5 Ways That Having a Smart Home Will Improve Your Life

Smart technology is becoming ever more prevalent in our homes, even if we don’t quite realise it. So many appliances we buy now are ready to be synced up to a smart home, and for many, digital assistants like Siri or Alexa have become an essential part of daily life.protect your home.

But once you start accumulating these devices and the apps to control them, it can end up feeling like a part-time job to keep everything running like clockwork. This is where home automation comes in, and with it the installation of a smart home operating system. This system ensures that all of your devices work perfectly in sync, offering you the best in home entertainment, security, and convenience.

1. Subtle luxuries

Picture waking up to the sound of birdsong, a gradually brightening yet gentle light, and the smell of hot coffee brewing — this dreamy awakening can be yours every day with the help of an automated wake-up routine that connects your lights, speakers, and coffee machine. Or imagine arriving home from work — upon entering your personal door code, your home subtly adjusts the lighting to just how you like it, and starts playing your favourite post-work playlist through your 

multi-room speaker systems

. These kinds of scene-setting ambient features may seem small, but are really priceless in terms of how much they can improve your quality of life.

2. Better home security

Not only can smart homes offer very practical home security solutions, such as individual door codes, smart locking systems, alerts for any windows left open, and the ability to keep an eye on your CCTV footage while you’re on the move, but you can also run a program on your system while you’re away to replicate your normal daily movements in a realistic way. This feature, known as “mockupancy,” is seen by many to be a great step forward in terms of keeping homes safe from break-ins.

3. Entertain with ease

Smart home technology is simply brilliant for throwing parties. The ability to create custom light and music scenes, then activate them with voice commands, means that you’ll be able to get the party started with a simple voice command. Your smart fridge will be able to tell you when ice is low and ramp up production so you never run out. Home automation will also ensure you get the best out of your home cinema, automatically dimming the lights as soon as the film starts and putting your devices onto a “do not disturb” mode for the duration of the screening.

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4. A helping hand with the kids

Smart homes can really help to make your life easier when it comes to everyday trials and tribulations of raising children. If your little ones are always pushing their luck in terms of keeping the lights on for too long at bedtime, or clocking up too many hours on tablets and smartphones, you can use your smart home hub to give them a ten minute warning before powering-down all lights and devices, so they know that it’s time to go to sleep. If you have certain cupboards in the house that prying eyes, or hands, shouldn’t be such as medicine or alcohol cabinets, you can set up remote locks to ensure they’re kept shut, or receive alerts if they’re suspiciously opened.

5. Care from afar

Some of us may have an elderly parent or relative who could do with the assurance that you’re keeping an eye out for them. Smart home technology is proving to be invaluable at offering this extra peace of mind to many who can’t live near their loved ones, but want to provide care from afar. Not only can you install CCTV into each room to make sure that they haven’t suffered a fall, but integrating speakers into various rooms means you can also check in on them for a chat with great ease. They will also reap the benefits of convenient hands-free technology like voice activation, so they don’t have to fiddle around with tricky devices when they want to make a call or change the television channel.

These are just some of the ways in which home automation can improve your day-to-day life — the possibilities really are endless. As proud installers of full Control 4 smart home integration, we will be able to advise on the best solutions for your home, to make sure you’re getting the best. Contact us now to arrange a consultation.

Golden Rules For Keeping Your Home Safe

Don’t wait until you’ve experienced your first break-in to improve your home security. Read our top tips below for improving home security, and you’ll sleep safer in the knowledge you’re doing your part to protect your home.

1. Check your doors and windows

Many of us have gone to open a window, only to realise in horror that it’s been unlocked since you last opened it a month ago. It’s all too easy to forget that every window or door could act as a potential access point to thieves, so at least giving them a rudimentary once-over is never a bad idea. Sliding doors and windows are a top target for burglars, so pay extra attention to these. You can easily create an ad-hoc door-blocker by placing a pole of wood in the slide mechanism, or of course you can invest in something a bit more high tech in the form of smart locks.

2. Let there be light

There’s a reason why the world is full of horror stories of nefarious figures lurking in the shadows — shady spots provide excellent cover for burglars, even in busy towns and cities. Installing motion-detecting floodlights should be one of the first burglary deterrents you invest in for your home. No one wants to be exposed by a big flashlight in the middle of the night, least of all a burglar. Light doesn’t just expose, though, it also provides a signal to prospective burglars that there’s someone at home. Leaving a television on late while you’re not at home will create a strong deterrent for those looking to break in. 

3. Invest in CCTV

There’s no way around it — if you’re really serious about protecting your home, a good CCTV system is essential. Co-Operative Insurance’s survey of ex-burglars showed that CCTV was the number one deterrent for a break-in. Not only that, but if, heaven forbid, a break-in does happen, no amount of quick security fixes are going to provide precious video evidence of a break-in like CCTV does, increasing the likelihood that your case will be investigated and the perpetrators found. Combining a quality CCTV system with a powerful alarm will provide even more of a deterrent for would-be burglars, adding an extra layer of protection to your home.

4. Get smart

Investing in smart-home technology will not only allow you to view your home security footage at the touch of a button, but all of those old tricks of deterring burglars, such as leaving lights or other electrical appliances on while you’re on away from your home, can be done remotely. This is not only more convincing to burglars (if a burglar has been eyeing up your property for a few days, constantly switched-on lights may suggest to them that you are indeed on holiday), but saves on electricity too. According to the survey mentioned previously, 89% of panellists said that they would be deterred from entering a smart home — the added perceived technological hurdles make these houses too complicated to risk.

5. Lock down your connections

It’s easy to forget just how much personal information we have on our home computers, not to mention the vast amount of vital tasks we conduct online such as banking, shopping, making payments. In this day and age, where so many tasks are done online, taking network security seriously is as important as keeping your doors locked. Luckily, just using a very strong password for your WiFi network is normally enough to deter most hackers, so this is an easy fix to help keep your information safe.

6. Stash your valuables

Do a quick walk around your house and peek in the windows. Can you see laptops, tablets, phones, home entertainment systems, wallets, cash or keys? If so, you need to take action. Stash away any valuables that can be moved (preferably keep them in a home safe), and in the case of larger equipment, ensure curtains or blinds are drawn so any opportunistic nighttime burglars will be deterred. While you’re at it, ensuring any gardening equipment is safely stored in a locked shed or garage will remove further temptations for a budding burglar.