Smart homes make smart savings

Save time and money with home automation 

Save time and money with home automation

The drive towards automation in the home and in commercial premises, with remote systems controlling lighting, heating, audio visual products, blinds and numerous other appliances, continues to gather speed.

Converting to a smart home might seem expensive and complicated at first, but do the benefits outweigh the cost and hassle? Let’s check out why setting up a smart home is a good investment of your time and money.

Preparing for a smarter future

When you install smart lights, plugs, thermostats, and more, you add a great deal of convenience to your home. It isn’t that you’re incapable of getting off the couch and flipping a light switch, it’s that you’ve given yourself the option of not heading to the light switch.

We all accept a certain level of convenience in our lives. People generally don’t need electricity and light switches. Yet, you don’t often hear the argument that electrical lighting is the product of laziness, and people should use candles instead. Smart lights and other smart gadgets are just a natural extension of that progress.

When you start watching a movie, only to realise you’d prefer the lights to be dimmed or turned off, you’ll appreciate the convenience of making that happen without having to interrupt the film. Likewise, the first time you answer the doorbell from your office, or even when you’re away from home, you’ll appreciate the convenience of video doorbells.

If you’ve ever tried to teach a family member how to operate your complicated entertainment system, you’ll see the relief in their eyes when you can tell them, “Just say, ‘Alexa, turn on the TV.’” That’s so much easier than, “Find the TV remote, then the other remote, then that other one,” or handing them a universal remote with dozens of buttons. Convenience might not be a necessity, but that doesn’t make it a bad thing.

Smart homes provide creature comforts you might not otherwise have, and, thanks to routines, they even offer peace of mind because you don’t have to worry if you remembered to turn off the lights in the living room.

More convenience

Smart home technology can help you overcome some daily challenges. Take the classic example of asking a child to deliver a message, only to watch them shout it from two feet in front of you.

With voice assistants, you can communicate with everyone in the home, no matter where they are, via the intercom features. Google Home’s message goes through every speaker in the home and Google Assistant sends the response to the originating speaker. Echo and it’s baby brother the Echo Dot offer an equal amount of functionality.

As a bonus, when you set up voice assistant speakers in several rooms as intercoms, you also get whole-home music.

Having voice control over your lights and plugs solves some problems, too. For example, young children are capable of saying, “Alexa, turn on the lights,” before they can reach a light switch. People with disabilities will also appreciate it. If you add smart sensors to the mix, you can even program lights and plugs to turn on and off when you enter or leave a room. With just a few devices, your smart home can go beyond solving problems—it can provide independence.

Smart plugs can have secondary benefits, too. Rebooting your router is still the best starting point to troubleshoot your internet. But routers are often tucked away in inconvenient places.

Save money!

If you wake up only to see that every light in the house was left burning all night (again), then you’ve discovered the easiest problem a smart home can solve.

The more people you have in your home, the harder it can be to train all of them to do sensible things, like turning off the TV or lights when they leave a room. If you have children, that challenge often only grows.

It would be best if everyone learned about and remembered the importance of energy conservation, but we’re only human and prone to forgetfulness. So, any extra bit of help to overcome that absentmindedness is most welcome! With basic routines, you can program smart lights and plugs to turn off overnight, or even during the day when everyone is at work or school—which saves you money on your electric bill.

Even if you always remember to turn off the lights and electronics, smart plugs can still cut back your energy usage. Even when they’re turned off, many devices still draw power. For example, modern game consoles use more power than other devices when turned off because they still update in the background.

Vampire energy isn’t always worth tackling, but you can use an electricity usage monitor to find out. It’s best to check either devices that frequently turn on (like dehumidifiers) or areas in which you have multiple electronics plugged into one power strip (like your entertainment center). You might be surprised how much you can save when you prevent those devices from drawing power. Especially when you consider the eight hours you spend asleep, and the six to eight hours you spend at school or work.

Smart home technology isn’t always easy to set up, and more work needs to be done to bring it into the mainstream. Still, if you go into it with the understanding that you’ll occasionally have to troubleshoot problems, the benefits do outweigh any downsides you might encounter.


KEW Home to the rescue…

KEW Home Managing Director Howard Connolly thinks it will have a transforming effect.

Providing such systems is something in which the company has become increasingly specialist and Howard’s team at KEW Home now offer inventive design solutions incorporating LED lighting and automated blinds which can be controlled from a central point.

The market for new automation technologies is expected to continue to grow significantly in the next few years.

Howard says: “Lighting will have a central role in the development of integrated systems where people can operate almost anything in their home or business premises by pushing one button on their smart phone or tablet.

“Developing bespoke automated lighting and blinds systems in particular is an area that has grown very quickly for us for both residential and commercial clients.

“It involves providing people with simple control over the numerous lighting circuits employed and integrating them with other systems to create the right atmosphere. With numerous options available we can work with our design team to deliver the optimum solution.”

For Howard, with two decades behind him in an ever developing industry, the next 20 years promise to be every bit as exciting as the last 20. The future for KEW Home is most definitely bright.

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