Are you ready to dive into the world of smart home tech? We'll walk you through the ultimate smart home checklist. Whether you're a new homeowner, a tech-savvy renter, or someone looking to bring more convenience and efficiency into your living space, this guide has got you covered.
At Asurion, we don't just fix and protect your devices; we teach millions of people how to get the most out of their tech—from how to set up an Amazon Echo to how to share your home Wi-Fi network with a QR code.
Evaluate your home and needs
Before jumping into buying gadgets, let's get the basics right. First off, check how tech-friendly your home is. Do you have a strong Wi-Fi signal in all rooms? Are your electrical systems up to date?
Next, consider your budget, lifestyle, and top priorities regarding smart device features. Smart home tech can range from super affordable to quite an investment. Are you most interested in increased security, energy savings, or overall convenience?
These priorities will help determine which new devices to invest in for each room. For example, you may want motion sensors in entryways for security, smart thermostats in main living areas to control your HVAC system, and a voice assistant in your kitchen for music, cooking help, and reminders.
Essential smart home devices
Alright, let's get to the fun part – the devices.
- Smart speakers and assistants: Start with a smart speaker like Amazon Echo or Google Home. These devices are your control hubs for almost everything smart in your home.
- Smart lighting: Swap out those old bulbs for smart lights. Control them with your phone or voice – dimming, color changes, you name it.
- Smart thermostats: Improve energy efficiency and stay comfy with smart thermostats like Nest or Ecobee. They learn your preferences and adjust the temperature automatically.
- Home security devices: Secure your home with smart locks, doorbell cameras, and security systems.
- Home entertainment systems: Upgrade your movie nights with smart TVs and streaming devices.
Wi-Fi and connectivity
When moving into a new home, securing and optimizing your home's Wi-Fi network is important. Start by changing the admin password on your router to prevent others from accessing the settings. Use a strong, unique password and consider setting up a separate guest network that limits access to your main network and devices.
Also, evaluate whether your internet plan provides enough bandwidth for streaming, gaming, and powering multiple connected smart home devices simultaneously. Check your internet speed and consider upgrading your plan to avoid slowdowns. Here's our guide on how much internet speed you need based on your devices and online activities.
With strong Wi-Fi security, password protection, and sufficient bandwidth, you'll have a solid connectivity foundation for your new smart home.
Smart home security
If you're moving to a new home with preexisting smart security devices, it's important to reset settings and enable enhanced security features.
Reset all passwords for devices like smart locks, security cameras, and alarm systems to prevent unauthorized access. Refer to manuals or contact manufacturers if you need help resetting your passwords.
Adjust motion sensor settings and customize detection zones for security cameras and motion sensors. Focus sensors on entryways and high-value areas only. Disable notifications for unimportant motion and high-traffic areas (like a hallway) to avoid false alerts, which can be annoying and unintentionally set off alerts to emergency services.
Enable two-factor authentication for security devices, like video doorbells or alarm systems. This adds an extra layer of protection beyond passwords alone. Two-factor requires a secondary step like a code sent to your phone when logging in.
Taking these steps helps secure your new smart home and protect sensitive data. With proper precautions, smart security can provide convenience without compromising safety.
Smart thermostats allow for more precise control over your home's temperature and HVAC system. You'll want to adjust temperature and schedule settings to match your lifestyle and habits. Many smart thermostats have geofencing features and automation that can optimize energy savings when you're away from home. According to Consumer Reports, smart thermostats can help users save approximately 8% on heating and cooling bills, with even more potential savings depending on climate and personal preferences.
Smart lighting allows you to control your home's lighting conveniently and efficiently. Here are some of our favorite ways to customize them:
- Group lights into rooms and zones so they can be controlled together based on usage. For example, group all downstairs lights into a "first-floor" zone while upstairs lights can be another zone. This allows you to turn all lights on or off with a single tap as you move between floors.
- Set schedules for lights to turn on and off automatically based on the time of day and your routine.
- Schedule downstairs lights to turn on before you wake up and turn off at bedtime.
- Geofencing features can also automatically turn lights on and off based on your location, for example, turning off all the lights if you've left for work for the day.
- Integrate smart bulbs with home assistants like Amazon Alexa or Google Home for voice control capabilities. With a smart speaker, you can turn lights on or off, dim, change colors, and activate lighting scenes by using your voice.