A guide to smart home devices

A guide to smart home devices

By: Shell Energy

23 Jun 2020

The smart home is well and truly here, offering us convenient ways to control our electricity, heating and other elements around the house. Over the years, smart home devices have become more frequent, and by 2024 there are expected to be 375 million smart homes.

Whether you’re new to the world of smart homes or are looking to brush up on your knowledge, you’ve come to the right place. We’ve put together this guide, detailing everything you need to know so that you can become a smart home pro.

What is a smart home?

A smart home is a property where interconnected devices and appliances perform to save you money, energy and time while enhancing your ‘at home’ experience. Devices and appliances are varied; from consoles that control your entire house, to fridges, TVs, kettles and heating appliances that can work independently.

Convenience really is key with smart homes. You can change the temperature in your home from any location in the world. Or you can see who is ringing your doorbell using an app on your phone. As technology improves, so too will the capability of smart homes. There are no restrictions, and any property can be smart, whether it’s a studio apartment or a grand mansion.

What is a smart home hub?

Smart home devices help make your life easier around the home. But the more devices you have, the more apps are needed to control them. If you’ve got a smart fridge, smart heating system, smart lighting and a smart alarm, keeping on top of everything can be confusing.

A smart hub controls all your devices in one handy place. It’s essentially a one-stop solution designed to make your smart life even smarter. This can be done with an app on your smartphone or tablet, or on a home console attached in the house.

How do smart homes work?

Smart devices can be controlled around the home using an app or home console. You can then use the app or home console to send instructions to the device or appliance, either by hand or in some cases, by voice.

Smart homes will need an internet connection, as the devices connect over a Wi-Fi network. The stronger your internet connectivity, the better smart devices will perform.

What are the benefits of smart home devices?

There are several benefits of smart home devices, from convenience to safety. A smart home allows you to change the lighting or turn the heating on without any hassle. Who doesn’t want to stay comfy on the sofa while having total access to their house with the click of a button?

Smart home apps allow you to check in even when you’re away from home, including monitoring your heating or your home security. Using an app to check in removes any worry, especially when you’re on holiday or away for long periods of time.

The best smart home devices to get you started

Google Nest

Google Nest is a suite of smart home devices that enable your home to function more effectively. This includes Google Nest Thermostat, which can control your heating and water automatically. Google Nest Protect is a smart home smoke and carbon monoxide detector, while The Nest Cam Family are cameras that can be used indoors and outdoors, giving you 24/7 vision of your home.

Philips Hue

Philips Hue is the smart lighting suite that offers the most comprehensive range of smart lighting available. With bulbs, lamps, lightstrips and accessories, there’s a smart lighting option for every corner of your home. Connect them all together to make the lighting in your home easier to control and more energy efficient.

Smart meter

A smart meter changes the way you use gas and electricity around the home. They feature an in-home display (IHD) that shows how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence, and submits your meter readings for you. You’ll have complete control over how much you spend on gas and electricity thanks to the benefits of smart homes.



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