I get this question time and time again about how awesome my setup is at home and how I’ve achieved some of the cool features I can do within my home, so today I’ve decided to write about it and tell you more about the products I currently use within my home and how well they work and integrate with each other.
What platform should I use?
When selecting a platform you should always look at what technology will integrate together seamlessly, now for my choice I selected HomeKit which is Apple’s Smart Home Ecosystem.
This was an easy choice for me as almost everyone within the home uses an iPhone, iPad and we have several Apple TVs. So naturally I selected HomeKit to ensure compatibility and control across everyones devices.
There are other platforms that you can use which are compatible with most Android devices such as Alexa or Google Home.
Recommendation before starting
You need to get your network right and make sure your WiFi in your home is fast enough and strong enough to cover the area where your HomeKit enabled devices will be used.
Reason being is you may find when you connect more devices to your Home you’ll see a reduction in the speed you normally get.
My network solution I went for was to ensure I have consistent network connectivity and the ability to upscale later which is why I selected Ubiquiti UniFi products which you can find more about here. https://www.ui.com
Where do I start?
Well it really depends on what you need to do with your solution but the options are limitless, you can control your Blinds, unlock doors, turn on & off lights, view security cameras, Thermostats, TVs and much more to come.
I used to always come home when it was dark and everyone had gone to bed, I used to walk up to the house and not be able to see where I was going at night which prompted me to start off with lights.
I found the Philips Hue products able to fit my need and replaced all my living room lights to these white smart bulbs.
These bulbs are very powerful and with the bridge managing the connectivity of these into my network it took little to no setup required to get these started.
I would recommend picking up a starter kit to reduce the costs and you get more value.
When you’re about to sit down and watch a movie you usually would turn down the lights or close the blinds to ensure your cinema experience at home is the best watchable experience.
A scene typically would be a combination of different steps you would normally do within one tap of a button or a simple voice command.
Did someone say “Hey Siri, movie time!” Hell yes I did!
Automation and Sensors
Automation is very powerful to help make most of your Smart Home and help you do quick actions without needing to think about it.
you can get location based automation that can switch on the drive way lights when you arrive home after 9pm at night, you can get sensors that enable you to switch on lights or enable devices by simply walking past the sensor.
We have in our hall way a sensor that interacts directly with the hallway lights switching them on to a low light at night to allow us to be able to see at night without touching the light switch.
I will be going into further details on most of what I’ve discussed in this guide but in the meantime let me know if there’s anything you would like me to cover below in the comments.