Advancing modern technologies mean that there are many ‘smart’ home features that can be implemented into your property. These devices may intelligently monitor their use, be programmed or simply use a clever design, all in the name of making your life easier and reducing costs.
In many cases, smart home features will not only save you money, they will be beneficial to the environment as well, reducing your electricity and water consumption. I spoke with smart home technology experts Smart Homes Company to learn more about the options available. Here are seven fantastic smart home features that can be a huge benefit to you.
Energy efficient LED lightbulbs
Firstly, if you haven’t already, it’s time to switch over to energy efficient light bulbs. LED bulbs have largely replaced older, less efficient models in the majority of shops, but there are still people who haven’t yet changed over to the new style. The fact is that LED bulbs not only require less energy to run, which reduces your electricity bill, they also have a much longer lifespan, meaning that you have to replace them less often. It doesn’t take long to replace your bulbs, and you will start to see the benefits immediately.
Automatic light timer
Of course, it’s also worth mentioning that it doesn’t matter if you have energy efficient bulbs if you are not using them correctly. Many people wasted energy by leaving lights on that they simply don’t need – this can be especially frustrating with children. It’s now possible to install intelligent lighting systems that work both with motion sensors or pre-programmed lighting paths that come on as you enter the house and turn off when they are no longer in use.
These systems can be combined with dimming bulbs to ensure that you get the perfect amount of light that you need without wasting energy. Working in conjunction with energy efficient bulbs, these have the potential to save you a significant amount of money.
It’s useful when you can integrate smart home technology with existing technology such as your mobile phone or other devices. For example, if you have smart thermostat you can connect it to your phone and control its settings through an app. This gives you the ability to turn it on 20 minutes before you get home to warm up the house – it also means that you can manually turn off the heating if you realise you’re not going to be home.
These should not be confused with smart metres, which are also a useful piece of technology for monitoring power usage in your home.
Remote power management
Similarly to a smart thermostat, remote power management gives you the ability to turn off devices that you aren’t using through your mobile device. It’s all too common for energy-expensive devices like dehumidifiers, fans and more to be forgotten and left on when you leave for work, remote power management gives you the ability to turn them off when you aren’t home. It is especially useful for people who are prone to leaving on items like hair straighteners or irons. They will not only save you money but also make your home safer.
Programmable blinds and curtains
Letting in the sun is vital to saving you energy, especially in the winter. The sun is a natural and free source of warmth, but if you leave your curtains closed in order to keep out the cold during the winter, you can miss out on the sun’s rays. Programmable curtains make it easy to leave the curtains closed most of the time and set them so they are only open at the time when they catch the heat of the sun.
Smart extension leads
Leaving devices plugged in when they don’t need to be can be a huge source of wasted electricity. One answer for this is the use of smart plugs and smart extension leads which automatically switch off plugged in devices when they are no longer in use.
Finally, remember that you can also use smart features to save water. It is worth investing in low-flow showerheads – standard showers use 12 litres per minute but changing to a low-flow head can reduce this to around 8 litres per minute. This is achieved without the feel of shower being any different from a standard model. Reducing the amount of water used is excellent for the environment and will also decrease your water bill.