Energy Tech Tips Community

Smart home products can provide modern convenience, security, and energy savings—whether you’re home or away. Although, understanding how these devices work in your life and home can be tricky. So, we’ve set out to help you separate fact from fiction, and figure out how a smart home might fit for you.

What is a smart home?

A smart home is any home integrated with smart home products. These products work individually, or together to help you better control and secure home functions. They can include thermostats, virtual assistants, LED lightbulbs, doorbells, and more.

Integrating smart home components allows for effortless control of appliances, lighting, electronics and heating/cooling at any time from any location. It is important to have a reliable internet connection to pair and use smart home products effectively. They allow you to be more eco-conscious, and help control energy usage by proactively adjusting and saving when power isn’t needed.

How does a smart home work?

Smart home products are able to communicate between themselves using the internet and smartphones. A smartphone can be connected to Wi-Fi cameras that monitor pets while you’re are at work. Alarms can be set up to monitor  elderly friends and family members who are prone to falling. Need to see who’s at the front door? A wireless doorbell can be installed giving you a head’s up when an unexpected visitor stops by or package is delivered.

Companies such as Apple, Amazon and Google provide smart home components that also include voice assistant services. Some of the smart home hub options include Apple Home Kit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant.

Apple HomeKit

HomeKit is a one stop app on the Apple iOS platform. It takes all of your smart home devices and compiles them into one app giving you convenient control via an iPhone or iPad. HomeKit also integrates with Siri for full voice control. It combines all of your smart home devices into one list, groups devices by location and automates features such as lights, heating/cooling and alarms.

Amazon Alexa

Alexa can do a lot more than order toilet paper and answer your pressing questions about music and the weather. Alexa integrates with smart home products such as the Ecobee4 thermostat and Fire TV Cube. You can find even more products that are compatible by looking for the “Works with Amazon Alexa” tag. Amazon Alexa is more intuitive than Apple HomeKit. Amazon is the one of the leaders in available apps to increase command capabilities. Alexa can also group devices to simplify the amount of voice commands you need to give for each action.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant can be controlled straight from your android smartphone. You can have six customized users with only one device. One advantage Google Assistant has over its counterpart, Alexa, is that it can easily travel with you and your smartphone. Ask it questions at home in the morning, play music while you are at work and return home to all of your customized heating/cooling and lighting settings. Google assistant also works with the popular Nest thermostats.

Save energy with a smart home

Whatever smart home components you choose to add to your home, rest assured the energy savings and convenience will outweigh the initial financial investment and setup time. Integrating all of your smart home devices into one hub is a great option for busy adults on the go. No matter how much time is spent at home, integrating smart home components will ensure you’re doing your best to conserve as much energy as possible.