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Setting up a Smart Home: A Beginner’s Guide !

Unlocking a door with your phone, turning off lights automatically, and getting your room cleaned by a robot vacuum is no more a far-fetched idea from a fairy-tale where genies make everything happen for you. All you need is home automation technology and let it do its magic! A smart home is alluring and convenient at its best! Home automation allows you to control every aspect of your household through the Internet of Things (IoT). Let us explore how smart home technology can add value to your lifestyle! 4 Benefits of Smart Home Technology 1. It ensures safety You don’t have to wait around to detect a danger until it’s too late! Smart home technology can easily detect water leakage, fire, or any harmful gases in the house hence making them all preventable. 2. It provides security Smart home technology ensures that your house is safe from burglary and trespassing. Smart cameras help you to keep a close eye on your surroundings. Smart doors ensure that your property is fully protected even when you are away. You can receive timely alerts on your device if some unexpected activity is taking place in your house. 3. It is efficient Smart home technology is time-efficient and cost-effective. You can perform various tasks through it simultaneously. It also helps you in saving energy and therefore cutting the costs of your utility bills. Smart home technology is not only easy in your pocket but also environmental-friendly. 4. It is convenient It makes your life easier. Every task is just one touch or a single voice-command away. Get your tasks done in real-time and make your daily routine hassle-free! Three Levels of Smart Home Technology Smart home technology is also known as home automation or demotics come in three levels. You can opt from these three distinct levels of Smart home technology based on your need and convenience. 1. Monitoring This level of Smart home technology allows you to view the status of the system. Through monitoring, you can ensure that whether the door is lock or not? What is the room temperature? Are the lights turned on/off? 2. Control This level of smart home technology allows you to control the status of systems. You can turn on the air conditioner, lock the door, and control other aspects of the system such as turning off lights. Mostly smart homes operate at this level. 3. Automation At this level Smart home technology automatically changes the state of the system in response to the external event. For example, you can command that turn on the air conditioning system if the temperature rises above 30 degrees. 3 Basic Components of Smart Home Technology If you are planning on to opt for Smart home technology of any level following are the four basic components of home automation that you will require: 1. End devices You will need end-devices such as sensors, switches, locks, etc. These devices will help you in monitoring and controlling the system. 2. Connection devices These devices will interconnect the entire system. This will include hubs and gateways. 3. A network A network will allow a wireless protocol. The network will allow Smart home technology to connect computers and other devices to the internet. The network is mostly based on Wi-Fi or Ethernet. TCP/IP networking protocols are also used. As we have discussed the basics of Smart home technology let’s just move on to things you should keep in mind before opting for Smart home technology. 4 Things you should know before opting for Smart Home Technology 1. Know your options Many companies are competing in the home automation market. Google, Amazon, and Apple are among the top. You should opt for a platform that ideally caters to your personal needs as different companies offer features that are distinct from the features offered by other companies. Decide whether you need voice control or app control service. Apple has a “Homekit” that controls your smart home through IPad or iPhone. Amazon has “Alexa Echo” which is based on voice command. Navigate your options as per your requirement. You can read reviews of various companies for insights. 2. Privacy issues Although you will be monitoring your home through Smart home technologies but know that your home can monitor you too! Smart home technology comes with privacy concerns. Your smart speakers will be listening to you all the time unless you mute them. You might be giving away a lot of your data this way. Many companies can capture your data and sell it to other companies and also there are chances of misusing your data. Smart home devices are also hackable. So keep this in mind and choose accordingly to be on the safe side. 3. Cost Different companies will charge you differently based on their services. In Pakistan typically the cost of home automation starts from Rs. 15,000 to Rs. 500,000 based on your preferences and automation level. Set up a budget and go for the most cost-effective option. 4. Smart homes are energy saving In the long run, Smart home technology is going to reward you. It will help you to go green by reducing your carbon footprint and save you a lot of money. It will reduce the amount of money you spend on utility bills. Keep this beginner’s guide in mind while planning for smart home as it is going to help you in making smart choices!