Is It Really Smart To Live In A Small Home
Always thought of building a smart home for yourself?
Always thought of living like a technological king?
Is this the right time or is it really smart to live in a smart home?
Ask yourself these 5 questions to know better.
Question 1: Do you even need a Smart Home?
Technically, no one needs a Smart Home any more than anyone needs a Casper mattress. But enough of your inner circle has talked about it that you’ve developed an itch. That itch, my friend, is the want for something , not a need. If you’re okay with admitting this nuance, then follow along.
Question 2: What problems are you trying to solve?
As quoted by a user on Mashable:
“When I started thinking about what I wanted a Smart Home for, I had some very specific pain points:
- My daughter couldn’t reach the light switch in the hallway that led to her bedroom.
- When my daughter was in her bedroom, she couldn’t reach the light switches there, either.
- I didn’t have an alarm system but having one would make me feel more comfortable; preferably one that didn’t require a subscription or phone line.
- Anytime we hired a doggy sitter, there was this dance of “How do we get you the key” and “How do we get the key back.” Ideally, no key is necessary — I have a smart lock that has personalized codes, or at the very least, I can control the lock remotely.
There are many other things I wanted, but those are the top 4. Lights turning off automatically, speakers announcing that a door has opened — those were just niceties that came expanding the system. “
Question 3: Do you have the money?
If you don’t have disposable income, stay away, because you really don’t need a Smart Home.
But for this post, let’s pretend that you do, but you’re still budget conscientious.
If you wanted a basic system that would turn on lights based on motion, you’d need:
- A motion sensor that doesn’t require a hub($40+)
- A bulb that doesn’t require a hub ( $30+)
= That’s $70 (again, this assumes you can use WiFi and some service like IFTTT that can get the 2 products to communicate with each other)
But then you realize that your WiFi isn’t sufficient/reliable, so now you have to purchase a Hub.
- A Hub (~$50+)
That makes it $120
And if that’s not enough, you just remember that there are 4 light bulbs in that room/hall that need to be Smart, not just 1. You’re clever though — you realize a switch is the cost effecting thing to do here.
Well, do you need an electrician or can you install it yourself? Are there multiple panels that turn the lights on and off? If so, you may need multiple smart switches. Oh, you want the bulbs to be able to change colors? Well, back to the drawing board!
Question 4: Are you in your forever home?
Things to consider:
You may not want a system that only “Works with Apple HomeKit”. If you land a buyer that is an Android user, the smart home becomes less…smart.
Switches over Bulbs
Bulbs will eventually burn out and the buyer may not want to be stuck purchasing these over and over again. A smart switch may be your best bet here. Just make sure that it’s using something that’s open like Z-Wave or Zigbee (Note: one technology is more open than the other.)
When a person moves in, they’re likely going to want to change the lock. So, consider if you want a smart lock that actually supports keys (some don’t). And if you do, see how easy it is for the lock itself to invalidate your key and support new ones.
All the technologies above will eventually become outdated. Either because the technologies themselves have continued to improve (Z-Wave vs Z-Wave Plus vs Z-Wave v3), or in the worst case scenario, the technology itself has become obsolete.
Question 5: Do you care for your roommates?
We’re telling you now. Whether your roommate is a friend, a dog, or a spouse, you’re going to do something that’s going to annoy them. Whether it be the WiFi going down as you’re tuning frequencies, or the light is waking people up that just want to cross the hall to pee.