Learn How to Build a Smart Home – For Beginners

This article discusses what a smart home is, and how they operate. It discusses the advantages of a smart home. It provides recommendations for designing and building a smart home. It also discusses future smart home trends and expectations. Perhaps you’ll find some smart home ideas.

What is a Smart Home?

A “Smart Home” is more of an environment than an actual thing. A well designed Smart Home incorporates a variety of devices with functions that can be automated and easily controlled. In today’s landscape new home construction usually incorporates designs that allow for Smart Home technologies to be easily incorporated.

This article discusses how to build a Smart Home network. You may be enjoying modern design functionality that is built into your new home, or you are building a Smart Home network into an older home.

In either situation, the end goal is the same. Smart Homes are intended to make life easier for you, the resident. An important function of a Smart Home is to automate and control functions in a way that can save time, energy resources, and money.

How Smart Home Networks Operate

Smart home networks allow you to automate everyday tasks. They allow you to have central control of environmental and security systems. They operate by using wired and wireless connections.

A smart home network can consist of many different smart devices. Welcome to the Internet of Things (IoT). There may be more than one type of technology, or protocol, used within a smart home network.

Smart home networks can be classified into two main types.

Central Control — This type is often built into new construction. There is a main control center that controls everything. There are typically control panels built into the walls of the house strategically placed. Everything is controlled by the inputs from these panels. This type of smart network is commonly found in business and industrial security systems.

App-Based — This type of smart home network incorporates and controls smart devices through the use of a cellphone or another device like a tablet. Almost everything on this type of network is controlled by wireless signals. The devices typically would connect to your home Wi-Fi. This type of smart home network is often used in existing homes and apartments.

When designing a Smart Home network it is necessary to know how to build a Smart Home network that will work in conjunction with currently installed systems like heating and air conditioning units. Not only can it add convenience and comfort to your life but it can also provide a safer and more secure environment. A well-designed Smart Home network can offer many advantages.

image of hands building a smart home

Image by WhatWolf

What are the Advantages of Building a Smart Home Network?

By connecting all of the systems and devices in our home together using a Smart Home network many functions can be automated. By connecting security devices like cameras and lighting together into a single system gives you the ability to control and program them to function as desired. You can automatically control appliances, lights, entertainment devices, and security systems.

It’s fun to have all the gadgets and be able to control them from your favorite easy chair, but there’s more to a Smart Home network than that. There are opportunities to take advantage of new technologies that will enhance our lives and conserve resources. When you know how to build a Smart Home network you can enjoy the benefits for years to come.

5 Advantages of Having a Smart Home Network

  1. Ability to Monitor Appliances and HVAC Systems — Having the ability to monitor appliances and home systems you can detect abnormal behavior and use of resources. Some smart appliances incorporate early failure warning capabilities. The feature will allow you to maintain or replace the unit before it fails
  2. Better Control of Home Environmental Systems — Having the ability to preprogram your environmental systems can save a significant amount of energy. You can program the system to turn off during certain hours and utilize special settings when no one is in the house. This alone can save hundreds of dollars a year, justifying learning how to build a smart home network.
  3. Enhancing Your Home Security Posture — When you build a smart home network you are enhancing your personal security. By having security devices that view and record incidents you are better protected. Also, you will have evidence that may be needed to convict a criminal.
  4. Better Control and Use of Lighting and IoT Devices — A smart home network can automatically control lighting. It can enhance security when you’re away. It will accommodate many different types of devices.
  5. You’ll be ready for the Future — By knowing how to build a smart home network you are positioning yourself to take advantage of new technologies as they evolve. We’re at the beginning right now, the next ten years may surprise us.
image that depicts a how to build a smart hone

Image by VectorJuice

How to Build a Smart Home|Step-by-Step

This article is more focused on how to build a smart home network in an existing home. If you are having a new home built work with your architect and a smart home network professional.

There are many features that can be designed into new construction projects that will allow for labor and cost savings down the road. This article focuses on how to build a smart home network in an existing home or apartment.

You enjoy the home or apartment you live in, but it’s time to upgrade with some added conveniences and energy-saving systems. Perhaps an automated security system is your priority.

Your first step when designing a smart home network is to decide what functions, features, and systems, you want to incorporate within your smart home network. Here are some options to consider when learning how to build a smart home network:

  • Smart Televisions — They allow for the ability to receive cast signals from personal devices and can be incorporated with many Internet-based video streaming services. Smart televisions can also be used to browse the Internet. Smart televisions will offer capabilities that allow you to utilize your smart sound devices, creating an instant home theater environment.
  • Smart Speakers — These come with a big variety of offerings. There are several types, offered by several manufacturers. They typically have a personal assistant built into them. They have access to the Internet. They will offer to keep track of appointments, make phone calls, and provide weather reports. In addition to these handy little devices, your larger speakers can often be connected to your smart home network.
  • Smart Lights and Switches — The ability to control your lighting via an app or voice control is a big convenience. Most smart wall switches will also detect one no one is in the room and turn off the lights.
  • Heating and Air Conditioning — Smart thermostats can automate environmental controls, saving energy and adding convenience. Even if you rent a home or apartment smart thermostats are a smart investment. They are easy to install and can be used elsewhere when you decide to move.
  • Smart Home Security — Your smart home network should be able to accommodate surveillance cameras, video doorbells, smart locks, and various door and window switches. Door and window switches are often used to activate an alarm or siren upon intruder entry.

Select your devices based on capability and ease of use. You may end up using devices that use more than one connection protocol. That’s bound to happen. There are so many different devices and manufacturers that is hard to avoid.

Try to stay with a single type of control protocol. When it comes to voice-controlled devices it works out better if all devices can be controlled through a single voice assistant (Alexa, Hey Google, etc.). Remember smart home networks and IoT devices are supposed to provide convenience while being simple to use.

Once you decide which devices will become part of your smart home network then you can think about the network itself and the capabilities required.

Your home router should have the capability to set up a separate network for your smart devices. Most newer routers offer this function. By segmenting your networks you are creating a barrier between your IoT devices and your main home network.

Read more: Setup and Secure a Home Network

The Future of Smart Home Technologies

According to a new report reference by Marketing Land more than 1 in 4 U.S. adults now owns a smart speaker. Each year companies like Amazon and Google are selling millions more devices than the year before.

There are currently more than 21 billion smart home devices in use and the smart home technology business is one of the fastest-growing industries. The fastest-growing sectors are:

  • Security,
  • energy management,
  • basic system controls,
  • monitoring systems, and
  • entertainment.

Learn How to Build a Smart Home

The Internet of Things and associated technologies are in their infancy. Advances and improved capabilities are mesmerizing. The current scenario reminds me of an episode in the series “Two and a Half Men”. Charlie was doing a load of laundry for the first time and Alan was showing him how to do it.

At the end of the lesson, Alan says, “Well, Charlie, that’s all there is to it. Now you just wait. The washing machine will call you on your cell phone when it’s done…” At the time it was hysterical, but in today’s’ landscape it’s happening.

Already sophisticated smart home technologies are surprising us with their capabilities. You walk into a room and the smart home network device knows it you, sets the lighting and temperature to your usual liking. This is really just the beginning.

With advances in artificial intelligence and machine learning capabilities, the future is sure to surprise us, well most of us. Learning how to design a smart home network will basically be the same, only with improved technology and more intuitive user interfaces.

Essentially, anything will be able to be automated and controlled by voice. Nanotechnologies are going to create opportunities to incorporate sensors and control into anything, possibly even within a coat of paint.

For the elderly and ill, there will be health monitoring systems that are not intrusive, they’ll just be part of the smart home network. The future will offer many more smart home ideas.

More Smart Home Ideas

Here’s a list of more smart home ideas that will get you thinking. Smart home technologies offer time-saving and money-saving advantages. There is also a fun factor. Here are some smart home ideas.

What Are Some More Smart Home Ideas

◙ Start the morning right!, with a Smart Home Coffee Maker
◙ Give yourself a break, get a Robotic Floor Cleaner
◙ No more overcooking stuff, get a Smart Kitchen Meat Thermometer
◙ Slow cook a roast using your voice, get a Smart Crock Pot
◙ Never lose your keys, use a Smart Home Door Lock
◙ Don’t leave Rover hanging, get a Smart Pet Feeder
◙ Enjoy some music, get a Smart Home Speaker System
◙ Relax on the weekend, use a Smart Robotic Lawnmower
◙ Conserve water, use a Smart Home Sprinkler System

Well, you get the idea. There are many smart home ideas. It’s just a matter of your imagination. Incorporating useful items is how to build a Smart Home that will suit you.

Read more: Smart Home Ideas

Read more: Smart Homes – Intelligent Apartments and Buildings

Read more: Good Personal Cybersecurity Practices

Featured images by MacroVector and Macrovector_Official

Updated 05/24/2021 by Kirby Allen