If you find yourself asking “what is it with all this “Smart Home” business that I’m seeing in the news?” look no further. In this article we will explore the basics of Building a Smart Home.
“Home Automation – or a smart home – is the use of technology to control the basic functions of your home. Functions like lights, appliances, and home security systems.”
Whereas in past years you would have an actual computer that controlled all of these systems, today most of the control is performed by micro controllers imbedded in the individual unit. Those micro controllers can then be managed with your smart phone. There are many options available in the way of Home Automation; everything from custom-built-fully-integrated systems to the more common modular systems. Because of cost and available we will be focusing on the modular systems in these articles. It’s not that the other systems are bad; it’s just that they are not practical for apartment renters.
What products should I get to build my Smart Apartment?
This can get really complicated fast, but don’t worry because MyNewPlace not only has great apartments for rent, but we also have your back when it comes to the latest apartment trends. Our take on home automation for apartments is that there are 3 key product types that make up the ideal modular system.
Lighting System for Smart Apartment
The first product type in our Connected Apartment Trifecta is a smart phone controlled lighting system. This is a great place to start for apartment renters just getting their toes wet when it comes to building a smart home. Look at the links below for our recommended lighting system.
Energy Management System
These kinds of systems often look like power strips or wall-warts that you plug your electronics into. The Energy Management System then monitors and tracks the power usage of your appliances, displaying helpful efficiency information on your smart phone. Many of them also have auto on/off timers built right in making it easy to limit the amount of power that is consumed in “stand by” mode. Check out the links below for recommended products.
Smart Home Security System
The Smart Home security industry is really booming right now. There are a lot of options available including ones like the aforementioned fully-integrated systems. These systems are offered by big companies like Verizon and ADT and do work really well but are over board for most apartment renters. Look at the links below for products that we recommend.
We reached out to a Lockitron spokesperson and asked why their product is perfect for apartment renters:
“Lockitron installs over deadbolts rather than replace them which means that if you’re a renter you can keep your current keys (and landlords won’t get angry for you changing your locks). Other systems on the market today require you to remove all or part of your of your lock, however, Lockitron can be removed within a few minutes without leaving a trace that it was ever installed in the first place.”
- Cameron, Co-Founder, Apigy Inc.
Indeed a great soulation for apartment renters who are looking to make their apartments a little bit smarter.
Belkin had this to say about their WeMo offerings:
“An on-ramp to the Internet of Things, WeMo is reinventing the way people live by making housewares and electronics intelligent with one simple, integrated system. Perfect for renters, WeMo is designed to be completely scalable and customizable, allowing you to automate as much or as little of your home as you would like without custom installation or a large financial commitment.”
- Leah Polk, PR Manager at Belkin
We are still awaiting comment from Canary and will update this article when they respond.