Luke Smith is a writer and researcher turned blogger. Since finishing college he has been trying his hand at being a freelance writer. When he isn't writing you can find him traveling, hiking, or gaming.
Smart technology is becoming more popular all the time. It was estimated that 37% of U.S. households had at least one smart device in 2020. Now that people are spending more time at home because of the pandemic – including working remotely – smart technology is likely to continue its growth trend.
But, if you’ve been on the fence about implementing smart technology in your home as part of your renovation plans, you’re certainly not alone. It’s not necessarily for everyone, and it’s important to understand not only the benefits but everything else that could potentially come from installing smart devices.
With that in mind, we’ll cover some of the most important things you should know, including the safety of smart tech, the benefits of different devices, and the long-term impacts of having it in your house.
What to Expect from Smart Home Tech
Before you decide whether smart devices are a good fit for your home, you should familiarize yourself with what smart technology is meant to accomplish, and what you can expect – including how safe it is. Getting answers to those common questions now can give you peace of mind and more confidence as you decide if you want to install this type of technology.
Most people have a basic idea of what smart technology is, but what does it really mean for your home? Some of the most common smart home devices are:
- Security systems
- Smart hubs (Amazon Echo Show, Facebook Portal, etc.)
Everything from humidifying systems to ceiling fans and lighting can even be “smart”, though some are more of a financial investment than others. What do all of these things have in common?
They’re all designed to make your life safer, easier, and more convenient. Most smart home devices can be controlled from your phone or through a panel in the home. Many will provide automated services so you hardly ever have to think about them.
But, is that safe?
One of the biggest concerns people tend to have about smart home technology is if it’s secure and private. Thankfully, there are things you can do to make sure every smart device in your home is safe from cybercriminals. Some of those safety measures include:
- Encrypting your home Internet connection
- Changing your passwords frequently
- Enabling two-factor authentication
- Making sure your devices are up-to-date
Cybersecurity issues are serious, and it’s understandable to have concerns. It’s also normal to be cautious about things like artificial intelligence “learning” things about you and collecting data. But, with so many protective measures to put in place, smart home technology is safer than ever as long as you take the time to set it up properly and educate yourself on the type of data it will collect.
What Are the Benefits?
Even if you’re convinced your smart home tech will be safe, it might not seem worth it to install a bunch of new devices in your home – unless you fully understand the benefits. Aside from the convenience factor, most people gravitate toward smart home technology for:
- Video monitoring home while you’re away
- Cutting back on energy bills
- Answering the door from anywhere
- Saving money on insurance
Because smart home tech is becoming more popular and more common, it can also add a lot of value to your home. If you ever plan on selling your property, having even just one smart home device installed can make your house more appealing to potential buyers.
One of the other biggest reasons people invest in smart home devices is security. We already talked about security systems being a popular device, and there’s a reason for that – it’s one of the best ways to see what’s going on both inside and outside your home. Many smart home security systems even link directly with local authorities or national agencies that will send out a law enforcement officer quickly, if needed. There is a sense of empowerment that comes from knowing you’re in full control of your home security. It can offer you peace of mind and help you to feel safe at home.
Smart home devices tend to benefit certain people more than others because of different living situations. If you have pets, kids, or aging parents, smart home tech can help you to check in on them whenever you want from the palm of your hand.
But, even if you only want this kind of tech in your home to make things more convenient and comfortable, that’s okay too! It’s a great way to upgrade your living space and make it feel more like home.
Is Smart Home Technology Here to Stay?
It’s estimated that the number of smart homes in America will grow to over 350 million by 2023. Knowing that number, it’s safe to say that smart home tech isn’t going anywhere. In fact, we can likely expect it to keep becoming more advanced. What that means in terms of AI or automation remains to be seen, but manufacturers of these products will likely continue pushing the technology envelope to find ways to make your life more convenient.
That doesn’t mean all devices will stay in popularity. Some are more practical than others. So, if you’re thinking about installing some smart devices in your home, the best investment you can make is to recognize which devices are specifically meant to increase home safety, help with home maintenance, and make life easier. A few of the best options for long-term value include:
- Smart smoke detectors
- Wireless doorbell cameras
- Keyless entry
- Security systems
- Smart outlets
- Smart thermostats
- Water monitoring systems
- Smart window blinds
At the end of the day, the more you know about smart home technology, the more confident you’ll be in deciding whether it’s right for you. You don’t have to buy into every device, even if it’s trendy. If you’re interested in making your home into a smart home, or even starting out with one smart device, do your research. Consider your needs, your wants, and your lifestyle before determining the right products. When you do, you’ll be much happier with the way your smart devices go to work for you.