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What Makes a Home Smart?

2020.2.11

Smart homes are becoming more and more popular as homeowners realize the myriad benefits of smart lighting and smart devices: energy savings, cost savings, convenience, and decor.

But what exactly makes a home ‘smart’? Is just having smart devices enough?

There are various definitions of smart homes out there. Let’s look at how Tuya likes to define a smart home, because a real smart home is more than just the sum of its parts.

1. Smart devices

Whether it’s smart lighting, smart cameras, smart TVs, smart ovens, or smart speakers, a smart home of course has smart devices in it. As the number of smart devices available for smart homes increases, so too does the homeowner’s potential for the increased savings and convenience of having and using smart devices. Some of the more recently invented smart home devices include smart vacuums, smart air humidifiers, smart locks, and smart garage door openers.

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However, the basis for any smart home is smart lighting. Smart LED lighting is up to 80% more efficient than regular lighting and also can be used with sensors to create a sort of neural network for your home that controls everything easily and efficiently. After smart lighting, most homeowners go for smart cameras so that they have the extra safety of a smart home security system.

2. Connectivity

The next thing every smart home has is connectivity, so that the smart devices can be connected to the cloud, controlled remotely by mobile phone apps, and also communicate with each other. This connectivity can happen through Wi-Fi, Zigbee, or Bluetooth—each of which has its own advantages and disadvantages. Most smart homes use Wi-Fi, but Zigbee and Bluetooth are starting to become more common.

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3. Intelligence

The next thing that makes a home smart is intelligence. This probably sounds a bit strange—of course a smart home is intelligent. Isn’t intelligent the same as smart? Yes and no. By “intelligence”, we mean that the smart devices can do more than just their own functions. By communicating with the other smart devices, they can essentially make your home “intelligent” by allowing you to create AI-based smart scenes. For example, your smart speakers can connect with your smart lights and automatically turn off every time you turn off the lights. Or—your smart lock can communicate with your alarm system and automatically lock the first time the door is open and closed after the alarm is set to “away”. Or—your bedroom lights can go on every time your alarm goes off.

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Via this “intelligence”, your smart home has now become more than just smart—it’s become intelligence by way of devices communicating with each other, learning each other’s functions and habits, and also learning YOUR habits to make your life easier.

4. Savings

Finally—a smart home is a home that allows you to SAVE: save energy, save money, and save time. If your smart home isn’t saving you all three of the above, then you—or your devices— are doing something wrong because it’s not providing you with the three main benefits every smart home should provide.

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It’s also worth noting that a smart home doesn’t really need to be a home, as in a house. It can also be an apartment or even a van or RV. Essentially, it’s any place where people live that has connected smart devices communicating with each other.

Smart homes mean smart living, and smart living means savings: not just for yourself but ultimately for the planet. That’s a win-win for everyone.

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