Do smart home control systems make life more efficient?

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Smart home devices are getting smarter but, having too many can be complicated. Smart home control systems help you manage them all from a single point. There's plenty of innovation in this field but you don't always need the latest tech -- you could be left with glitchy functionality.

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Since the introduction of smart home devices, the need to be able to control everything at once became the next big thing. This need gave rise to smart home hubs which let you handle all of your smart home devices from one single device. This technology makes physically getting up to turn off lights and thermostats seems so old-fashioned when you can do it all with a tap on your smartphone or a simple audio command. Even still, shouting at multiple devices in a row seems equally archaic and, to be honest, just as time-consuming. And that is why we’re now seeing smart home control systems. Big players like Amazon and Google went a step beyond simple hubs to bring a whole new generation of controllers that can respond to your voice. Asking for your TV to turn on or Spotify to play a certain track seems quite natural which is why a smart home controller seems like the way of the future. It’s like having your own personal assistant at home who performs exactly as asked. But, like every other form of new technology, these smart home systems are also filled with glitches.

Multi-step routines are taking over

While smart home controllers with voice automation sound pretty easy to handle, they can be quite tough to get just right. Shouting repetitive commands like a loudspeaker isn’t a pleasant experience. Thankfully, Google and Amazon have started rolling out “routines.” These initiate an entire segment of processes or tasks based on a single command. So, for example, with a simple “good morning,” you can turn on your lights, play an uplifting playlist, and even customize your thermostat temperature simultaneously as you get out of bed.

Facts to consider before getting a smart home controller

For those who are still not well-versed with voice control, it’s advisable to stick to the more simple smart home hub. However, if you’re looking to truly upgrade your smart home experience, a smart home controller is for you. These controllers enable you to monitor all of your smart home devices from one single system and even control them with your voice, making everything even easier. Here are some factors you need to consider before buying one:

  • The technology behind it
  • The devices you need to monitor
  • Functionalities they offer

Technology

There are controllers which use hardwired communication over your home power lines. Others use Radio Frequency (RF) or Wi-Fi to wirelessly communicate. Figure out which one is more suitable for your home.

Devices

Devices you may want to control can include:

– Dimmers, switches, outlets, sensors & timers

– Lighting & appliance remote controls

– Additional home control

– Smart plumbing & irrigation

– Light bulbs, outdoor lighting, utility lights & more

– Trim plates & accessories

Functions

Before getting a smart home controller, or even a hub, you need to consider:

– How easy it is to use

– Wireless/wired system options

– Versatility

– Installation

– Expandability

– Programmability

– Remote access

– Messaging

– Monitoring service

– Help and support

Smart home hub examples

Although the latest voice-controller trends suggest that the traditional smart home hubs are slowly coming to an end, there seems to be a lot of innovation going in this zone. Here are some of our favorite smart home hubs:

Mixtile Hub Smart Home Controller

Featuring a user-friendly design, the Mixtile Hub offers a unique starter kit that makes it easy to build your smart home. In fact, you can set up your smart home in as little as five minutes.

Brilliant Control Smart Home Hub

Access a plethora of smart home devices at once

Access a plethora of smart home devices at once

Replacing your light switch, this device gives you instant access to your smart home appliances. This includes your thermostat, speakers, lights, and more. In addition, Brilliant Control features Amazon Alexa for an extra dose of smart.

AnyMote Home Smart Universal Remote Control

Remote control for your smart home devices

Remote control for your smart home devices

With a system that supports over a million devices, this universal remote is a central hub for all of your electronics. Connecting to your smartphone or tablet through the app, you can turn on and control all of your devices with a single finger.

Prota S Smart Home Automation Hub

Working with a variety of systems, this system connects any device you can imagine. The Prota S features compatibility with wemo, IFTTT, Philips Hue, Amazon Alexa, and so much more.

Wink Relay – Smart Home Wall Controller

The customizable home touchscreen will enable you to check information on products, time, weather, alerts, and more using one single dashboard. The proximity sensor will react to your presence whereas the temperature and humidity sensor keeps tabs on your environment.

Having a smart home system is sure to make your life with smart devices even better. Whether or not you choose to have a voice control system is up to you, but there are plenty of options out there to satisfy everyone’s needs.

The Gadget Flow Daily Digest highlights and explores the latest in tech trends to keep you informed. Want it straight to your inbox? Subscribe now.

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Meet Ashley Timms

Ashley Timms is the Editor in Chief at Gadget Flow where she gets to write about the most incredible products in the world. When she’s not writing, she’s producing fine art dog photography.

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