Smart Home 101
Smart Home technology - also know as Domotics and Home Automation - are the collective, Internet-enabled technologies that allow you to control devices in and around your home. The systems can include lighting, climate, entertainment systems, appliances and even locks, sensors and cameras. When connected with the Internet, home devices are an important constituent of the Internet of Things, or IoT.
For many years, these technologies were complex, expensive, and in most cases could only be installed by trained technicians. This is no longer true. Today, assuming things go as advertised, tech-savvy homeowners can install and integrate their own Smart Home technology. Unfortunately, products don't always meet their claims and specifically when interfaced with other, dependent systems such as routers and firewalls.
This is why we offer the HomeAssist consultation service. HomeAssist services enable you to be in control of your Smart Home, not a faceless vendor or a remote call center. We are the best choice if you need in-home assistance with Internet connectivity, IoT, wireless networking, switching, smart home controllers, lighting, automation, or specific products like Apple HomePod, Apple TV, or Amazon Echo near Winchester, Virginia.
Where to Start?
A home automation system typically connects controlled devices to a central Controller, Hub or Gateway. Historically, the user interface for control of these system uses either a wall-mounted terminal, tablet, computer, mobile phone application, or Web interface, that may also be accessible off-site through the Internet.
Choosing a Controller is a significant decision in terms of functionality and budget. There are numerous choices from Apple, Amazon, Google, and others. With a cautious eye toward affordability and interoperability, you may consider the basic lighting controller included with the Philips Hue Starter Kit shown below as a first step. Although the Philips bulbs are not as inexpensive as regular bulbs, they do much more and can be a first step toward lighting automation.
You may also consider a Nest Learning Thermostat below for automation and cost savings.
If you would like more control of you own security - with a Free startup option - the Logitech Circle 2 (discounted from $179) make a compelling case for multiple mounting options, smart alerts, speech capabilities, wide angle, night vision, and online data storage.
Consumer Reports has picked the Arlo 2 Pro as a best buy for the holiday season. The four-pack that is offered on Amazon as of the writing of this article is a really great deal.
Finally, once you have given up on what to do about the light switches you can no longer touch, enters the Lutron Aurora Smart Dimmer. The Aurora mounts directly over your light switches - preventing them from switching - an provides as smart switch as well as an integrated peripheral dimmer.[The links below are ads that link directly to Amazon product pages]
Conveniently, these Philips Hue, Nest, Logitech, Arlo and Lutron devices are also compatible with:
- • Apple HomeKit (HomePod & Apple TV 4K)
- • Amazon Echo
- • Google Assistant
As you may determine on your own, these systems are not so simple as to configure themselves to complete functionality. There are technical challenges in configuring the system correctly and securely. Some hurdles that you may encounter are: Networking and IP Addressing, Universal Plug and Play (UPnP), Port Forwarding Rules, Account Management, Dual-Factor Authentication, Wireless Coverage, and the choice of which device(s) to use for management of your system.
We are here to help. WinTech has been the area's leading IT consulting firm since 2001. Contact us at your convenience to schedule HomeAssist services, such as in-home consultation, wireless networking, Smart Home device configuration, or your specific need.
Call 540-722-2122 now, e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, or chat above!
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