From smart phones to now smart TVs, it seems pretty commonly understood that if we put the qualifying word, “smart” before a tech gadget, it means that device can operate and often communicate with other gadgets intuitively and sometimes independently.
What does that mean when we talk about a Smart Home?
Basically, we’re talking about a home that is equipped with lighting, heating, and electronic devices that can be controlled remotely by phone or computer.
“With a central brain in the home, I can add lighting and thermostatic controls,” says Stephen Ellis, CEO of MGB Homes in Sarasota. “I can go in and manipulate anything, and all of that happens from my iPhone.”
All that control from your phone or tablet.
That technology has been around for a few years, so by itself, it’s not that new to most of us. But when you look at each of these features working together, you start to see how smart your home can actually be.
“Let’s say you return home at 8:00 at night,” says Henry Clark, Senior Design Consultant at BrightSky Home Technology, a Sarasota-based provider of home entertainment and control systems. “You open the front door, and the system already knows from that little security contact. The air conditioning comes back down to 72. The shades may raise a little bit. The lights come on in the hallway and the kitchen. It’s part of automation.”
High-end custom home builders used to see this home automation only in the homes of the uber wealthy or tech enthusiasts, but as costs have come down, these systems are becoming more of an option for the masses.
“A big part of that is going to be empowering the end user to set up, program, and control these systems themselves,” says Seth Johnson, System Designer at BrightSky Home Technology.
“It’ll save you dollars on your air conditioning and heating bills, which is pretty much one of the most expensive things in the house,” says Clark.
So we’ll be keeping our eyes on home automation trends in the coming year, though personally speaking… I’m a little concerned about living in a home that proves to be smarter than I am.