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Creating a Smart Home: Simple home automation solutions

Creating a Smart Home: Simple home automation solutions



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I’ve been home from KBIS 2019 for two days now and scouring through all of my pictures to decide what to report back.  As I looked at all of my pictures, there were some consistent themes I saw. One of the most interesting, and a bit scary for this old chick, is home automation.  While there have been stories in the news about security breaches, the inclusion of technology in the home is not going away.  And while there are pros and cons for everything, I’m going to break down some easier things you can add to your home to be on the path to making it a smart home.

smart home

Smart Home – What does that even mean?

According to Android Authority, a smart home is

…a residence equipped with a number of devices that automate tasks normally handled by humans.

Smart Home – Lighting Dimmers/Switches

You all know how I LOVE Legrand’s adorne® collection. This year, I was introduced to another Legrand collection, the radiant® collection. While I won’t go into a lot of detail with this blog (as I’ll be using these in our Love At First Sight project and will dedicate an entire blog to these beauties), here’s a really quick look at these sexy switches!

What I love about Legrand products is that they are sleek looking and can easily replace existing switches.  The radiant® smart switches can control lighting, audio, or the entire home.

These switches can be connected via the app from Legrand or by any other smart device (Google, Alexa, etc.)    

As I always like to share the pros and cons, I am going to save that for my dedicated blog on these beauties.  Stay tuned for this blog!

Smart Home – Plumbing

Yes – you read that correctly. What could there possibly be in the bathroom  to make it a smart home?  Ohh….let me show you just how many wonderful ways!

Showers

I had the opportunity to take a shower with Moen.  I mean, we kept our clothes on (keep it clean people)!

U by Moen has

…forever transformed showering to create a personalized showering experience. Now with three ways to control your smart shower: voice, phone, and controller.

The whole process starts with either choosing 2 or 4 outlets. Let me tell you, if I was to install this little touch of smart home goodness, go for the 4 (better known to my clients as the entire car wash experience).

smart home
The Moen rep going over all of the options on the control.  This shower is showing the 4 outlets. 

smart home
Image Source

Creating your dream shower

With Moen’s innovated controller, you can control your shower without ever stepping foot IN the shower.  Simply click on the app, adjust your settings, and you’re good to go. With the customization features, you can:

  • Set a timer enabling you to keep on schedule (and not fall asleep in the shower – yes – my Mr. does that) or shut the shower off (my son – I am looking at you when I write this).
  • Use the start and pause feature to conserve water.  When your shower has heated up to your desired temperature, and you’re not quite ready to hop in, pause the water until you are ready.
  • Control the temperature before you ever step foot into the shower.  No more cold blast of water!
  • Receive notifications when your shower is ready.

smart home
U by Moen Control

Installation

You would think a shower of this magnitude would need a lot of extra plumbing.  I’m here to tell you my friends, that it really isn’t that complicated.  Moen put a lot of thought into what goes behind the wall.  Here’s a peek at the valve(s) that smartly fit between the studs.

TOILETS

Automation with toilets gives a whole new meaning to the phrase, ‘royal flush’.  These toilets are really built for a king and/or queen!  The toilet below – comes with a hefty king and queen price tag! When I had the opportunity to visit the Kohler booth, I was shown the Numi® 2.0

Just take a look at how this automation works for this toilet

A few of the smart features with this particular toilet:

  • Ambient lighting with eight colors and three programming options.
  • Built-in speakers play preprogrammed custom Numi® song, FM radio or your personalized music from a portable device with BLUETOOTH®* technology
  • User presets for up to six people to recall individual saved preferences.

This may fall in the category of TMI, but I personally prefer to be in and out. You know – get in and get-er’ done and get out.  While I’m not sure I would enjoy all of the benefits from this toilet, I am 100% positive that the Mr. would.  In fact, I may not see him all weekend!

PLUMBING
SAFETY

When it comes to creating a smart home, it’s not always about the bells and whistles that you see and use every day.  There are some great innovations when it comes to water safety.  Nothing is more unsettling than dealing with a flood. Here are some shocking stats.

Grohe Sense is a smart water sensor that can detect:

  • Water leaks
  • Frost risks
  • Harmful humidity

How does it work?

The puck-like sensor is placed in a room, such as a laundry room, close to the appliance or fixture.  If water is detected, GROHE Sense will send you a notification via the GROHE ONDUS app. If there is a water leak, you will be notified and get there in time to stop the leak becoming a flood.

The Grohe Sense Guard is installed directly to your plumbing lines. 

smart home

This device also uses the GROHE ONDUS app to notify you of any micro-leaks, burst pipes, etc.  Again, you would get a notification through the app and you can either manually turn off the water or have it automatically shut off (you can set that up when you configure your device.)

Whether you are away on holidays or are simply at work, you can rest assure that water damage will be the thing of the past!

SMART HOMES

When I see automation(s) like the above, the little techy-geek in me gets all excited.  I love that technology can assist us like never before. I mean,

  • Who wouldn’t want to set the temperature for the shower and the water will be the exact temperature that you’ve asked it to be?
  • When I go to use the toilet, I can be ever so comfortable (so comfortable that I may not want to leave the water closet).
  • My holiday will never be interrupted by a water leak. 

While I do get excited, the older me has a feeling of apprehension.  It seems we’re moving into a world where devices do all of the thinking.  Do you ever think twice about using the toilet and sit there wondering why there isn’t music playing?  Do I really need a toilet that serenades me while I’m using it?  Has it ever killed me to turn on the shower – with my hand? Does it really kill me to get up and turn down the lights? Never.

The fact is, I like using my brain, I like to think, and I don’t ever want to lose that ability – ever!  

Whatever the future has in store for us, automation and creating smart homes is definitely not going away.  That was truly evident at KBIS 2019. So while we don’t have to embrace every little new thing, there are certain items that I see as a great benefit to being a smart homeowner.

Here’s another great article called How to Set Up a Smart Home Hub in 100 Days (An Ultimate Guide for Marrying Technology with Comfort) that you may wish to read.

Over to you.  What are your thoughts on automation and smart homes?

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Please note this post may contain affiliate links. If you click to buy one of these, I will make a tiny percentage, at no additional cost to you.

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