How Can You Get A Smart Home? Tips to Create Modern Homes in NZ NZ
How Can You Get A Smart Home? Tips to Create Modern Homes in NZ

How Can You Get A Smart Home? Tips to Create Modern Homes in NZ

Words by Superior Renovations

In our digital world, technology is constantly changing and getting better which should come as no surprise that people have invented ways to make our homes smarter and our lives easier. But if you’re still unsure about investing into smart homes, then this article is perfect for you. There are plenty of benefits to having a smart home, keep reading to find out more!

Smart homes may seem convenient for others, but others may also struggle with the idea of smart homes. Smart homes are a huge change and can impact how you and your family live for the next few years. When considering your kitchen or bathroom renovation and design consider installing some smart home appliances.

Content

  • Benefits of having a Smart Home
  • Tips to have a secure smart home security system
  • Smart Kitchens
  • Smart Bathrooms

7 Benefits of Having a Smart Home

1. Entertainment 

The main form of entertainment we indulge in nowadays is connecting our streaming services to our Tv’s. Which provides you with a bigger screen to watch your favourite movie or tv show on. When first starting to invest in smart homes, Google Chromecast or Apple TV is a good starting point. These are smart home gadgets which can be controlled via voice if you have a compatible smart assistant. Not only is it exclusive to watching movies and tv shows, it’s also another way to blast your music while doing chores.

Example of Chromecast/Apple Tv | Photo Credit – iStock

2.      General Appliances

There are many appliances that be control towards your smart home and make your life easier. There are a huge variety of smart appliances that you could choose from. Few examples are fridges, ovens, heaters, air conditioners, which those appliances are able to give you notifications. A popular appliance that most people have in their homes are automatic vacuums which will send you a notification once it’s finished or if it’s stuck somewhere in the house. Some appliances can be controlled on your phone or by using voice commands. Voice commands only work if you have a smart device, like Alexa or Google Assistant.

3.      Lighting and Temperature Control

Are you all comfy and warm in your bed but forgot to turn the lights off? With your smart home appliances like purchasing smart lights, you can turn the lights off from your phone and stay in your cocoon of warmth. Having a smart thermostat in your household can also be controlled from your phone or using voice command.

4.      Home Security

Security plays a huge part in our lives as we want to keep our belongings secure. With a smart home, you’re able to control your gates from your phone. Install cameras which you can also see from your phone and purchase a smart doorbell which comes with a camera. Works best if you’re connected with Wi-Fi.

5.      Sustainability

Smart home appliances are environmentally friendly and can be sustainable for you as there are gadgets and appliances that can track your energy usage and water consumption. This can help you use less energy and water.

6.      Remote Access

The best thing about investing into a smart home is that everything can be controlled from your phone no matter where you are as long as you have a strong internet connection. Think you left the lights on while you’re on vacation? Worry no more because with remote access, you’re able to turn the lights off from your phone.

Remote Access through your smart phone | Photo Credit – iStock

7. Accessibility

Smart homes are easy to use and accessible to everyone. This can be extremely helpful with people who have a disability as they can use voice commands to turn things on and off and be able to control things without having to get up.

Top 4 Recommended Energy Efficient Appliances

1.      Smart Thermostats

When renovating your house, consider purchasing a smart thermostat for your house. Or if you’re designing your house, switch out your old thermostat for a smart thermostat. This can help cut down on energy consumption. Smart thermostats help regulate and automate your heating and cooling. They can also be controlled from your phone.

Smart Thermostat which can be controlled from phone | Photo Credit – iStock

2.      Smart Lighting

When designing your house, consider purchasing smart lighting that can connect to your smart home device. Having smart lights in your smart home means you can schedule when the lights turn on and off. Switching to LED bulbs will also help reduce your energy usage.

Check out some smart light bulbs from Bunnings 

3.      Smart Fridge

When considering your kitchen design, opt for a smart fridge as they are energy efficient and come with heaps of benefits. A smart fridge gives you an option to write a virtual bulletin board for your family with a ‘to do list’, reminders or quote of the day. Sick of having expired food in your fridge? With the smart fridge, the appliance is able to keep track of expiration dates, so you don’t waste any food.

Smart Fridge with touch screen options | Photo Credit – iStock

4.      Smart Outlets

Thinking of making your house more modern? Consider switching some outlets to smart outlets to make your house eco-friendly. Normal outlets constantly drain energy even when you aren’t using it and to stop it from draining energy, you’ll have to turn the outlet off. Not everyone has time to turn the outlet on and off everything. With the smart outlet, they automatically detect when you aren’t using it and cuts the power off. This is a great way to be more energy efficient.

How to Secure Your Smart Home Security? 5 Essential Tips

1. Set up your router correctly

A key tip when thinking about securing your smart home security is understanding that your Wi-Fi router is the doorway to your smart home. Setting up your router correctly by following all instructions and these tips will secure your home security. Therefore, eliminating the threat of a possible hacker.

2. Change the routers default name

It’s important to change your router name as keeping it as the default name will make it easier for people to find default login details. Using the default name will make it easier for others to gain access to your smart home. When changing the router name, be creative and remember to leave personal details out.

3. Set the password to something unique

Include capital letters, numbers and symbols in your password which can create a super strong password for your smart home security. You can also consider using a random password generator if you can’t come with anything. The generator will provide you options and be sure to write the password down somewhere in case you forget it.

4. Disable features you don’t use

There are many features that come with a smart device, and most times you’ll end up only using a few things. Be sure to disable any feature you don’t need like voice control on certain features. This is because if someone hacks into your smart device, they’re able to listen to your conversations and hear everything you say. Therefore, disabling features, you don’t use, eliminates the threat of that problem.

5. Enable multi-factor authentication

Enable a multi-factor authentication onto your smart home device is a great way to increase security and prevent others from hacking your smart home device. The best two factor authentication to use for a smart device is sending a verification code to your mobile device to gain access to the smart home device. As we always have our phone on us, if you get sent a verification code that you’re unsure of you can change the password on your smart home device or improve the security.

Benefits of Installing Smart Kitchen Appliances

1.      Smart devices provide useful notifications

With technology growing, smart appliances are becoming trendy and somewhat useful. Based on the smart appliances you have, they’re able to send you notifications to let you know if you didn’t close the fridge properly, or if the dishwasher is finished. Mundane tasks that could let you get on with other things you need to do without worrying if you left the fridge open or not as your smart appliances or devices will send you a notification.

With smart appliances and smart devices, they’ll let you know if they’re malfunctioning, and you’ll be able to get them fixed before they actually break.

Notification received on phone | Photo Credit - iStock

2.      Energy efficient appliances cut costs

Although smart appliances are more expensive than normal household appliances, they’re a good investment to make when creating a smart home. Not only are you just investing in the appliance itself, but you’re also investing into the software and technology that is integrated into the appliance.

Smart kitchen appliances can help you track your energy consumption by letting you know which is using the most energy to help you cut cost. These smart kitchen appliances can be monitor on a regular daily basis from your phone.

3.      Cooking made easy

With having a smart kitchen, it makes cooking easier as there are some smart kitchen appliances that lets you know important information. An example of this would be letting you know the perfect temperature for cooked meat which will eliminate any food poisoning. This makes preparing food safer.

There are some smart ovens that don’t require you to sit around the kitchen and keep an eye on the oven to make sure your food isn’t burning. The smart oven itself will cook your dish for you and then put it on ‘warming mode’ until you’re ready to eat. There are many benefits to having smart appliances in your kitchen and this is one of them.

Example of a small smart oven | Photo Credit – iStock

4.      Less worry when you’re on vacation

Constantly think someone is going to break into your house when you’re on vacation? With your smart home, you’ll be able to keep an eye on your home and eliminate any worries you might have. Having smart lights in your smart home will make your house feel less empty when you’re on vacation. Which can give an illusion of someone being home because the lights are on since smart lights are accessible from your device.

5.      Smart Appliances

Some great smart appliances to add to your smart home kitchen are smart dishwashers and smart refrigerators. Smart refrigerators have a camera in the inside so, when shopping for groceries you’ll know what you need. Having a smart refrigerator also helps monitor and control energy usage and sends you a notification letting you know if there is a power outage or if you didn’t close the door properly.

A great feature that is included in a smart dishwasher is that if there were a leak, the dishwasher would let you know. Smart dishwashers stop working once it detects a leak and shut themselves off to protect flooring. Which is helpful as you’re able to get that fixed asap. These are some essential items to think about having in your smart home.

Example of having a smart dishwasher and features | Photo Credit – iStock

How to Create a Smart Bathroom? 6 Tips to Help.

1. Voice control in the bathroom

With your smart device, you’re able to take advantage of using voice commands when showering or too busy to do it yourself. You can use your smart devices to adjust smart lighting or to change music. The best thing about this is that you can use any smart device to do this. Using a virtual digital assistant helps add another layer of convenience to your smart home and make your bathroom design more luxurious.

2. Smart shower

Are you always waiting for your shower to heat up before jumping in? With smart showers you don’t have to wait for the shower to heat up. Smart showers let you adjust the temperature towards your liking, so you can step into the shower with the perfect water temperature. Another benefit of a smart shower is that you can adjust a time limit for your shower to ensure that you’re not late for anything. Smart showers help lower your water usage and smart showers also come with Bluetooth speakers which can connect to your phone. Have a shower, have a party, have a concert.

3. Soaking tubs

Having a smart bathroom doesn’t always have to mean having smart appliances or a smart device. Creating a smart bathroom can be from how you design the space and keeping bathroom accessories organized. Standalone soaking tubs are a great way to help eliminate clutter in your bathroom. Having a standalone soaking tub in your bathroom will help replicate the experience of a spa treatment. If your bathroom has space, consider purchasing a standing bathtub in your bathroom design.

Although our past renovated bathrooms don’t feature all smart bathroom appliances and gadgets. The most popular item that most bathroom renovations are standalone tubs or soaking tubs. Check out a few of our bathroom renovations with a standalone bathtub below!

Standalone Bathtub in Greenhithe

Standalone Bathtub in Redvale 

How to Create a Smart Bathroom? 6 Tips to Help.

1. Voice control in the bathroom

With your smart device, you’re able to take advantage of using voice commands when showering or too busy to do it yourself. You can use your smart devices to adjust smart lighting or to change music. The best thing about this is that you can use any smart device to do this. Using a virtual digital assistant helps add another layer of convenience to your smart home and make your bathroom design more luxurious.

2. Smart shower

Are you always waiting for your shower to heat up before jumping in? With smart showers you don’t have to wait for the shower to heat up. Smart showers let you adjust the temperature towards your liking, so you can step into the shower with the perfect water temperature. Another benefit of a smart shower is that you can adjust a time limit for your shower to ensure that you’re not late for anything. Smart showers help lower your water usage and smart showers also come with Bluetooth speakers which can connect to your phone. Have a shower, have a party, have a concert.

3. Soaking tubs

Having a smart bathroom doesn’t always have to mean having smart appliances or a smart device. Creating a smart bathroom can be from how you design the space and keeping bathroom accessories organized. Standalone soaking tubs are a great way to help eliminate clutter in your bathroom. Having a standalone soaking tub in your bathroom will help replicate the experience of a spa treatment. If your bathroom has space, consider purchasing a standing bathtub in your bathroom design.

Although our past renovated bathrooms don’t feature all smart bathroom appliances and gadgets. The most popular item that most bathroom renovations are standalone tubs or soaking tubs. Check out a few of our bathroom renovations with a standalone bathtub below!

Standalone Bathtub in Greenhithe

Standalone Bathtub in Redvale 

Soaking Tub | Photo Credit – iStock

4.      21st century toilets

Bidets have been around for a while now, most popular in Japan. Although people see bidets as a luxury product and unusual to have in your home. When thinking of 21st century toilets, there are more products that aren’t bidets. So, if bidets aren’t your thing, don’t worry. There are other ways to smarten up your bathroom.

Smart toilets have motion sensors that can put the toilet seat up or down, depending on your preference. Some toilets will automatically flush on its own once you’ve finished your business. There are also smart toilets that can self-clean. Some benefits of having a smart toilet are that they’re environmentally friendly, reduce the risk of overflowing and some smart toilets can instantly clean themselves. This will definitely add a new element into your smart home. Consider them in your bathroom design.

Example of Bidet in Bathroom | Photo Credit: Reece

5. Intelligent faucets

Smart faucets have been around for a while and some shopping malls have implemented them into public toilets. This is a great idea nowadays as it reduces the risk of and germs and bacteria spreading as those faucets are motion sensor. Consider smart faucets in your bathroom design. Having a smart faucet in your smart home will help lower your water usage and saves energy. Also eliminates bacteria spreading around the house if someone in the family is sick.

6. Design

Want a smart bathroom but on a budget? There are many different ways that you can create a smart bathroom without purchasing all the smart bathroom appliances. You can create a smart bathroom by purchasing small gadgets like a smart outlet to start off with. Changing your bathroom fixtures and fittings is a great way to create a smart bathroom without all the expensive appliances. Consider fittings and fixtures that can make your bathroom look smart in your bathroom design.

Check out our top 15 bathroom design trends blog for more inspiration 

Example of a smart bathroom design | Photo Credit – iStock

How Environmentally Friendly are Smart Homes?

Smart homes have been known to be environmentally friendly with smart appliances as they help lower your water and energy usage. A popular smart technology that helps make your smart home environmentally friendly are smart thermostats. You can adjust the temperate from your phone and smart thermostats will automatically turn off if a door was left open. This can help minimize your carbon footprint.

Another way that having a smart home can help minimise your carbon footprint is having smart lighting. With smart lighting you’re able to control from your phone. This can ensure that you’ve turned your lights off when going on vacation. Wasting electricity and forgetting to turn lights off leaves a massive carbon footprint, so investing in smart lighting helps make your home environmentally friendly.

Top Smart Devices to Use in Your Smart Home.

There are plenty of smart devices that are coming out nowadays, which gives you as a consumer plenty of options. Though having too many options can be overwhelming. The top three smart devices to install for your smart home is the Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple Siri aka HomePod.

Based on our research we have found some advantages of using these three smart devices. Advantages for Amazon Alexa is that it’s easy to use and easy to set up and Alexa has more than 10,000 skills. Alexa can answer anything you ask her although her response might not be the answer you want. Another advantage of Alexa is that it’s compatible with any device. A main disadvantage of Alexa is that you can’t trigger her from your phone and Alexa doesn’t always understand you inquires.

Amazon Alexa | Photo Credit – iStock

Google Home or Google Assistant is another popular smart device suitable for your smart home. Some advantages of Google Home are that they’ve proven that their AI is more advance than any other smart devices. A disadvantage of Google Home is that you can only summon it by saying ‘Ok Google”, which can become annoying. Another one is that Google Home also won’t understand your commands and inquires all the time.

Google Assistant | Photo Credit – iStock

Lastly, another smart device that is the HomePod which is associated with Apple’s Siri and some advantages of this smart device is that it’s easy to set up because it works directly with your home kit app that is already installed into your phone. A big disadvantage is that this is only accessible via apple products. So, if you don’t have an apple product then the HomePod is not available for you to use.

Apple HomePod | Photo Credit - iStock

Further Resources

  1. Ideas for Bathroom renovations in our bathroom renovation gallery of bathrooms we have renovated in Auckland
  2. Ideas for Kitchen renovations in our kitchen renovation gallery for kitchens we have renovated in Auckland
  3. Featured projects and Client stories to see specifications on some of the projects.
  4. Real client stories from Auckland
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