If you have filed technology installation in the ‘too hard’ category then you might not have tried to install smart devices around the house. Don’t let their name fool you, these installations are not always so complex and you don’t have to be too smart in this area to do it successfully. If this is the year that you want to sync your smart devices and bring connect to some new ones, then let’s actually define what smart devices can be installed by yourself and which might need to be done by a professional. Remember, if you set something up yourself then you are going to have a greater stake in its success, so let’s empower ourselves to get these smart speakers working under our command.
What shouldn’t I install myself?
Some things should not be installed by you, even if you do believe that you could do so competently. This is where a reliable domestic electrician is going to be a great contact to have, as they can ensure that these devices are installed correctly and compliantly, and ready to do what they are supposed to. This might include lighting design, ceiling fan, and your air conditioning that you might want to operate through an app. It also includes the more serious smart devices like smoke alarms and security alarms – as these should not be an area where we test our DIY skills. If you are unsure if you or an electrician should install something or you should do it yourself, contact the manufacturer of the device and ask their opinion. Also, don’t be afraid to call a domestic electrician for an obligation free quote so you can make your decision and understand the scope of the job.
Smart home speaker devices
Google, Amazon and Apple have all launched their smart home speaker devices, and each iteration includes more features and becomes more user friendly for their growing customer base. If you are going to install this device yourself, it might be an idea to choose the provider that you are most familiar with. If you have an Android phone, then the Apple HomePod device might be completely foreign to you and will have very limited connectivity options. Also, take into account the devices around the house that you are actually going to link to your smart home device, and check to see if they are compatible with the device you have your eye on. These devices can easily be installed by you, it’s just about choosing a provider that makes sense for your home and existing devices.
Smart lock systems have been quite a popular innovation in recent years, focusing on internal locks for homes and offices. Perhaps you want to know that the kids are going to stay out of the shed which has some sharp tools, or your HR department wants to level up their office security with personnel and payroll details kept onsite. These smart lock devices can be easily installed by you, and they can typically link to one or a few smartphones or web applications that can lock, open and monitor the activity that comes and goes from these rooms. Some of the more basic models don’t even require an app integration and can function with a lock code or even biometric entry.
Some households in some parts of the world need more than a reliable heating and cooling system, they need a smart thermostat device that is going to flag the rooms that drop or spike in temperature and either kickstart these systems or alert you to this new temperature. The good news is that these smart thermostats can be installed by yourself, and have actually been designed for residential use. These are particularly useful for nurseries and children’s rooms as they can require a little more warmth in their young age, or even some extra cooling if the seasons or geographic location is prone to oppressively warm weather. You also don’t need to necessarily connect these smart thermostats to your other devices around the house, and you can simply have this device working solo to display and manage the temperature.
Once you have had a domestic electrician correctly establish your lighting infrastructure, you can start to have some fun with dimming features and colored light which can be achieved with smart lighting devices. This is currently a very crowded market to take your time in selecting the right one. With the capabilities and energy efficiencies of LED lighting these smart lighting devices can be quite affordable and with an enormous range of colors and effects possible. These devices are small in physical size so you can populate your home with a few, and some even allow you to set timers of when to come on at night or can be controlled through an app on your phone. It’s safe to say that smart lighting is within your abilities to install yourself and start having some fun!
Smart devices have certainly challenged the way we look at our appliances, and we are really only at the beginning of our smart device capabilities with the digital-native generations embracing these devices at home and work. Reach out to the manufacturers if you need more clarity on how to install yourself, or jump on YouTube and watch the many thousand tech reviews master these devices themselves.