Now that the cold winter weather has arrived, it’s a great time to focus on indoor projects! Specifically the ones that will make your indoor life more efficient, safe, and enjoyable – like smart home integration! What exactly does that mean, and what are some things you should consider doing first?
How Does It Work?
Smart home technology is also called “automation.” You may just call it “Alexa.” In fact, you probably already have an Alexa, Google Home, Nest, or Ring helping you out in some way, but most of us are not utilizing them to their greatest potential. As soon as we start expanding beyond “Alexa, turn on the light.” it can get confusing and tricky.
One thing to keep in mind is that your smart home technology “works with” Alexa or your voice command system of choice. They’re not the same thing. This means that the light bulb, doorbell, or any other smart tools will have their own app for control, and then it will connect to your voice command system to control it with your voice. To make it easier, we’ll call them all Alexa for right now.
What difference does this make? You can buy smart light bulbs from one brand and smart plugs from somewhere else, but you’ll be using two different apps to set them up – each brand has its own app. That’s no problem as long as both work with Alexa; once each is set up you can control them both with the one app (Alexa) instead of their original apps.
This is where Lutron is a cut above the rest: all the technology you could ever ask for (and more you didn’t even know you want) is already integrated to work together in one system, and everything is at the top of its class. So your one Lutron system controls everything (lights, blinds, audio systems, security, everything) and can be controlled by Alexa, the touch of a button, or a proximity sensor. We’re Lutron certified, so we can do all the installation, set up, and programming. All you have to do is add your voice!
Just imagine one command, switch, or keypad dimming the lights, lowering the blinds, and turning on the tv for movie night. You can also schedule outdoor lights to come on, thermostat to raise, and driveway to melt the snow and ice before you get home each day.
What Should You Do FIrst?
With so many possibilities, where do you begin? Here are some of our top smart home must-haves:
- Lighting. Start with which rooms do you use most often: this is usually the living room, kitchen, and master bedroom. Want that bedside lamp to turn off when you tell it to? Or your pathway lit automatically to get to your morning coffee?
- Thermostat. No one likes coming home to a cold house. But we also don’t like running the heat when we’re not home. Smart thermostats can be programmed to change the temperature throughout the day. Or you can adjust it remotely while away from home.
- Outdoor lighting. The days get dark quickly in the winter, so coming home to a lit pathway is not only helpful, it’s safer too. Please don’t slip on that patch of ice just because you couldn’t see it.
- Alarm systems. From alerting you to visitors and packages at your door, to whole home alarms that also activate the lights.. these bring amazing peace of mind whether you’re living in town, in the country, or in a second home part of the year.
These are some of our favorite things that you might consider as a start. We only have one warning: when you start enjoying the conveniences of smart home technology, you’re going to want to automate everything!
Visit the Lutron website to learn more about what’s possible: https://www.casetawireless.com/us/en/smart-living
We've been published! Four times a year, we will be writing articles for the Lake Pend Oreille Neighbors magazine, a local publication full of community news and expertise. Our aim in contributing to this magazine is to help our local community understand the...
Welcome to the official blog of Heritage North, and welcome to summer! We're your local Sandpoint electrician company, and have had some big changes take place over the winter, with an exciting summer ahead. For one, we hired me! I'm Jennae, Tim's sister-in-law, and...