12 Things A Smart Home Can Do (That Your Home Probably Can’t)

12 Things A Smart Home Can Do (That Your Home Probably Can’t)

1. Adjust inside lighting (and energy used) based on the amount of sunlight coming in.

I think we’re all aware of the benefits of fitting movement sensors to lights to predominately reduce energy usage. But sometimes in the early mornings or the late afternoons there may still be enough sunlight around to partially light out homes. Using multi-sensors that incorporate both movement and daylight sensing allows your home to automatically adjust the output of light from your fittings to maintain optimum lighting levels while using less energy.

2. Make sure your plants don’t die.

Having a timed watering schedule is nothing new. In fact these analogue timers can be fitted to a standard garden tap for under $20. But why do you want to water your garden every day? What if you’ve had five days straight of rain in the middle of winter? In a Smart Home watering schedules can be set with the usual parameters such as time and day, but they can also utilise sensors to ascertain the rainfall over the last few days, and even moisture sensors in the garden bed itself! This cool control process can also be applied to a standard pump so you can use your very own harvested rain water.

3. Maintain the same temperature in the home year round (almost for free).

Far more important than controlling the operation of your heating and cooling system is accurately measuring the climate both inside and out of your home. If your home knows that it is heating up inside but there is a cool breeze outside, wouldn’t it be nice if a couple of windows just opened to catch that breeze? Or maybe even close some blinds or awnings to block out the hot sun altogether. In over 80% of the residential epicentres of Australia these control systems teamed up with a decent passive home design eliminate the need for expensive, energy gobbling air conditioning systems completely.

4. Or… Alter the internal temperature based on what you’re probably wearing.

Shut up crazy man! The future is now with the emergence of wearable technology such as Apple’s iWatch that will soon be able to monitor your body temperature and easily communicate with the homes central control system. We all know that 22* feels a lot different in summer than it does in winter and now your home can too.

5. Notify you if you’ve left for work leaving the back door unlocked.

We’ve all got home after a long day at work to see the back door open… Oh sh*t, did I do that? Has someone been here? What a shocking feeling. Simply fitting WiFi enabled locking systems to your door gives you both complete monitoring facilities so you can see on your phone if you have in fact locked them, as well as simple one touch functionality to lock them from the car, train or office desk if you did in fact forget. Notifications can also be set if, say on a week day at 9am this door hasn’t been locked, your very co-operative home can simply ask you the question ‘Should you have locked the house by now?’

6. Let your mother-in-law into your home without having to hand over a key.

Having world-wide control of your home’s access control system means there is no need to get a heap of keys cut and leave one under the mat. Fair dinkum, where do you think the first place an intruder is going to look? You can apply a few really easy access systems from simply touching ‘unlock’ on your phone if someone needs to get in or maybe creating temporary pass codes on a keypad for tradesmen to use that will expire when they have left the building.

7. Ensure your home is warm for when you get home from work (without wasting energy).

It’s a cold evening, you’ve just driven home in your warm car and now you have to go inside to a cold home which takes no less than 30 minutes to heat up. A first world problem for sure, but a royal pain in the arse. If only you could turn this on before you left work, or if your home actually knew what time you get home each night to have it ready for you. And it can! (well… could!) ‘Thank you Home. I love you’.

8. Give you 100% peace of mind that your family is safe while they sleep.

We’ve all had that nagging feeling when we’re tucked into bed and 30 seconds away from a deep comfortable sleep: ‘Did I lock the laundry door?’ Instead of debating whether to get up and check you could grab that phone on your bedside to check. Better yet, what if on the light switch next to the bed there was a ‘goodnight’ button that just locked all these doors (and also turned off lights, appliances and set alarms as well). Too easy.

9. Allow you control of your whole home from anywhere in the world.

We’re all talking about the ‘Internet of Things’. It’s actually the ‘Internet of Everything’ as all of our devices, appliances and systems in the home are now being released with either wired (Ethernet) or wireless (WiFi, Bluetooth etc.) connectivity. This means we can ‘log in’ to our homes from around the globe to monitor, control and adapt our home functionality. Don’t get left behind. All the cool kids are doing it!

10. Predict your upcoming utility bills.

Who hates the uncertainty of what our bills will be? I know I do! But what if your home could tell you exactly how much water, gas and electricity you’ve used? And what if it could also tell you how much Solar power you produced and the balance of town water vs. rain water you consumed? Simply applying your rates against these utilities will give you a live (down to 3 second intervals!) reading of current usage, usage to date in the billing cycle, overall usage and more. No more looking at the bill and thinking ‘There’s no way we used that much…’

11. Play any song in the world in any room of the home.

The modern day, multi-room audio systems rock my world (pardon the pun). In years gone by there were ‘wireless’ systems but this normally compromised the quality of the output (the music) which in my opinion is pretty important. These days there are absolute premium systems that are WiFi connected (just plug them into any power point in the home) and middle of the range quality that are battery operated to give unparalleled functionality and versatility. For the most part they now come with ‘streaming’ services, so ultimately you can access any song in the world (legally) and play it to any or every room in your home! I’ll say it again – Rocks my world!

12. Not just dim your lights but change their colour based on the evening plans.

The world of lighting has gone LED. For a few years this came with challenges of control such as dimming and connectivity but now those problems are gone and the new stuff coming through is just… Wow.

Today’s LED fittings can now seamlessly integrate with control systems, and in some cases control themselves, to change the level of light (dimming control) based on the mood, event or natural sunlight and even the colour of the light (and I mean any colour!) for evenings or special