At Smart Life Solutions we have chosen to not line ourselves up with any one smart home technology vendor or another in isolation. We have decided to focus on implementing the best solutions to meet the needs of our customers and their budgets.
You don’t need an Internet connection or smart phone, but it helps
There is a misconception that smart home automation is expensive and requires you to have an Internet connection and a smart phone. Neither is necessarily true as you can build quite complex automations with relatively inexpensive smart home devices and without having access to the Internet or indeed having a smart phone. For example, you can still automate lights to come on at certain times of day or when movement is detected or both.
If you do have access to the Internet, and have a smart phone, it opens up a whole host of opportunities to control your home when you’re not there. You can do things such as controlling the temperature of the house, interacting with people on your doorstep, monitoring the security of your property and having lights come on automatically when you return home.
Smart Home Technology
Below are some of the technologies that we use at Smart Life Solutions. This list is growing rapidly as we do more projects. So if we don’t have something on this list that you’re interested in, please ask us why not. Check our blog to see some of the projects we do for ourselves and other people.
Smart Plug Adaptor
A smart plug adaptor turns a regular power socket into a smart switch. You simply plug the non-smart device, for example a table lamp, into the smart plug adaptor which in turn is plugged into the power socket. In this way you can control pretty much anything that has a 13 amp plug.
Smart Lighting allows you to control the brightness and colour of individual bulbs without any re-wiring. Choose from bulbs that provide warm white light, bulbs that can produce both warm and cool white light, and bulbs that can produce any type of white and any colour imaginable.
Combine smart lighting with smart dimmer switches to remotely control your lights. Add motion sensors to automatically turn on your lights as you move around your home.
Smart Switches can be programmed to turn on or off individual or groups of smart home devices. Some Smart Switches can perform different actions according to whether you single or double press the switch or you simply hold down the button.
Smart Switches bridge the gap between the people in the home who understand the technology and those that don’t. They are particular useful for when you have visitors to stay!
Smart Remote Controls
Smart Remote Controls, for example the Logitech Harmony Hub, provide a universal remote control for all your home entertainment equipment – television, set top box (terrestrial, satellite or cable), personal video recorder, streaming box, AV receiver etc – as well as being able to control certain smart devices in your home.
Smart Remote Controls can be smart home devices in their own right and can enable you to automatically turn on devices when another smart home device is switched on or, for example, a sensor reports movement etc.
A smart thermostat replaces your non-smart wall thermostat. Some smart thermostats can also control your hot water. You can add smart radiator thermostats to provide a finer level of control throughout your home.
Smart sensors provide information that helps home automation systems decide when to switch something on or off. Currently, there are smart sensors that detect motion and feedback data such as temperature and air quality.
Smart Video Doorbells
Smart Video Doorbells allow to you to see and talk to a person at your door without you having to stop what you’re doing or even being in the house in the first place.
As well as a button to press, Smart Video Doorbells typically feature a high resolution video camera, a motion sensor, a microphone and speaker. Most manufacturers now offer a service to store the audio and video when motion is detected outside the door which is a useful security feature.
Smart Cameras provide a way to visually monitor what’s happening both inside and outside your house. Some Smart Cameras not only allow you to see who’s on or in you property but also to hear them and talk to them.
Smart Home Control
Smart Home Control is generating a lot of buzz at the moment as most people will want to be able to control all their smart home devices using a voice control assistant or a single app on their smart phone.
The emerging Smart Home Control market is being lead by Amazon, Apple and Google. Each provides voice control assistants (Amazon Alexa, Apple Siri and Google Assistant) and a home hub that controls all your smart devices.
The home hub is an ‘always on’ device, such as a smart speaker or a video streaming device, that understands voice commands or interacts with an app on a smart phone or both. Examples of home hubs are Amazon Echo/Fire, Apple TV/HomePod and Google Home Smart Speaker.
Smart Life Solutions Integration Hub
The Smart Home Control market is still in its infancy and the solutions on offer do not provide integrations with every smart home device product on the market. In addition the automation capabilities of the Smart Home Control solutions are at best limited. Therefore, Smart Life Solutions has developed an Integration Hub to bridge the gap. It can work alongside, and augment, the Smart Home Control solutions provided by Amazon, Apple and Google. It can also be used standalone if there is no Internet connection available.
The Integration Hub uses the open source Home Assistant software as its core to provide integrations with a greater range of smart device vendors and to power complex automations. It can be run on an inexpensive mini PC, running Windows 10 or Linux.
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