If you still haven’t committed to the idea of automating your home, maybe that’s in part because of some myths flying around about the industry.
Well, today, we'll get directly down to business in an attempt to strip away these misconceptions about smart home products so you can make the best decision.
- Home Automation Is Just Too Expensive
- You Need To Be Extremely Tech-Savvy To Use Smart Devices
- Everyone Must Have a Smart Home at All Costs
- You Don’t Have Any Privacy In a Smart Home
- It’s Not a Worthwhile Investment Creating a Connected Home
- All Smart Devices Are Just Gimmicks
- You Can Only Get Smart Devices From Amazon or Google
- All The Devices You Buy Will Instantly Work Together
- You’ll Make Huge Savings With a Smart Thermostat
- You Need To Go All-In With Whole-House Smart Lighting
1) Home Automation Is Just Too Expensive
Perhaps the leading disincentive for people resistant to home automation is the thought it will be cripplingly expensive.
Being cripplingly expensive is absolutely not the case.
The first thing to get straight is that you’ve got no need whatsoever to buy everything at once. Most people don’t.
To get started smartening up your home, you can spend well under $100 for a home hub. This will act as the foundation of your ecosystem and help compatible devices to work in harmony.
From here, simply build in additional devices as and when that fits your budget.
If you only have modest ambitions for a connected home, you really won’t be spending much at all.
2) You Need To Be Extremely Tech-Savvy To Use Smart Devices
Another common myth that acts as a barrier to some people adopting smart technology is the idea it will all be too complicated.
The vast majority of devices are wireless and exemplify plug-and-play simplicity.
All you'll need to do is download an app for your smartphone. If you prefer the idea of using voice commands, add a smart speaker into the mix.
Once you’ve got your device connected to your home WiFi network – just follow simple onscreen instructions in-app – you’ll be free to control your devices any way you like.
And that, in essence, is the extent of the tech skills required.
Sure, some wired thermostats that need hooking up to an HVAC system call for a little more expertise. Be honest, though, wouldn’t you just call in an electrician?
Some ecosystems are easier to get on with than others. If you’re looking for a user-friendly entry point to home automation, why not look into creating an Insteon ecosystem? Do so, and you'll get a great connected home that's a dream to navigate and incredibly reliable into the bargain. Apple HomeKit, by contrast, can be a little trickier to implement and master.
3) Everyone Must Have a Smart Home at All Costs
Some people feel pressured into automating their home even if it doesn’t make sense. Don’t fall for this idea that you absolutely need a smart home at all costs.
While home automation can undeniably make your life easier, safer, and more convenient, that doesn't mean connected devices form the best fit for everyone.
If you're renting an apartment, for example, it only doesn't make sense to start installing hardwired devices. Your landlord might not even be amenable to you making such changes.
We always advise anyone considering a foray into home automation to take plenty of time at the planning stage before launching into buying mode. Ask yourself what you’re hoping to achieve from investing in a smart home. Be confident enough to resist if it doesn’t make the best solution for you.
4) You Don’t Have Any Privacy In a Smart Home
You could be forgiven for taking a very dim view of security and privacy within a connected home. Over the past couple of years, several significant security breaches involving compromised data have made it clear you need to take precautions.
It’s simply not true, though, that you can’t enjoy any privacy in a connected home.
If you're particularly conscious about this, avoid any devices with a camera or microphone. If you remove audio and video from the equation, you're highly unlikely to find yourself, victim, to any kind of cyber attack.
As with all aspects of home automation, if you plan carefully, then there's no reason not to feel completely safe and sound within your smart home.
5) It’s Not a Worthwhile Investment Creating a Connected Home
Well, this point of view is often forwarded by those resistant to spending out on home automation. This depends, really, on how you consider an investment…
For us, the investment in any smart device has an immediate ROI. Whether it makes your life quicker, safer, or more accessible, there's usually an instant payload.
Beyond this, a particular smart home tech can increase both the desirability and overall price if you're looking to sell your home.
If you do not intend to sell your house, then you clearly benefit from continuing to use those smart devices yourself.
So, we’d have to argue that this point of view about smart home gear making a bad bet isn’t entirely accurate.
6) All Smart Devices Are Just Gimmicks
While the stance that smart tech is nothing but gimmickry is beginning to fade, there are still plenty of skeptics who question the value of connected devices.
Here at Smarthome, we'll always steer you clear of gadgets that fail to deliver. In the bulk of cases, though, a connected kit fulfills many useful functions.
Often, people pushing this point of view have a limited understanding of domotics. Perhaps they’re confusing it with robotics. If you set aside the more fanciful bleeding edge of home automation, the average device you’ll find is highly useful.
Next time you're approaching your door with your hands full of shopping, and it opens for you automatically, ask yourself if that smart lock is a gimmick.
Same thing if a carbon monoxide sensor or leak sensor saves you from an accident and an insurance claim.
7) You Can Only Get Smart Devices From Amazon or Google
When it comes to the aggressively competitive smart speaker vertical, Amazon and Google dominate.
Echo devices in their many shapes and forms, along with Google Home speakers, serve up the most famous pair of digital assistants in the form of Alexa and Google Assistant.
How about beyond hands-free control, then?
Well, Amazon continues to forge ahead with a glut of products announced at the recent hardware event complementing some acquisitions and an ever-growing stable of smart home products.
Google has also rebranded Nest, so you've now got the all-new Google Nest serving up all your needs for your connected home.
There are, though, far more significant players in the smart home industry, so you'll be free to choose your video doorbell, security system or garage door opener from a full roster of reputable brands beyond the big two above.
8) All The Devices You Buy Will Instantly Work Together
Many novices to home automation have been instantly hamstrung by buying a clutch of different devices at random expecting them all to work smoothly together.
For all the manifold benefits of smart devices, they lack any real unified standard.
Once you start investigating devices, you’ll be confronted with different communication protocols like Zigbee and Z-Wave. You'll also find protocols like Insteon, WiFi, and Bluetooth, so interoperability is far from assured.
You’ll also typically find you need a home hub to get these devices singing from the same sheet.
So, if you’re a novice and you’re expecting that everything works together from the get-go, you might end up slightly disappointed.
9) You’ll Make Huge Savings With a Smart Thermostat
This myth is mainly propagated by manufacturers of smart thermostats who trumpet savings of 25% or more.
Frankly, this is an unrealistic estimate that leads to disappointment. We'd say you're far more likely to expect a reduction in your electricity usage by around 10%. This is an excellent little reduction, but we're not talking about enormous sums of money here.
10) You Need To Go All-In With Whole-House Smart Lighting
Smart lighting is one of the most popular entry-points for home automation, but it can also be costly and complicated.
If you’re going to roll out switches across the whole house, costs and installation expenses can spiral.
It’s also quite likely you’ll need to call in an electrician.
Start slowly if you want to experiment with smart lighting. Get a few bulbs first and see how you fare.
Well, we hope we've managed to explore some commonplace smart home myths today. If you're thinking of treating yourself to a new device, why not sign up to our email newsletter first? You’ll qualify for a 20% discount off your first order.
Bookmark our blog, too. We've got a super-busy line-up over the holiday period, and we update our content daily. Come back soon for more of the latest smart home news.