While many buyers may think setting up a smart home is easy, it’s really anything but. To do things right, you need to make sure you are asking the right questions so you are spending your money smartly. The most important thing to do before you begin shopping is to ask yourself questions that will help you select the right products. This will also help you avoid unnecessary purchases. So what are the right questions? Let’s find out.
Why Should You Have a Smart Home?
Before tackling any other questions, think about why you should have a smart home. For many smart homeowners, convenience is the biggest reason. The opportunity to change your lights without getting up from the sofa or starting your coffee while you are brushing your teeth can be fun and interesting.
Having a smart home can save you time and money. Smart home product manufacturers have gone out of their way to market themselves as helping customers save money over the long term. The convenience of being able to set your preferred house temperature with a smart thermostat before you ever walk in the door is truly life-changing.
So What Do You Want to Accomplish?
Deciding what you hope to accomplish is arguably the most important decision. Do you want to keep it simple and just add a video doorbell? On the other hand, do you want to go big and make your house smart from top to bottom? Maybe you just want to cut back on electricity costs. How you respond to these questions will help put you on the right path toward a smart home. The good news is that no matter what you want to accomplish, there is a solution. So the best thing you can do is to determine your primary goal and head toward it.
Know Your Budget
On top of what you want to accomplish, the next biggest decision is your budget. How much you want to spend can determine quite a bit about what you are attempting to accomplish. That’s not to say you have to spend everything in one big purchase. You can spend $100 here and another $100 three months later and be well on your way to a smart home. Of course, you can spend more or less, the choice is entirely up to you.
The most important lesson here is how closely your budget ties to what you want to accomplish. Do you want a video doorbell? Prepare to spend around $150. Do you want smart lights? Then the budget is anywhere from $40 to $100 for brand-name products. No matter what, do not feel pressured to spend more than you can at once. There are always going to be sales and deals.
Where Should I Start?
This is the question that can really bring everything about a smart home together. Ideally, when looking to start putting together your smart home, you need to consider what platform you want to use. For the most part, the answer to this question is either Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant.
Apple’s HomeKit can be a part of this conversation but Amazon and Google are the dominant players in this space. Whichever platform you prefer will help you decide what products to look at next. Do you want to go with Amazon Alexa? You should start with an Echo speaker and a smart plug. Do you want to start with Google Assistant? Start with the Google Home Mini and a smart plug. Both of these options will cost you less than $100 and will help you get a sense of what each smart platform can do. Most importantly, both of these systems are capable and the perfect place to start with your smart home.
Risks of a Smart Home
There is no question that having a smart home is convenient and often cost-saving, but there are risks. There are entirely too many stories of customers ignoring proper security measures or manufacturers not taking the right precautions. Then bad things can happen.
Assuming you have already selected your platform and the first round of products you will buy, as you set these purchases up, keep in mind that a strong password and secure Wi-Fi network are critical to staying safe. Hackers can and will exploit smart home security and attempt to do harm. That’s not to say it is likely or even common, but it is not something to ignore either. Check out the potential safety and security risks of any smart home product you want to buy. A quick Google search should be all you need to do to stay knowledgeable and ahead of any potential issues.
The questions asked above are worth thinking about before you pull out your credit card. Knowing what you want to accomplish and how much you want to spend will benefit you greatly. Shop smart and never buy any smart home devices you don’t have a need for.