A Beginner’s Guide to Smart Homes

If you’ve been clued up on the world of tech over the past year or so, chances are you’ve heard of home automation, also known as smart homes. According to Statista figures, the US smart home market equated to $31.45 billion in 2022, up from just $15.11 billion in 2017, with the craze seeing publications like Newsweek and ABC predicting how our lives will be upended by the technology.

But before we all dive into the smart home future, what are smart homes? Why should you invest in home automation? And what ways can you get your home ready for the 21st century? Read on to learn more.


What is a smart home?

The term smart home refers to the process of connecting devices and devices within the home to the internet, allowing them to be customized, controlled, and analyzed digitally. This can be through a home network via Wi-Fi, or in the cloud, letting you control devices like thermostats, lighting, and security systems remotely from your smartphone.


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Why invest in home automation?

Home automation is beneficial for a whole host of reasons.

Firstly, it allows control and customization; with a smart home, you can choose when you use lighting or heating, which way your security cameras are pointed and much more. Couple this with machine learning and your home can learn your habits and adapt in kind, removing smartphone inputs entirely!

Indeed, it’s important to note that smart homes are designed user-friendly, so if you’re not very tech-savvy, you can rest assured you’ll still be able to operate your systems and enjoy the life-simplifying benefits.

Through all this control and customization, you can reduce your home running costs too – no more leaving the lights or heating on while you’re out running errands.

And if money is an issue, then set-up costs can be reduced as well: you can save money and start automating your home yourself with DIY technology like BeagleBoard. This miniature programming system based on Linux and featuring a 1GHz processor and 4GB flash memory can be a lightweight basis for popular open-source home automation solutions like Home Assistant, openHAB, and OpenMotics.


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What sorts of smart devices are available?

Unsure how your home could go smart? There are lots of great options to choose from.

  • Smart thermostat – Tell your home what temperature you would like it heating to, and track your heating expenditure over time.
  • Automated vacuum cleaners – Put your robot vacuum cleaner to work while you’re out of the home, instructing it on which parts of your property to clean.
  • Smart refrigerators – Control the temperature of your refrigerator, or track when different products are close to their use-by dates.
  • Smart lightning – Connect Wi-Fi-enabled smart lightbulbs to your phone and set them up to flash when your Uber arrives or your oven timer sounds, or get your porch light to turn on when it gets dark.
  • Smart doorbells – Get a video feed from your front door sent to your phone when someone rings your doorbell.


Smart homes are an amazing innovation and more and more people are seeing the benefits. How would you like to make your home smart? Let us know in the comments section.

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