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The home of the future is a concept that has been popular since the early 20th century. In 1957, at Disneyland, the Monsanto House of the Future opened to much fanfare. It featured stylish plastic furniture, the then-revolutionary microwave, and a giant (non-operational) wall-mounted television screen. In 1964, the World's Fair was held in Flushing Queens. The theme was Visions of the Future, and visitors at the IBM Pavilion got to see one of the first computers.

Fast forward to today, and the home of the future is available to most homeowners! Technology that was just a dream in the mid-20th century is affordable and readily available to homeowners today.

Smart technologies work together to automate processes throughout your home. You can control them via a smartphone app or voice commands. From smart thermostats to lighting, it is possible to update your home using devices that integrate together, lower your energy costs, and save you money.

Smart Technology and Home Automation Explained

Smart technology is used to automate various elements throughout your home. You can control the comfort and efficiency of your home using your smartphone and the Internet of Things (IoT).

The first smart device was the programmable thermostat and has since developed into one of the biggest and fastest-growing markets in technology today. Smart technology use is growing. It encompasses home security, controlling appliances, monitoring energy use, and can even be used for looking after elderly or disabled family members.

When it comes to smart technology, you have a couple of options.

  • Central Control – is one home automation system that controls everything in your home. You can control lighting, your thermostat, sprinklers, the washer, and dryer, and more. Central Control systems are run through a wall-mounted terminal, much like a home security system. They are accessed via a remote control, smartphone, tablet, or computer.
  • App-Based – app-based technology uses your wireless network to communicate with the Cloud. Cloud computing is a component of the Internet of Things and has recently grown popular. These systems work by connecting your smart devices to your home network via Wi-Fi. Devices connect to a server which you then access and control through apps installed on your smartphone.

Affordable Smart Technology for Your Home

Today, many smart devices are designed to make your life easier, automate household processes, and allow you to control them via a phone app or with your voice. Smart technology covers three general areas: safety, comfort, and the efficiency of your home.

Many of these devices not only add to your safety and comfort but can also help you save money by monitoring and controlling home energy use and protecting your home's infrastructure from unexpected disasters.

Here are some examples of smart technology that can save money.

Smart Thermostats

This is the biggest money-saving device for your home. Devices like the Nest Learning Thermostat can learn how you heat and cool your home then take control to save you money.

Smart Sprinkler and Irrigation Systems

These devices save money by only using the water your lawn and garden need when they need it. Smart irrigation systems know what type of soil is in each zone and what plants grow there. The system also monitors the weather forecast to reduce watering when raining.

Leak Detectors and Water Shut-off Systems

A smart water leak detector alerts you to a potentially damaging flood. Simple systems sit on the floor and alert you when they get wet. More complex systems monitor water flow alerting you to any changes in pressure and letting you remotely shut off the supply if a leak is detected.

The Smart Refrigerator

A smart refrigerator can be used to prevent food waste, lowering your grocery bills. The refrigerator includes a camera allowing you to see what's inside via your smartphone - so that when you are shopping, you can avoid buying something already in the fridge.

Smart Lighting

Smart lighting has become a cornerstone of the smart home. Smart lighting is made by several different manufacturers, and all use LED bulbs. They are more efficient than traditional bulbs, use far less energy and produce much less heat. Smart lighting is flexible and can be set to any color, temperature, brightness. Timers, motion detectors, and geofencing help lights lower your electric bill by switching themselves off when you forget.

Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are a good point of entry to smart home technology, and they can help you save money too! They can be used to switch off devices on a timer or manually via a smartphone app, so you can make sure things are switched off when you're away. For example, make sure lamps and plug-in heaters don't stay on all night, or stop leaving devices on standby when they can be switched off to save energy... and money!

The Smart Home is Here!

Smart technology can help keep your family safe, your home comfortable, lower your energy usage, and put money in your pocket!

If you're still on the fence, consider some affordable, easy-to-install devices like smart plugs, or try replacing your existing light bulbs with smart versions. Add devices like smart speakers or a video doorbell as you become more comfortable with the concept. The truth is, once you've turned the lights off without leaving the couch, you'll be sold!

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