Smart Home: A Cheap Toy Or A Professional System?
Updated: May 15, 2020
A smart home needs to suit its owner, and that's why you need reliable specialists to fulfill your dreams. Be wary of cheap appliances, although they are often incorrectly sold under the “Smart Home” label.
Regular houses must follow various standards, but the term “Smart Home” is not yet defined ; it is often used just as a marketing description . Companies have very different ideas about how to provide a smart home. Compare two opposite extremes below.
The Risky Business of DIY
One of the cheapest options sold as Smart Home is the Sonoff package. It contains three electrical components: switch, plug, and wall switch. You can pay hundreds of dirhams for this set, but then you have to solve the installation somehow. If everything goes well, you can control some of your appliances via your mobile or verbally. For example, you can command the fan to turn on.
Home for Smart Investors
A real smart home offers, for example, the Austrian company Loxone (www.loxone.com). You have many components available to create an easy-to-use yet intelligent home. The blinds raise or lower and rotate according to the actual sunshine amount and direction . Lighting responds to the daylight and changes the color temperature at the right time. The cooling increases or decreases so that the room temperature is maintained at the desired temperature.
But be on your guard, a house is intelligent only if its parts connect and can communicate with each other. The same sensors work for many purposes and do not need your manual intervention.
Smarteon's Tip: Warmed Towel after Shower
If you hire experts to install and program the system, you will get a smart home to your liking. It's up to you, you can program almost anything.
For example, a couple may each prefer a different temperature in the bathroom. One prefers a cooler temperature than his or her partner but our solution can make them both feel comfortable - a warmed-up bathrobe coming out of the hot shower makes up for the cooler temperature. .
Smart Home must suit you
Your dreams of a smart home can come true, but in the meantime, you have to overcome a few dilemmas. There are no "right" and "wrong" options. Choose variants that you'll be happy with.
DIY or professional installation?
If you like improvising, enjoying your own work you can buy “smart home devices” from an inexpensive e-shop and install smart switches on your own. Otherwise, go to professionals who usually offer a free initial consultation.
Measurement or control?
Many companies offer meters that track energy consumption and present their product as a “smart home”. But consider how useful this information is. Does it increase your comfort to the extent which it saves time and money? If you want to control your appliances using your mobile or voice, you need something better.
Mass production or personal approach?
You may need a factory default setting to customize. Or you want a home that will be tailored to your exact needs? In the second case, it starts with a user analysis. After analysis electricians and programmers install a “smart” home. The modern intelligent home can then adapt to your needs.
Wireless solution or Professional Installation?
Due to the wireless solution (e.g. ZigBee, Z-Wave, or Loxone Air) there is no need for wired installations. Technicians add a few accessories to the existing property. But a wired smart home is sometimes rated as more reliable and safer.
Leaving data at home or using the cloud?
Some smart homes operate more or less autonomously because all the necessary components are under one roof. But, other systems need an internet connection. The processed data is sent to the network and set up via so-called "cloud" servers (external servers). In the latter case, data is more likely to be compromised and lost.
What brand do you prefer?
We can compare alternatives by price. When it comes to higher quality and safety, you have a choice. In the UAE, the most popular brands are Loxone, KNX, and Zig-bee, whose distributors offer guided tours of sample smart homes.