The smart home trend is dramatically evolving with at least 69% households in US owing at least one smart device.
So how could they ease your work and life?
I gathered and asked 15+ smart home professionals a same question:
“What’s your most favorite automation (ideas) for smart homes that is improving your life?”
Let’s check their ideas:
Table of Contents
- 1. Routine Checking:
- 2. Smart Curtain and Blinds:
- 3. Smart Interaction:
- 4. Smart LED String Lights:
- 5. Turn Outdoor Water On/Off Automation:
- 6. Remote Control and Scenes:
- 7. Smart Interoperability:
- 8. Reducing Your Home Cleaning Job:
- 9. Light Control Automation:
- 10. Smart Blinds:
- 11. Light Management:
- 12. Adjusting Natural Light Automation:
- 13. Seamless Connectivity:
- 14. Changing My Overall Everyday Process:
- 15. Simple and Intuitive Lighting Automation:
- Now What?
1. Routine Checking:
Jason Williams from Automate Your Life
One of my favorite automations happens when I get into bed at night and a sensor under my mattress detects that I’m there, which triggers off an automation to check if I’ve left any lights on or forgotten to close the garage door.
Simple, but effective.
2. Smart Curtain and Blinds:
Tristan Perry from Smart Home Point
I love smart curtain and blinds.
Being able to automatically open your blinds/windows when it gets light (and shut them again when it gets darker) is really awesome.
The only downside is that they can be a little pricey, although I see them as an investment (plus I only use them in certain rooms).
I currently use SwitchBot’s products for this purpose, they work really well.
3. Smart Interaction:
Neal Panamdanam (CTO of ZebraBlinds)
The ability to automate vs using a voice assistant would be the biggest one.
Majority of consumers when thinking of home automation immediately think of devices being controlled using Alexa or Google Home.
However, true automation is the ability to simply interact with your home and it knowing what needs to be done.
A very basic example would be using our Smart Z-wave Shades and using a hub such as Hubitat Elevation.
I have the ability to set up rules such as closing the shades when the HVAC is on to cool the room faster, or, opening and closing shades to emulate someone being home; further automations are possible as well.
Now one improvement needed in this field, that no one has done yet, is using AI to learn and eventually automate your home for you.
4. Smart LED String Lights:
Zak Kann from Smart Geek Home
I spend far too much time staring at screens in poorly-lit rooms. That led to a lot of eye strain.
My solution was simple: add LED string lights around all my screens to provide bias lighting.
The real trick is finding the right way to trigger them.
I watch TV sporadically, so those lights are triggered by a smart plug when the TV turns on.
I use my computer all day, so those ones are on a timer.
When they turn off, I know I should get some sleep.
Occupancy sensors or cameras also work well for triggering bias lighting.
5. Turn Outdoor Water On/Off Automation:
David Mead from LinkdHOME
Good smart home platforms can combine various sensors and conditions to create some complex behaviours.
One that has simplified a common task for my family is to automate when our outdoor water feature turns on or off.
This is more complicated than it sounds as it needs to factor in the time of day, whether anyone is home, and the average wind speed (to prevent water wastage).
I did this in Apple’s HomeKit using multiple conditional automations such as ‘When someone arrives home during the day” and “At 6am if someone is home“, and using a dummy switch to flag if the wind speed is over the threshold.
Wind speed is taken from a smart weather station via IFTTT and used as another condition.
6. Remote Control and Scenes:
Ashley Saunders from My Dream Haus
There are two elements I love about having a smart home. Firstly remote control, and secondly, scenes.
As I’m often away from home, having the option of remote control is super helpful.
No matter if I’m down the street or 1,000 miles away, I’m in full control.
I can turn on lights, lower the blinds, and adjust the heating.
I can make it seem that I’m at home and protect my biggest asset from anywhere. And all I need is Wi-Fi!
Another element I love is scenes. With a single button press, I can activate multiple devices.
My favourite scene is “all off”. It switches all devices to off, as the name suggests! Super handy if leaving home in a rush or last thing at night.
7. Smart Interoperability:
Mitch Klein, Executive Director of the Z-Wave Alliance
The ability to create smart home scenes is one of the most impactful ways that smart home technology can improve life for homeowners.
When you press a button on a lighting keypad, it can trigger not only the fixtures but also the ceiling fan, music system, and motorized shades you’ve saved yourself several steps and effortlessly created an elegant atmosphere for entertaining guests.
When unlocking a smart lock on the front door can trigger the foyer lights to turn on, and sends a notification to your smartphone, you know the kids have arrived safely home from school.
From Connected Home to Smart Home
A smarter home is one you don’t have to think about, one that works for you and with your routines.
The key to making scenes like this possible is choosing an ecosystem of devices that can work together, this is often called interoperability.
When a smartphone pairs up with a Bluetooth speaker, they are interoperating.
When a laptop computer transmits Wi-Fi commands to a printer, they are interoperating.
We’ve already been exposed to the concept.
Instead of controlling and managing each device independently, you can let the devices interoperate to streamline your routines like the examples we outlined.
According to our recent Z-Wave Ecosystem report in the U.S. alone, 54% of smart home device owners consider interoperability an important consideration in their next device purchase.
And it’s important for people to keep in mind as they build their smart home protocols like Z-Wave take consumers from a connected home to a truly smart home that offers the automation and control preferences to improve your life.
8. Reducing Your Home Cleaning Job:
Richard Harrison from Robotbox
It isn’t easy to highlight a single smart tool for home. But I personally prefer robot vacuum cleaners.
Vacuuming is one of the most time-consuming regular domestic responsibilities.
Now, robots can even mop, significantly reducing a home cleaning job.
Robots can collect dirt from tight corners and under furniture – places you hardly achieve by yourself.
It is crucial for pet owners and people with allergies.
With modern voice control programs, you can quickly start them with a simple voice command!
They clean the home while you are away or sleeping!
For me, it is like a miracle!
9. Light Control Automation:
Saša Miličević from Blakadder
My favorite smart home automation is pairing mmWave presence sensors I reviewed on my website with lights and other smart devices.
That way I don’t have to use light switches to control lights throughout the house and I can selectively turn on or off devices once no one occupies a room to conserve energy.
10. Smart Blinds:
Brandon Roller from SmarterHome
Three things SmarterHome provides that improve the lives of our customers are:
MySmartBlinds and MySmartRollerShades are the smartest, Bluetooth-enabled blinds for interior windows.
Enable sunrise/sunset automation, regulate the temperature of your home with Energy Savings mode, and set repeating tilting schedules, all without having to lift a finger.
MySmartBlinds include a solar charging panel so you never have to plug them in.
Our Hard Top Lifter is the smartest, safest, Bluetooth-enabled hoist for heavy and awkward hardtops.
It makes removing your vehicle’s hardtop quick and easy.
Plus it frees up precious garage space by providing safe overhead storage for your hardtop.
We improve people’s lives in many other ways but for the sake of brevity we’ll limit ourselves to these three.
11. Light Management:
Caroline from SmartWings
Whilst the phrase “Bring your home into the future” may seem like a catchphrase, it is already a reality.
All smart gadgets can be turned on by using an app (HomeKit, Alexa) or a smart speaker (such as the HomePod or Amazon Alexa).
To make your house more habitable, they all contribute.
Smart blinds may appear to be nothing more than ornaments, but they have additional uses.
They provide flexibility in light management and contribute to energy conservation.
They also offer features that surpass your wildest expectations.
12. Adjusting Natural Light Automation:
Emelie Karlsson from OmniaBlinds
One of the most favorite automation ideas for smart homes that can improve your life is motorized roller blinds.
With motorized roller blinds, you can automate the opening and closing of your blinds according to your preferences.
For example, you can set them to open in the morning to let in natural light and close in the evening for privacy.
You can also set them to automatically adjust based on the time of day or the amount of sunlight entering the room.
This level of automation not only enhances the convenience of your daily routine but can also help save energy by regulating the amount of heat and light that enters your home.
Plus, you can control your motorized roller blinds remotely using a smartphone app, making it easy to adjust them even when you’re away from home.
13. Seamless Connectivity:
Dr Dean Anthony Gratton from his blog
Let me explain…
I’ll start with fixed connectivity, that is, your broadband, which might be provided to your home via fibre, xDSL or cellular – you must have a reliable and fast connection.
Likewise, your wireless connectivity across your home is also important, so ensure you use the most up-to-date products, for example, with Bluetooth, and especially Wi-Fi (6 or 6e) and soon to emerge is Wi-Fi 7.
Once good connectivity is established you can confidently support your smart home ecosystem with greater confidence, as all your smart home devices have that all-important connection and can seamlessly connect with one another.
Without ubiquitous connectivity your home will never be truly smart.
14. Changing My Overall Everyday Process:
Dr. Dinu Sri Madusanka from BrainyHousing
I truly love smart homes due to the overall experience.
It’s not about a single item being automated. It’s about changing the overall everyday process.
My most favorite automation for smart homes is one that I use every day – and that’s my morning routine.
I’ve set up my smart home to wake me up with gentle lighting and my favorite playlist, while my smart coffee maker starts brewing my coffee just as I’m getting out of bed.
But that’s not all!
As I leave for work, my smart thermostat automatically adjusts the temperature to save energy, while my smart security system arms itself and sends me a notification to let me know that everything is secure.
And as I’m on my way home, my smart lighting system turns on to welcome me back.
All of these small automations may seem like minor conveniences, but they add up to a significantly smoother and more enjoyable start to my day, and a more comfortable and secure home overall.
It’s these little details that make me truly appreciate the power of smart home technology.
15. Simple and Intuitive Lighting Automation:
Hans from Homesmart Technologies Pte. Ltd.
I’m a big fan of simple, intuitive automation. I have a cabinet in my living room with some nice LED strips to light up the displays.
The lights make the cabinet and the room look nice, but otherwise, it isn’t bright enough to be useful as a light source.
With its switch rather inconveniently located on the cabinet itself, I found that using the light daily was a hassle. I would almost never turn the light on in real life.
A smart switch on a timer automation solved my problem.
With a simple automation to have the light turn on at 8 pm, and off at 10 pm, I fulfilled the function of the cabinet lighting (making my home look good) without needing to manually turn it on and off.
Bonus condition for the automation (which can be achieved in HomeKit): only run the automation when somebody is home.
Wow! What an amazing collection of amazing ideas.
Now I want to turn it over to you:
What’s your favorite smart home automation ideas?
Let me know by leaving a comment below right now.