Building a smart home system can seem overwhelming — but it doesn’t have to be. In fact, once everything is connected and automated, daily tasks become much easier.
Smart devices like lights, speakers and even smart doorbells connect to a central hub, which can control them remotely. They can also be controlled through a single app and automated with routines to make your life easier.
1. Connect Your Devices
The smart home can do amazing things – like turning on your lights with just your voice, or lowering the thermostat when you’re not at home. But transforming your home into a smart one requires planning to ensure everything works together.
Start by choosing a primary system, such as Amazon’s Alexa, Google’s Home, or Apple’s HomeKit. Pick a system that operates wirelessly or uses hardwiring, and make sure every device you plan to add is compatible with it.
Having devices that can be controlled through the same app makes it easier to manage and use them. Label switches and controls with easy-to-read names, and provide written or video tutorials for anyone who might need assistance using them. And don’t forget to include guest access so family and friends can easily connect to your smart home systems when visiting.
2. Set Up Your Central Hub
Having a smart home is cool, but you’re going to get the most out of it when you can automate it. For example, turning on the lights with your voice, keeping your house comfortable by setting schedules or triggering actions when someone rings the doorbell or your smoke detector goes off are the kinds of conveniences that make a smart home feel, well, smarter.
Depending on your setup, you may need a smart hub (or bridge) to manage your entire system. Smart speakers like Google Home can be used as a smart hub, or you can use a dedicated device like Samsung’s SmartThings Hub.
The SmartThings app will ask you to join a WiFi network called st-hubv3-YYY, or something similar. Enter your network’s WiFi password and tap Connect. The hub’s LED should be blinking blue or solid green after a few minutes. If it isn’t, unplug power and plug back in, then wait another minute or so.
3. Create Routines
When you’re done setting up your central hub, it’s time to start creating routines — or automations. Routines group device functions together so that you can change multiple settings at once, skipping the process of tapping on each individual control on your smartphone or smart speaker.
With a routine, you can say something like “Alexa, good morning”, and it will turn on the lights, play music, set your alarm, and read the news — or anything else you’ve programmed. It’s the ultimate way to streamline your daily tasks and get a real return on your smart home investment.
Note that you need a compatible Alexa device to use Routines. Check for compatibility when purchasing new devices. You can also build routines with Apple’s Home app, and a variety of services and devices that support IFTTT. This is great for people who want to add smart home functionality without having to commit to an ecosystem like Amazon’s Alexa or Google’s HomeKit.
4. Customize Your Settings
A smart home system connects electronic devices to the Internet, allowing homeowners to control them remotely through an app or voice assistant. When sensors detect a change, they trigger pre-programmed actions, like turning on the lights or adjusting the thermostat.
To get the most out of your smart home, make sure to use compatible products and follow best practices. For example, opt for a central hub that supports multiple ecosystems and allows you to add your favorite devices to it. Also, consider using different user roles if you live with family members or roommates. This feature allows each person to customize their experience while ensuring security measures are in place.
Once you’ve mastered the basics, your smart home setup will help you live more comfortably and securely. Ready to make the switch? Visit Verizon to learn more about our wireless and fiber-optic networking services. Plus, check out our selection of smart home gadgets and start building your ultimate smart home.