Summer is but a few weeks away, and with it comes the joy of outdoor entertaining, time spent by the pool and the welcome break of the Christmas holidays.
As you ready to embrace all the fun and relaxation of another endless summer, here’s how it can be enjoyed in the smart home.
Summer is all about effortless outdoor entertaining, whether it’s a family lunch that stretches into the late afternoon or a friendly barbecue enjoyed around the pool. And never has entertaining been easier than with the savvy assistance of the smart home.
Just imagine welcoming your guests into a home cooled to their liking, where music is available on command and lighting alters to suit the mood of the moment or comes on as the day shifts to dusk.
Top smart features that make entertaining easier include:
- Smart kitchen appliances that can be controlled via your phone
- Smart climate control that senses changes to the ambient temperature and alters to suit
- Smart lighting that can set scenes to suit a party or come on automatically based on ambient light
- Smart audio where music of your choice can be played from your phone to one, some or all speakers in the house
- Smart intercoms that allow you to welcome guests into your home from your phone
- Smart sensors that turn on lights or climate control in specific areas of the house, depending on occupancy
- Smart cameras that allow you to keep a watchful eye on the little ones in their rooms even while the adults continue to socialise outside
Smart pool maintenance
For many people the pool becomes the hub of the home throughout the summer months, but as any pool owner will tell you they require more than a little maintenance.
Now smart technology takes the legwork out of pool ownership and also offers potential benefits in terms of safety and security.
From sensors and apps that can monitor the condition and temperature of your pool to security locks and automated pool cleaning, there is a wealth of smart home technology and specific smart pool features built to improve the running of this backyard asset.
For the latest smart pool equipment and monitoring you should talk to your pool supplier, but specific smart tools that can assist with pool maintenance include:
- Pool chemical monitoring
- UV and temperature monitoring
- Automatically calculated chemical dosing
- Easy pool chemical ordering
- Robotic cleaning
- Automated contact with your pool technician to schedule appointments of maintenance
Meanwhile, a wealth of standard smart home assets can also assist, including:
- Smart locks that allow you to grant remote access to the pool area
- Smart monitoring to alert you when someone enters the pool area
- Smart lighting that comes on when someone is in the pool area
The garden is the backdrop for many a summer soiree as interest turns to the great outdoors. If, you’re looking to ensure your garden remains in tip-top condition, even when you’re away, smart garden accessories can assist.
The smart garden sees sensors installed to measure rainfall, soil moisture and the temperature to ensure irrigation keeps conditions at their premium throughout the hot summer months.
Meanwhile, smart accessories like robot lawnmowers can help keep things looking neat, and smart lighting can be installed throughout the garden to create scenes and offer a welcoming night-time ambience.
Smart garden features include:
- Soil moisture and weather sensors
- Automated irrigation
- Robotic lawnmowers
- Smart lighting
- Smart climate control
At the height of summer, your home should be a refuge from the searing heat of the day, and the smart home offers the opportunity to intuitively maintain this welcoming environment.
Smart sensors combined with smart climate control can gauge the ambient temperature and have your home alter accordingly.
For example, geofencing that ascertains your position in relation to the home can switch air conditioners on as you near your property on the way home from work. Alternatively, you can remotely command your air-conditioner to switch on or off. Or, courtesy of scenes, your home can respond to the ambient temperature all by itself, harnessing the power of a wealth of fixtures and fittings to assist.
And it works a little like this…
Your home knows you’re not in residence as it understands the location of your mobile phone. Despite this, it also knows the temperature is beginning to rise at your property courtesy of sensors.
In response, the home closes exterior blinds on the western side of the home, draws the curtains, and opens ventilation. Then when you get closer to home or tell your smart phone you’re en route, the air conditioning kicks in, if required.
Smart climate control features include:
- Automated air-conditioning and heating
- Automated blinds and curtains
- Automated ventilation, and window openers.
Smart electricity management
With the price of electricity rising, power consumption is a major concern for many Australian households. And, again, this an arena where the smart home can play an invaluable role. Not only can an automated home reveal what electricity you are consuming, where, its intuitive behaviour can also take measures to mitigate electricity use.
It’s an average busy morning and you’re on your way to work with the kids in tow and the standard morning rush afoot.
As you exit your smart home, you tell it via your smart phone that you’re leaving and the following things occur:
- The television shuts off
- Extraneous appliances switch off at the power point
- All lights turn off
- The door automatically locks
- The air-conditioner powers down
- The front gate secures
- The garage door locks tight
Throughout the day, you have access and insight into what electricity is being consumed within your home. Better yet you have the ability to control it, switching off the items that continue to draw power.
In the meantime, your home is taking care of maintaining optimum ambient temperature to ensure you use less power.
For example, those blinds we mentioned earlier that close on the western side of your home as the temperature begins to rise and those curtains that automatically close both act to reduce the requirement for air-conditioning to cool your home
Meanwhile, you can program specific appliances like washers and dryers to come on at a time that suits, such as when electricity is off-peak.
All these small actions add up to greatly reduce your power bill, offering environmental benefits as a result.
Smart holiday security
Summer is the season that many people choose to holiday, and this is truly an arena where the smart home comes into its own.
Not only can you monitor your property while you’re away, but many day-to-day tasks take care of themselves.
Here’s just a couple of ways the smart home offers security while you’re away…
Most break-ins occur when the home owner is away, with vacant properties renowned for their vulnerability. Not so long ago, protecting homes against this involved timers and lighting to make it appear as if the home owner was there.
The trouble with the old-school method is often it’s predictable with lights coming on at exactly the same time for the same duration each day.
But with the smart home you can set lighting to switch on whenever you want and involve other appliances like televisions as well.
You can program a lighting sequence that varies each day, play music, switch on the TV, or even manually switch on lights from afar. The upshot is your home can behave exactly the same way it would if you were in attendance.
The smart doorbell offers a wealth of benefits when it comes to protecting the home. Options like FIBARO include an immediate alert that someone’s at the door along with the ability to speak to them. You can also see by camera exactly who’s come-a-calling and grant them entry remotely if you choose.
The benefit is, even though you may be in the Bahamas, it appears as if you’re in your loungeroom answering the door electronically from the comfort of inside the home. And if people have bad intentions you can immediately alert police and furnish them with a record of the interaction.
On the subject of monitoring, smart sensors like FIBARO’s motion sensor also serve the purpose of protecting the home. Able to be positioned anywhere, they can alert you to movement inside or outside the house, and allow you to take action if activity is of concern.
That means you can track movement in your lounge room or even garden, and potentially record exactly what’s happening. Smart sensors can also be connected to other smart home features so security lighting will activate and an alarm can sound.
While we’re talking security lighting, this is an integral feature many smart home occupants seek. Lighting can automatically activate when it senses motion and can be adjusted to distinguish between the neighbourhood cat and an intruder.
About Lera Smart Home Solutions
Lera Smart Home Solutions is a leading installer of smart home technology in the greater Sydney region. Our team boasts over 20 years’ experience in IT networking, programming and the electrical industry.
We have sourced the most reliable and cost efficient solutions from around the world to provide the very best in smart home solutions, and work with our clients to understand their needs.