The Beginner’s Guide to Smart Home Automation

If it seems like everyone is talking about smart home automation products and how they make their lives easier, you would be correct. As The NPD Group notes, the annual U.S. dollar sales of home automation products grew by 57 percent between 2015 and 2016, and this number is only continuing to rise. More specifically, security and other monitoring products make up a 60 percent dollar share and smart doorbells saw an increase in sales of 171 percent.

Of course, while these numbers indicate that lots of people are interested in smart home products, you have not been on that bandwagon — at least not yet. If you are being totally honest with yourself, most of your reluctance to embrace a smart home stems from an unfamiliarity with the technology.

No worries, smart home newbie — like many things in life, once you get a handle on smart home automation and learn more about what it is and how it can help you, you might be more willing to take the technological plunge. For example, please consider the following:

Baby steps are fine

As The Ambient notes, a smart home can involve any or all of the following: connecting tech devices in your home to your Wi-Fi network or a central hub of some sort (you have probably heard about devices like Alexa, Echo and Google Home—these are examples of hubs), so that you can control a number of things from your smartphone or tablet or a voice-controlled speaker. A number of gadgets ranging from security cameras, video doorbells, thermostats, vacuums and even fridges come in smart home versions these days. The good news is that you don’t have to replace everything you own with smart home versions. If you like your current fridge and vacuum, by all means keep them and maybe start with a smart security camera or thermostat — it is totally up to you.

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Security cameras are a great place to start

If you don’t already have a security camera system in your home, there are a number of user-friendly devices that can make your entry into smart home automation as easy as possible. For example, the Nocturnal models from Lorex Technology can be controlled by your smartphone and offer incredible footage, even at night. If you have hesitated to invest in a security camera system because you figured any footage would be grainy and hard to make out, the Nocturnal line of cameras from Lorex will quickly set your mind at ease. The Nocturnal security cameras feature high powered infrared lighting that floods the scene in front of the camera with light that is invisible to the naked eye but not the camera. This means the camera can have night vision that ranges up to 250 feet. You can also add external lights around the Nocturnal security camera to use Lorex’s Color Night Vision (CNV) technology — if you do have some crook on your property, CNV will allow you to capture details including the color of the car and clothing.

A thermostat that learns

Another great entry-level device into the world of home automation is a smart thermostat. If you are sick and tired of always adjusting your thermostat at the device on the wall, a smart version can be controlled from your tablet or smartphone. It will connect to your home’s Wi-Fi system and it can also work with a hub like Alexa or Google Home. As a major bonus, smart thermostats can figuratively “learn” your preferred temp settings and it will program itself to adjust them accordingly. A smart thermostat can also sense when no one is at home, and it will turn down the heat or turn up the A/C accordingly, which can save you big bucks on your bills.

Have fun with your smarter home

While smart home technology may seem daunting at first, once you get to know it and realize what it can do, it’s not really scary at all. As a plus, you don’t have to adopt an all or nothing approach — you can pick and choose the devices you are comfortable with and spend as little or as much as you like. Start with one device like a Nocturnal security camera or a thermostat and then go from there, but only if you want to. In time, you’ll probably wonder how you made it without these amazing devices.

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