A few years ago, we would look at the smart home technology as something of the future and that only very wealthy people have access to. We’ve already reach the future where an explosion of smart home technology is available with so many options to choose from. Just in a few years we went from fancying a smart home that looked out of reach to having so many options that we don’t know what to choose from.
Before turning your home into a smart home, it is important to consider which needs you want to address and understand which smart home products will help you solve these needs. The second step would be to look at the available products in the market that will truly make you home smart. We at Handy Squad, are the experts in recommending you the best handymen for your home and would love to help you choose the best smart home technology to turn your home into a really smart one.
Consider your Security and Safety
The first need we all look at when it comes to our home is the safety and security. Our home is where we place our most valuable things and we want to make sure it is well protected during our absence for real peace of mind. This is why with a smart home, you can create a “Lived-In” feel automation where the lights, the TV and the radio will switch on and off at certain times and days. You can truly relax on you vacation knowing that no one will dare breaking into your home.
Another great security automation is scaring the intruder. Let’s say one day an intruder tries getting into your house, the door/window sensors will sense the break in and will trigger all your smart lights to go to red and your radio to a very loud volume making the intruder question his choice of target.
Your home will also keep you up to date with everything happening in your home when you are away via text messages. For example, it will notify you if your children arrived home, if there is an intruder in your house or if any of your security sensors (smoke detectors, leak detector etc..) are triggered helping you to prevent any home incident from happening.
Consider your Energy savings and the Environment
Having a smart home will also help you save on your energy bills and do your bit for the environment.
You can reduce your energy bills by managing your hot water and heating schedule in the whole house and in every room making your house more efficient. If you happen to forget to switch off the hot water before you travel to Miami, you can still switch it off remotely from your phone.
You can cut even more off your energy bills by setting your radiators to switch off whenever there is an open window in the room. Finally, you will be able to manage your energy bills by reading your energy consumption on your home appliances.
Consider your Comfort & Convenience
Now that you have peace of mind knowing that a smart home will make your home more secure with no monthly fees while saving on your energy bills, why not also consider your comfort and convenience?
Imagine your home gently waking you up in the morning by turning the lights on slowly to yellow, by getting your coffee or tea ready for you in the kitchen and by heating your bathroom so you can comfortably take a shower and start your day in a great mood.
You can also leave your house every morning knowing that as soon as you pass through the door, your home will switch all the lights, TV, radio and thermostat off for you and as soon as you come back it will welcome you with your favourite music set, and with the lights on to your favourite colour and the thermostat to the ideal temperature.
With a smart home, you will be able to create a fun and cool environment for you, your family and your guests. From a movie night to a dinner party you can set the mood you want with just one click.
For example, you can set the light bulbs to a blue colour for a great movie night with your kids. You can set your home to welcome you with your favourite music set as soon as you open the door. Or you can impress your guests with a party ambience turning all lights to different colours, the music on to your favourite set and the thermostat to the right temperature with just one click!
Let your imagination soar while automating your home and adjust your home to fit your needs & lifestyle.
So now that you know a little bit more about all the benefits of having a smart home, I bet you are curious to know how much effort and money you need to invest to make your home smart.
First of all, to make your home smart you will need 3 important things:
- A smart home hub that will act as the brain of your smart home connecting all the smart devices together.
- An app on your smart phone from where you will be able to control all your home and from where you will create all your home automation.
- A few smart devices to get you started and then you can add as many devices as you want to create the smart home of your dreams.
The Smart Home Hub
The first step of a smart home is the smart hub that acts as the brain of your home. While there are a few smart home hubs and app platforms on the market, one specifically grabbed our attention not only because of its eye-catching design but also because of all the advantages that it provides – The nCube hub is a beautifully designed blue box that acts as the brain of your home connecting all your smart devices together.
Why you need a hub?
With a hub, you will be able to create automations in your home that includes several types of devices. For example, your light bulbs, your thermostat and your speaker. Without the hub, you will only be able to create automations for each device individually through its own app and you won’t be able to integrate it with other devices.
If you don’t have a hub, you won’t be able to control your devices remotely. You will only be able to control them from their own app and only when you are present at home.
Having a hub means that all the automation is run inside the box and not through the servers of each device which makes the response faster. Without a hub, you will be running things via the smart devices’ cloud services which can lead to a long latency (up to 15 minutes).
Without a hub, you will be limited to connect to a few Wifi and LAN smart devices. Whereas with a hub, you will be able to connect to many more smart devices due to the multitude of connection methods.
Why the nCube Home Hub?
Now that I explained why it’s better to have a hub solution versus an app only solution, I will explain why we have a preference toward the nCube Home.
Open platform – compatibility
nCube is an open platform compatible with over 120 devices from different brands and different functionality. Unlike many hubs on the market who force you into buying their own smart devices, nCube gives you the freedom to select the tech and devices that work for you from Sonos to Nest, from Lifx to Hue because maximising your choice and control will make your home even smarter.
A unique feature of nCube is your privacy. While developing the nCube hub, the founder had one important thing in mind: how to protect the home owner’s privacy while using the smart home technology. For him, as the British expression say: “your home is your castle” and that should always be a priority.
Because of their unique box and technology, your information is never sent out to central servers or stored in the cloud. Instead it stays on your device in your home – meaning it’s much more secure and totally private.
Unlike almost every system on the market, nCube’s brain works even when you’re offline. If the internet connection is slow or goes down, your home doesn’t collapse! Using nCube, you can still control your heating, alarm systems and everything else from your phone.
As your home is your haven, smart home products should have more security than a simple username/password login. For that reason, nCube decided to add an extra layer of security, by only allowing remote access if you have first accessed your nCube hub on your home network. It also lets you decide what changes & controls can be accessed remotely. You can even choose which user can control what. For example, your kids can have limited access, while you and your partner can control everything remotely. These added layers of security are what makes nCube ideal for families.
The nCube Home hub comes with a power cable that you need to plug in and a LAN cable that you can attach to your router if you don’t want to use the WiFi method. The hub is a simple plug and play solution.
The smart home app
The second step of a Smart home is the app on your smart phone. The nCube app is free and can be downloaded on both the Google Android and the Apple store. The reason why we liked the nCube app is because of it easy functionality and the automation that it can do.
The nCube app is extremely user friendly that any anyone in the home would feel comfortable using it. From adding the smart devices to the app, to controlling each one them and to creating the home automation you want, everything is done easily and intuitively. Unlike many apps on the market, the nCube app is very pleasant to use.
The nCube app allows you to add as many conditions as you need while creating an automation making your home truly smarter. In the other apps available in the market, the automation was restricted to one condition at a time.