I am the kind of person who tends to resist new technology until I’m sure all the bugs have been worked out. I was slow to adopt the smart phone. It took me a while to cut the cord with my cable company and switch to streaming. And now, I find myself in the same position with smart home technology. Yet I must admit that the smart home’s appeal is getting harder to resist by the day
I went to a dinner party at a friend’s house not too long ago. The party got off on the right foot when one of the homeowners spoke to her smart speaker to turn down the music and adjust the lighting. Later on, when we were ready to take the party outside, her husband issued a few verbal commands to turn on the patio lights, start the gas fireplace, and pipe the music outdoors.
As a tech junkie, those are the types of things that light my fire. I am getting ever closer to the decision to start making my own home smarter. But what will I start with? Where would I begin the transformation?
Why People Invest in Smart Homes
My chief motivation for even thinking about upgrading my home is the cool factor. If there is an exciting new piece of technology that gets my heart pumping in my blood flowing, I am all for it. But I also realize that introducing smart technology to my home shouldn’t be based on any kind of emotional response. I need to think it through carefully so that I can build a solid system from the ground up.
That got me to wondering why most people invest in smart home devices. A little bit of research led me to a 2023 survey conducted by Vivint Smart Home. Among other things, the survey revealed the top three benefits smart home device users report:
- Energy Efficiency – Smart thermostats, lighting systems, and irrigation can benefit homeowners by saving them a ton of money through greater efficiency. Just a smart thermostat alone can make a noticeable difference on the HVAC bill.
- Convenience and Automation – Convenience and automation are also often cited benefits. For example, it is pretty convenient to quickly tap your cell phone to open the front door rather than having to fumble with your keys while your arms are full of groceries.
- Security – Modern smart home systems combine both automation and home security. Homes are safer with devices like smart video cameras, doorbell cameras, and smart locks.
If I had to pick one of the three things that most appeals to me, it would be convenience and automation. But that is just me. Somebody else might get started in the smart home world because they want to save money on their utility bills. Here is my thought: it’s all good.
Kit or DIY Build
Another thing I need to settle in my own mind is whether to start with a kit from a brand like Vivint or go with a DIY build I design myself. The DIY build sounds very appealing. I have been doing DIY computer stuff for years, so it doesn’t intimidate me. On the other hand, there is something to be said about a kit of components that all work together out-of-the-box.
I have had my eye on smart home technology for several years. I’ve been waiting for all the bugs to be worked out. As I write this, it is getting harder and harder to resist. I am so close to buying that first smart device that I can almost taste it.