How to Make Your House a Smart Home

How to Make Your House a Smart Home

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How to Make Your House a Smart Home

How to Make Your House a Smart HomeWelcome to our ‘ How to Make Your House a Smart Home ‘ guide.

Almost everything in your home including your heating, lights and garage doors, can be connected to the internet and be remotely controlled with a mobile device or smart speaker.

But setting up a so-called smart home can be very confusing at first: There is a vast amount of different accessories that work only with certain products, and some work better than others.

Our step by step  a guide is here to help you sort through all the jargon and set up your first voice-controlled smart home.

Table of Contents

Top 3 Smart Home Devices

In a rush ? our top 3 devices are listed below:-

  1. Google Assistant
  2. Amazon’s Alexa
  3. Apple’s Siri
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Step 1 – choose your smart home assistant

How to Make Your House a Smart Home

Smart home voice-controlled assistants like Google’s Assistant, Amazon’s Alexa, and Apple’s Siri make it so easy to control smart home products by voicing simple commands like “ Siri, turn on the lights ”

Each of these tools has its strengths and weaknesses, so choose the right one for your specific requirements:

Google Assistant

  • A truly exceptional sound experience with Google Assistant built in, elevating your sound experience.
  • Music that will surprise and amaze thanks to a partnership of two outstanding companies deliver an exceptional sound experience for music lovers all over the world
  • Ask it questions, and tell it to do things. The more you use it, the more useful it gets. It’s your own personal Google, always ready to help.
  • Use your voice to instantly get information about the weather, news sports and more.
  • Set your calendar events, check the weather forecast, remind yourself to send a birthday card, and play your favourite music

PRO’s

  • Google’s Home speaker and smartphones running newer versions of Android include Assistant.
  • At £130, Google Home costs £50 less than Amazon’s standard Echo speaker. (Prices correct at time of print)
  • In terms of artificial intelligence, Assistant is generally smarter than Alexa and Siri because it is powered by the brains of Google search, meaning you can ask a broader array of questions and are more likely get a correct response.£

CON’s

  • You summon Assistant by saying “O.K., Google,” which gets annoying.
  • There are far more smart home products supporting Alexa than Google’s Assistant.
  • Google Home’s audio quality is just mediocre.
  • While Assistant is slightly smarter than other virtual assistants, it is still flawed and has trouble responding to some requests appropriately.

Amazon’s Alexa

  • Meet the all-new Echo Dot—our most popular smart speaker with Alexa. The sleek, compact design delivers crisp vocals and balanced bass for full sound.
  • Voice control your entertainment—stream songs from Amazon Music, Apple Music, Spotify, Deezer and more. Play music, audiobooks and podcasts throughout your home with multi-room music.
  • Ready to help—ask Alexa to tell a joke, play music, answer questions, play the news, check the weather, set alarms and more.
  • Control your smart home—use your voice to turn on lights, adjust thermostats and lock doors with compatible devices.
  • Connect with others—Call almost anyone hands free. Instantly drop in on other rooms or announce to the entire household that dinner’s ready.
  • Designed to protect your privacy—built with multiple layers of privacy protection and control, including a Microphone Off button that electronically disconnects the microphones.

PRO’s

  • If you want to quickly get started with a smart home, buying an Echo product is your best bet.
  • Amazon’s Echo products are easy to set up and plug in anywhere that you need to summon Alexa.
  • At £50, Echo Dot, the smaller speaker, is one of the cheapest smart home controllers in the market.
  • Alexa has more than 10,000 third-party capabilities, making it the most broadly supported smart home hub.
  • The smartphone apps for setting up Echo products work with Apple and Android devices.

CON’s

  • Amazon’s Alexa app for iPhones and Android phones, required for setting up some smart home products, can be clunky.
  • Alexa sometimes has difficulty responding to what you are asking it to do.
  • The speakers on Echo products are generally mediocre.
  • You can’t trigger Alexa by speaking to a smartphone; you have to talk to the speaker itself.

Apple’s Siri

  • Siri built-in
  • Play & control music using your voice
  • Compatible with Apple Music
  • WiFi / Bluetooth

PRO’s

  • With privacy in mind, Apple worked directly with home accessory makers to ensure that the data transferred between accessories and Apple devices is secure and encrypted.
  • The integration of Apple’s HomeKit into its mobile devices makes it much easier to set up Siri with home accessories.

CON’s

  • Partly because of Apple’s stringent privacy requirements, it has taken longer for smart home accessories supporting Siri to reach the market, meaning there are fewer available.
  • Siri sometimes has trouble understanding what you are asking it to do.
  • Siri is exclusive to Apple products.

Step 2 – putting your smart home assistant to work

Google’s Assistant

Google’s home smart speaker and most Android smartphones include Google’s Assistant. To get Google home’s attention, simple say “O.K., Google.”

To obtain compatible google home products, look out for products that are labeled “ Works with the Google Assistant ”

Controlling the Lights for example:

Smart lights come in two variations. Some systems require a bridge, a device that connects with a Wi-Fi router and communicates with the light. There are also smart light bulbs with a built-in Wi-Fi connection, which don’t require a bridge  a much simpler setup. These bulbs are multi-colored and can be dimmed.

Here are steps for using Google Assistant to control a smart light bulb

You will require:

  • A Google Home speaker
  • A smart bulb
  • An Apple or Android smartphone for setting up Google Home to talk to the bulb

How to control lights with Google Home:

  1. Screw the bulb into the lamp socket and flip on the light switch.
  2. On your smartphone, download the required app. Open the app. On the screen, tap the plus or Add Bulbs button and follow the setup instructions to connect the bulb to your Wi-Fi network.
  3. With Google Home set up, you should have already installed the Google Home app on your smartphone. Open the app and tap the menu icon in the upper-left corner. Then tap Home Control.
  4. Tap the plus sign to add a device. Tap the Authorize button to let Google Assistant control the light.
  5. Assign the light to a room, such as the living room. This will make referring to the lights easier.
  6. Now test the lamp. With Google Home nearby, say “O,K., Google, turn on the light in the living room.” Then say “O.K., Google, turn off the light in the living room.”

These settings will vary from brand to brand.

Amazon’s Alexi

Alexa is the virtual assistant powering Amazon’s Echo products, including the Echo speaker, the miniature Echo Dot speaker and the Echo Show, a smart speaker with a touch screen. You summon it by saying “Alexa.”

If you want to quickly get started with a smart home, buying an Echo product is your best bet, because Alexa works with a broader set of smart home accessories than its rivals.

To set up your Alexa product you’ll first need to download the Alexa app onto your phone. This app allows your to add “skills” to work accessories or increase your assistant’s set of capabilities.

To find home accessories that are compatible with Alexa, look for a “Works With Alexa” logo on the packaging or in the product description.

Controlling Your Lights

A wide variety of smart lighting is on the market. While some systems require a so-called bridge, a device that connects with a Wi-Fi router and talks to the smart light, there are also smart light bulbs with a built-in Wi-Fi connection. Lifx is one of these that do not require a bridge so the setup is very simple. The bulbs are multi-colored and dimmable, but because they rely on Wi-Fi, their reliability will depend on your Wi-Fi router.

To use your Alexa to control a bulb,

you will require:

  • An Amazon Echo product
  • A smart bulb
  • An Apple or Android smartphone for setting up Alexa to talk to the bulb

These settings will vary from brand to brand.

Apple’s Siri

Apple’s iPhones and iPads include Siri, which can be triggered by saying “Hey Siri,” or by holding down the home button. In addition, accessories like smart lights or thermostats can be controlled with Apple’s Home app on iPhones and iPads.

To find compatible products, look for accessories that are labeled “Works with Apple HomeKit” on the packaging or in the product description.

Controlling the Lights for example

Adding a set of smart light bulbs is an easy way to get started building a smart-home system. Some of these systems require a bridge, a device that connects with a Wi-Fi router and transmits data to a receiver on the smart light.

Here are steps for using Siri to control a Philips Hue bulb. 

You will require:

  • An iPhone or iPad
  • A Philips Hue lighting kit that works with HomeKit

These settings will vary from brand to brand.

Summary

So in summary all three devices can turn your house in to a smart home which you choose really depends on your budget and personal preference to the device’s.

We hope you enjoyed our ‘ How to Make Your House a Smart Home ‘ article and would consider sharing.

How to Make Your House a Smart Home
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