lighting control, you can do more things. If you can’t see the visitor clearly, you can remotely turn on more outside lighting either manually or automatically. If you have smart locks, you can choose to let the visitor in if it’s someone you were expecting, or remotely to deliver a package inside or provide a service if you’re not home.