Are You Ready For A Smart Home?

Today, your refrigerator can automatically order food, your window shades can close automatically from the glare of the sun and your vacuum cleaner can be programmed to work while you are away from home at work. You can have your house lights behave as if you were at home while answering the doorbell with your smart phone away from home.

Smart home automation technology can offer homeowners peace of mind, convenience and efficiency, making it possible to automate systems  and equipment ranging from home security to thermostats. With a smartphone acting as a control center, homeowners can remotely monitor  video cameras, lock or unlock doors, turn on lights or automatically shut off the water to their home if a leak is detected.

Whether you’re looking for security, convenience, savings on electric bills or impressive entertainment; there’s a device for that. And  the challenge for some of us is that there are so many choices in technology that we don’t even know where to begin.

Not all devices “talk” to each other. Plan before you buy and check out product compatibility before linking numerous smart devices together. You may need a ‘hub’ ! Common smart home hubs include Google Home, Amazon’s Echo devices, WinkHub, Logitech Harmony and Apple Home. For specific smart home product reviews and information, check out these resources to see what the experts say:

- PC Magazine Smart Home 2018 Guide
- CNET Best Smart Home Devices for 2018
- PC Magazine Smart Kitchens

While the security of your home may be of primary importance, don’t forget your own security. These smart home devices are connected to the internet and by nature involve the risk of security breach. To protect yourself, always shop well known brands and never purchase a  device that does not allow you to customize passwords and security settings. Start out slowly getting familiar with just one or two smart  gadgets and learn the lingo, jargon and protocol of this stuff. It’s not going away . . . Better yet, pay a professional to ensure you are protected . . . you and your home.