Did you know that any home can be Smart? Even an older home can easily be made into a smart home today. If you’ve been curious about smart home products in the past, but have found the sheer quantity of available products and product types intimidating, you’re certainly not alone. There’s always a lot going on in the smart home space. Things move quickly, and there are always new innovations taking place. However, there are also a lot of really great resources to help us all to better understand smart home products. For example, concepts like the 3 pillars of smart home products break the smart home category down into smaller, more easily digestible chunks.
Such tools are what today’s blog is all about. If you begin here and follow the advice I’ll provide, you’ll be well on your way to becoming a smart home expert in no time. What’s more, you’ll soon find that most smart home products are easy to incorporate into any home and far less intimidating than you might think. Let’s begin with a brief refresher of the 3 pillars of smart home products.
What are the 3 pillars of smart home products?
The 3 pillars of smart home products categorizes items as belonging to either the realm of Comfort & Convenience, Energy & Efficiency, or Safety & Security. While there’s some overlap among the categories when it comes to individual products, you can still generally think of a specific item as occupying one category more-so than the others. For instance, smart lights are excellent energy savers, but many people tend to think of them instead in terms of their great convenience. Feel free to choose whichever category any overlapping product falls into for you personally.
Products within the Comfort & Convenience realm include smart furniture (such as smart coffee tables) and smart voice assistants. Products pertaining to Energy & Efficiency include smart lights, plugs, and switches. Smart thermostats, while certainly offering a strong Comfort & Convenience aspect, are also highly prized for their excellent energy efficiency. And products within the Safety & Security pillar typically include things like smart locks and smart security cameras (both indoor and outdoor), including video doorbells.
And just like that you’ve already divided the category of smart home products into 3 much smaller and more manageable categories. Depending on which category (or pillar) is most important to you, you can now focus your attention on products within that category and begin learning about those items first. You can also incorporate these products into your own smart home first before branching out into the other pillars.
To further familiarize yourself with the 3 pillars of smart home products, I suggest you read an article I wrote a couple years back called How Can the 3 Pillars of Smart Home Products Enhance Your Home? This article will help you to see the 3 pillars even more clearly than I’ve explained them here. But before doing that, let’s first take a look at a variety of smart home solutions within each of these 3 pillars.
Comfort & Convenience solutions
One of the more recent smart home developments in the area of Comfort & Convenience is Smart Speakers, such as the Google Home and Amazon Echo family of devices. Having tired several of these myself—including some with built-in screens (they’re called Smart Displays), I can personally attest to how straightforward and far from intimidating they are, both to initially set up and to subsequently use for a whole host of conveniences. For example, smart speakers allow you to control pretty much all of your other smart home devices simply by speaking. Just issue a verbal command and the smart speaker’s built-in voice assistant will do the rest, such as locking your door at night or adjusting the brightness of your overhead lights.
There are literally hundreds of ways that smart speakers and displays can make your life easier, and this is just one of the many types of smart home Comfort & Convenience solutions currently available. Others include items in the Smart Décor & Furniture realm (such as smart coffee tables and digital picture frames), and even Smart Gardening kits (for easily growing your own produce, herbs, spices, or beautiful flowers, indoors and year round).
Another contender in this category (particularly as it relates to the convenience aspect) is the Smart Garage. While also having a Safety & Security function, there’s definite convenience in having a garage door that, for instance, opens automatically as you pull into your driveway, or that can be controlled from virtually anywhere on Earth via a simple smart phone app.
Energy & Efficiency solutions
Numerous different smart home products fit into the Energy & Efficiency pillar of smart home products. Everything from Smart Lights, Plugs, & Switches to Smart Thermostats (often with the ability to regulate themselves based on external weather conditions, or even to learn your specific heating and cooling habits over time and adjust themselves accordingly) can save you big bucks when it comes to home energy costs.
Even Smart Blinds (which are also fun, functional, and extremely convenient) can be real energy savers. For instance, smart blinds can be set to open and close at specific times of the day or night, thus enabling sunlight to enter and warm your home, or, conversely, to keep the Sun at bay so you remain comfortably shaded during the hottest times of the day. In this way you can regulate both your home’s internal temperature and light usage, thus reducing your energy costs considerably.
Safety & Security solutions
Key product offerings under the Safety & Security banner include Smart Security Cameras (to watch over your home, both inside and out, when you’re not able to) and Security Alarms & Motion Sensors (to alert you to potential intruders). Additionally, Safety Sensors & Detectors (i.e., smoke and carbon monoxide detectors, or even radon gas detectors) are key in this category, as are Smart Locks & Video Doorbells.
Each of the product types you’ll find in the Safety & Security zone is intended to potentially save your life or the lives of your family members. These products mean business, and their business is protecting you and yours from harm. And they’re not difficult to install or use either. Remember, any home can be smart, and it doesn’t take a genius to make it so.
Simply by determining which key pillar is most important to you initially and selecting a product or two from that category to meet an existing need in your home, you’ll quickly and easily set yourself on the right path to developing your own fully functional smart home.
So, why choose smart products?
If it’s not already abundantly clear, there are numerous reasons to consider incorporating smart products into your home. However, reasons not to avoid them are also worth considering.For example, smart products are both easy to set up and easy to use. Some people mistakenly worry that one needs to know a lot about computers, or to be extremely tech savvy, to navigate the world of smart products. This simply is not true. If you own and can use a smart phone for virtually anything beyond making a telephone call, you already have the necessary skills to use smart home products.
Smart products are easily controlled through your phone via apps, and you probably already use a variety of different apps every single day for things like Internet searches, texting your friends, using maps with GPS, and taking photos and videos. Each of these tasks requires you to successfully use an app, and their apps are no easier to use than the typical smart product app. If you can send a text, you can use these products.
Any home can be smart
As you can see from the examples above, any home today can be smart—and without the homeowner going to a great deal of effort either! Although some smart home products do require hardwiring in, most do not and can be up and running in minutes. Moreover, to encourage people to reduce energy consumption, most Canadian provinces periodically offer special rebates to individuals when buying smart home devices.
For more information on smart home products and a better sense of how (and how well) individual items work, you can find an abundance of product reviews right here on the Best Buy Canada blog. New reviews are published frequently, and they’ll not only help you to learn all about what’s available, but they’ll also show you the many smart home possibilities and help you to decide which specific products may be the most beneficial to you.
Finally, you can get a further breakdown of smart product types by visiting Best Buy’s Smart Home hub and exploring what’s there. With just a little bit of patience and persistence, you too can join the smart home revolution. Good luck!