In 2019 the news is awash with smart home products like lights, sensors, hubs, and voice activators, and that market is expected to boom a lot further in the coming years.
While these products are integral to a smart home’s operation, at Lera we believe a smart home is so much more than the individual items within it.
It’s only when smart products properly connect, respond and intuitively understand their environment that the real vision and definition of a smart home is revealed.
And what is that vision and definition? Why, it’s smart but so simple – a true smart home is a house that can think for itself.
Lera Smart Home Solutions co-founders Ben Lee and Ahmad Radi recently took time out to discuss the true nature of a smart home and what it means to the residents who occupy that space…
A walk through the true smart home
“A lot of people think a smart home is just turning lights on and off with your phone,” Ahmad says.
“At Lera we don’t subscribe to that theory at all. A smart home is a home that can think for itself.”
For the residents who adopt this approach to smart home living, it means their house can operate independently, altering fixtures and settings to respond to the environment at the time, as Ben goes on to explain.
“Say you’re coming home…your garage door opens, your alarm turns off, your front door unlocks – it’s setting the scene for you to walk in. It’s making your life easier and more comfortable.”
That same approach can also allow your home to be intuitive and more energy efficient, Ahmad notes.
“If the weather outside hits 27 degrees and no-one’s home, the system can think for itself and say hey let’s close these blinds on the western side to keep the house cool. That house is thinking for itself.
All this adds up to greater convenience, better livability and better energy efficiency, Ben adds.
“Imagine if your house closes the blinds at a certain temperature. You come home to find your house is cooler, and more energy efficient because your air-con’s not running as much.
“Then there’s the convenience of being in control of your home when you’re not there,” Ahmad continues.
“Say someone comes to your front door, and you didn’t know they were going to turn up early. You could open the garage for them remotely and they can access the house. It offers greater peace of mind while you’re at work, or you’re on holidays.
“Pretty much anywhere you are in the world, as long as you have internet connection, you’ve got complete control of your house.
“No longer do you need to worry that you’ve left something on or failed to close a door. We’ve all had those feelings but with a smart home, you have the convenience and peace of mind to control all those elements from afar.”
Ben notes this intuition and control also offers a whole new level of safety and security.
For example, you might have a smoke alarm, which gives off an audible alert, but in a smart home that can be combined with lighting features such as strip lighting which turns red to give a visible warning as well that something is going on.
“Say you have teenagers upstairs in their bedroom listening to headphones, they may not hear an audible alarm, but they will see the lighting is flashing and respond, and it’s the same with the security system.
“A smart home is about all these elements working together. It is convenience, safety, security as a complete turnkey solution.”
So how does it do it?
Smart homes work on a simple premise: products, sensors and activators all communicate with each other using wireless technology. The sensors allow these items to understand their environment such as whether they are on or off, what the temperature is, how dark it is etc, while activators or modules allow them to take action.
All information is relayed back to a central Hub that can be controlled to take action automatically or on demand via an app on a smart phone or tablet, or via voice command.
The upshot is fixtures and products within the home can then do things as part of a scene or in response to your command.
The smart home in action
All this connectivity enables the smart home occupant to program their home to do things on their behalf, and this happens through a series of ways:
A scene sees a series of actions occur at one time.
For example, you might create a “coming home” scene that sees your house lights come on, the garage open, heating activates, and doors unlock as you approach the house. Using smart phones and their inbuilt GPS, scenes can be established to gauge your distance from the property and begin undertaking these tasks depending on your proximity to the house.
Sensors mean a smart home can respond to its environment and conditions automatically. Say for example, it starts to rain, and you have left the skylight open. Smart home technology allows this to automatically close when the sensor has information that it’s raining.
Changing your smart home on command is as simple as instructing a voice activator or using your smart home app to tell your home to do something, even if you’re miles away.
For example, you’re on your way home from the shops with meat for a roast dinner. You can command your oven to pre-heat at the push of a button on your phone or by voice command.
With all these sensors at play, the smart home can also alert you when the environment changes or something goes wrong.
Say you’re at work when someone comes to the front door of your home. The smart home will send an alert to the app on your phone. With the right smart home technology installed at your property, you can then even see who that person is via camera, talk to them using an intercom and grant them access to the house if you choose by unlocking your door’s smart lock.
Lera Smart Home Solutions
Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region with a unique insight into the trends and future of smart home tech.
Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.