Tag Archives: smart home technology

Team Marti’s 10 Tips for Using Smart Home Technology

Team Marti’s 10 Tips for Using Smart Home Technology

As technology evolves, more  and more homeowners are using smart home technology to control systems and appliances in their homes – thermostats, refrigerators, dishwashers, lighting, sound systems and more. These systems and appliances can be controlled by your smartphone, but many can now be controlled by voice-controlled devices like Amazon Echo or Google Home.

If you’re considering smart home devices, here are some tips to help you get started:

  1. Manage your smart home devices on a secure home WiFi network.
  2. Start small to see if smart home technology fits your lifestyle. For example, try LED light bulbs that you can dim or turn on and off with your smartphone, or buy a smart plug to turn lamps on with a timer.
  3. Smart lights, which are all LEDs, use a lot less electricity than other light bulbs.
  4. Voice controlled devices like Amazon Echo and Google Home let you use voice commands to order a pizza, play music, shop online, or tell you the news or weather.
  5. Security cameras like those by Nest and video doorbells like those by Ring are a great way to monitor your home from your smartphone, tablet or laptop. You can mount them outside your front door to see who is coming and going. Some also offer monitoring services and cloud-based video storage.
  6. Smart locks are also growing in popularity. You can lock and unlock your front door using your smartphone, and you can grant temporary access to guests like a pet sitter or babysitter.
  7. Smart home hubs can control multiple smart home devices, so they communicate with each other. Companies like Samsung create hubs, but Amazon Echo can also act as a hub.
  8. Want to save on your energy bill? A smart thermostat can help. You can automatically set the temperature of your home with your phone, and adjust it as needed. You can even turn on the heat remotely if there’s a sudden weather change, so you don’t have to go home to a cold house.
  9. You can now get a smoke detector to let you know if there is smoke or fire in your home, no matter where you are.
  10. If you enjoy technology, universal remotes are a cool way to control your TV, stereo, DVD player, cable box and more, all from one device.

There are so many smart home products on the market, and we don’t want to recommend any specific products here, but there are review sites like The Wirecutter and Tom’s Guide that will give you their recommendations. Also, before you buy anything, check buyer reviews on Amazon to see if customers are pleased with their purchases. Good luck!

Tech Tools Make Your Home Smarter, Safer and More Efficient

Tech Tools make your home smarter, safer and more efficient.Last fall we wrote a post about some of the fun ways the Internet of Things (IoT) can make your home more efficient and, well, intelligent. Here are some more ways your home can make your life a little easier, inspired by recent issues of Dwell and Sunset magazines.

Smart door locks – Did you know that you can open your front door without a key? Companies like Kwikset have been around for a while, but CANDY HOUSE is new to the market and is taking the Kickstarter world by storm with its new product, Sesame, an instant smart lock. You can lock or unlock your home remotely, create your own secret knock to open the door, and grant access to guests. You can even monitor who opens and closes the door and be notified whenever there is an unauthorized entry.

Home technology management – With products like Iris, you can manage your home’s security system, turn lights on and off, lock doors, monitor motion detectors in your home, and more. You’ll need to purchase a starter kit, which starts at $179 and then use either the basic service plan which is free or the premium plan which is $9.99 a month. See Lowe’s online for details and comparisons. Another option is Wink Relay, a wall-mounted touch screen that controls a variety of products, starting at $300.

Home security systems – From motion detection to video monitoring, you can secure your house whether you are home or away. Popular options include Canary and Dropcam by Nest, but there are many options available. For further security, check out Piper which has a 105-decibel siren that goes off while you are away or on vacation.

Other smart home tools – You can also equip your home with smart audio for stereo sound throughout your home, smart appliances including refrigerators, and tools to manage your thermostat, lighting, small appliances and lawn watering. Search online for Home Automation and Smart Home Technology or check out online stores like Home Depot and Lowe’s.