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What Is a Smart Home?

Oct 10, 2022|

A smart home is a group of programmable, connected Internet of Things (IoT) devices that use Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, Zigbee, or Z-Wave technology for communication. You can remotely control these devices using a touch-screen control panel or smartphone.

If you’ve never thought about turning your home into a smart home, this guide will explain why you should consider it. We also explain how smart systems work and introduce you to some of the most popular types of smart devices on the market.

What are the benefits of a smart home?

Smart home technology is about more than making your home flashier and impressing your neighbors (although a sleek, smart home setup is sure to catch their attention).

Several advantages can come with giving your home smart functionality. In the next few segments, we cover some of the benefits of investing in a smart home setup.

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Save on energy costs

While it’s true that smart home devices usually have higher price tags than normal appliances, many smart tools like smart lighting and smart thermostats pay for themselves over time in energy savings.

Smart home automation systems let you decide when your devices work and when they don’t. For instance, you can schedule your smart thermostat to shut off your HVAC system while you’re at work and then turn on right before you get home. This ensures that your air conditioning system doesn’t waste electricity when you’re not using it.

Manage door locks from anywhere

Do you find it difficult to relax when you’re on vacation because you’re worried that you forgot to lock your front door? If so, a home security system with smart locks can give you peace of mind.

A smart home security system gives you remote control of your locks from anywhere, provided there’s an available Wi-Fi or cellular internet connection.

Keep an eye on your home with video security

Smart camera systems let you view security footage of your property on your smartphone. Many security companies also offer cloud storage plans that let you keep and share video clips from your cameras online.

Generally, smart security cameras will send notifications to your mobile device when they notice unusual movement on your property, so you can react.

If you’re a pet parent, you likely worry about your furry friends when you have to leave home. Security cameras can be a great tool for watching your pets. If your camera has two-way talk functionality, you can even speak to your animals through your smartphone. Two-way audio can also help you speak to people at your front door if you have a video doorbell.

Set the mood with smart lighting

Smart lighting lets you turn lights on and off in your home remotely. Depending on what type of smart bulbs you have, you might also be able to adjust the brightness of your lights or change their color remotely.

Effortlessly control your garage door

Your garage door is one the most vulnerable points in your home, especially if your family uses your garage as the main entryway. Even if you don’t purposely leave your garage door open during the day, it’s not hard to forget to close it when you pull out for work in the morning.

A smart garage door opener lets you shut or open your door remotely. If you leave your door open, you’ll get a notification on your smartphone letting you know it’s open. Then, you can shut it remotely.

Increase the value of your home

Who wouldn’t want a home with convenient smart tech? When you move, smart features can increase the value of your home and make it more attractive to buyers. Appraisers will often value a home as being worth more if it has smart tools.

A home with an energy-saving, smart lighting system or an existing smart security system might be just what house hunters are seeking.

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How do smart homes work?

When you have a smart home, all your smart appliances can communicate with each other and work together. You can manage all your appliances using a single smart home hub, like a touch-screen control board, or a mobile device, like an Apple or Android phone.

You can use your smartphone to control your smart devices in real time from anywhere. This lets you do things like turn off your lights or shut your garage door while you’re on vacation. If your system has compatibility with voice assistant tools like Amazon Alexa and Google Home, you can use voice commands to control your devices.

You can also program your smart home for automation. There are two ways to do this.

  • Creating schedules: You can program smart appliances to work at specific times. For example, you could schedule your smart locks to lock automatically at 11 p.m. when you go to bed.
  • Using If This, Then That (IFTTT) functions: You can program devices to perform actions in conjunction with other appliances in your system. For example, you might set a command for your security cameras to turn on whenever your outdoor motion detectors are activated.

You’ll generally need a Wi-Fi router and a reliable smart app to connect and control all of your smart tools. The Vivint smart app has an interface that makes interacting with all your smart devices a breeze.

What devices are used in smart homes?

There’s a huge array of smart devices that can help you do almost anything. Depending on their preferences, homeowners might have smart vacuums, washers, dryers, dishwashers, TVs, refrigerators, blinds, or coffee makers.

Whenever you buy smart home appliances, ensure they have connectivity with your greater smart home ecosystem. You can typically find out which smart systems a device works with on the box or company website.

Below, we list some of the most useful types of smart tools you should consider making part of your smart home system.

  • Smart light bulbs: A smart lighting system lets you turn your lights on and off when you’re away. Some smart lights give you the ability to play with their brightness settings or change their colors. Vivint smart systems have integrations with ultra-quality Philips Hue smart bulbs.
  • Smart thermostat: Thermostats with smart functions let you program when your HVAC system operates. For example, you can program your air conditioner to cool a room when it senses someone is there, so you don’t waste electricity.
  • Security devices: Security cameras, smart locks, and motion sensors can help protect your home at all hours of the day. A smart home security system can send you notifications whenever it senses motion at your residence and let you view security footage from your cameras on your smartphone.
  • Smart speakers: Smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Google Nest Audio can give you voice control of all your smart appliances. That way, you can operate your smart devices when your hands are full.
  • Smoke and carbon monoxide detectors: Connected smart emergency detectors can do things like activate all the alarm systems in your home when one detector senses danger or automatically contact the fire department when there’s an emergency.

Are smart devices safe?

The same technology that makes smart devices convenient can also make them susceptible to potential hacks. That’s why it’s wise to only use smart appliances from reliable companies like Vivint.

Vivint smart devices have security measures in place to protect your home from cybercriminals. For example, when you activate privacy mode on your security camera, anyone who tries to view your footage will only see a blank screen.

Vivint also uses strong encryption to protect your data and won’t sell your information to third-party companies or use it to do things like create targeted ads.

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Create the ultimate custom smart home system with Vivint

If you’re ready to improve your home’s functionality, security, comfort, and energy efficiency, Vivint can help you build a smart home network that meets all your needs. When you reach out to us, we’ll connect you with an expert who can help you choose the right gadgets for your ideal smart home setup.

We also offer professional installation on all our smart home products, so you know you’re getting the most out of your devices. And each of our smart solutions comes with an extended warranty, so you can rest assured our tools are built to last.

Contact us at 855.822.1220 for a free consultation today.

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Qualifying system purchase requires minimum $599.99 expenditure on equipment after all discounts have been applied, professional installation, and execution of Vivint monitoring services agreement. Click here for monthly service plan prices. DIY system purchases and reactivations of previously-installed systems not eligible for offer. Offer not available in all states or provinces. Equipment purchase may be financed separately subject to an agreement with one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Monthly $1.48 cellular network maintenance fee applies. Taxes and local permit fees may apply.

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Financing eligibility and terms subject to credit approval by one of Vivint's third-party financing partners. Qualified customers may finance equipment purchase at 0% APR for up to 60 months. Month-to-month service agreement available when equipment is purchased upfront.

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System supports up to six cameras subject to sufficient WiFi speeds. Without a Vivint services plan, product and system functionality is limited (including loss of remote connectivity). Speak to a Vivint representative at the phone number in this offer for complete equipment, services, and package details, including pricing and financing details. Products and services in Louisiana provided by Vivint Louisiana Commercial Certificate #58280. See Vivint license numbers here.