When I hear the words “Smart Home”, I envision large mansions from the future. These high-tech houses are designed for millionaires and techies, not something for middle-class families. Now that I’ve become a
In our current home set up, we’ve been very careful to purchase products that work together. We’re slowly upgrading our existing lights and appliances to be “smart”. So far I have learned that when products from different vendors work together, it makes everything much easier.
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How we got into this stuff
We started down this path after a break in. We had a number of conversations with our local law enforcement department. It was suggested that we not only get an alarm system but also a camera. They had success catching people using cameras and social media. We started doing a lot of research. We settled on the SimpliSafe system due to the ability to purchase all of your equipment up front. It allowed us to customize the system to what we wanted. We have a lot of options to expand the system in the future.
Next, we opted for Nest cameras. We have two cameras in our home. We have one in the main area of our house. There is another camera pointing outside towards our front door. We learned that most people who are breaking in with go to the front door and knock on the door. Most of the time, they want to make sure that you’re not home. This is based on a lot of conversations and research, so your mileage may vary.
Adding to our Smart Home systems
So we have SimpliSafe, Nest cameras, and we also have been upgrading to Nest Thermostats as we need to replace our old ones. Everything is interconnected. When I turn the alarm on, it alerts the Nest. The Nest system automatically goes into away mode, which is a more efficient method. We’re able to save money on our heating and cooling bills all based on the alarm status. Not too bad!
It also connects to our cameras. We have the front door camera running all the time, but not our indoor camera. We don’t necessarily want it running in our home at all times. Instead, it turns on once the alarm system is set to away. Having the systems work together is saving me money and our home is more protected! I would positively recommend when it comes to looking into products for your smart home, make sure everything works together!
The systems we use are great, but even if you decide to go with different products, the more they work with other systems, the better. You won’t fully understand how you want to use these systems in your home until you try it. We use our system very differently than we intended to originally, and that’s going to happen. It’s best to make sure you have the most open and flexible equipment possible.
Other systems we use
Aside from the Nest and SimpliSafe, we also have a Google home set up, and an Amazon set up. We never intended on having both, but we got a free Google Home Mini and needed a Chromecast to watch YouTube TV. We use the Amazon system for most things, but the Google home is there if we need it. I like to joke that the Google home keeps my marriage healthy (my husband uses it every day to watch baseball games). Our Amazon products are connected to our Insteon system. The Insteon system controls some of our lights. We’re hoping to get more lights set up on the system soon. I love being able to ask our Alexa to turn the lights off or on!
Our home is not 100% “Smart” and it probably never will be. But as a middle-class family, it’s been wonderful to have these systems in our home. They make our lives easier so we can spend our time doing what we love!
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