If you haven’t caught up on all the home automation options available to you these days, you are certainly missing out on some incredible opportunities to make your life easier. I have always said that if you are in the business of saving people time you will be profitable – and home automation not only saves you time, but enables you to live a better, happier, and safer life! Home automation, simply put, allows your home to react to you rather than you reacting to it. If you forgot to shut off the lights in your bedroom when you left, for instance, your home automation system will allow you to remotely turn them off from your phone – or better yet, they automatically shut off when you leave the room.
Home automation has really made some massive leaps in recent years. No longer requiring experience with Arduino, the products that exist now are ready to take out of the box and you can easily learn to use them in a short period. While there is still some concern about the security of these networks, the creators of these products are working daily to make them more secure. As the demand for home automation increases, some condominium developers in Toronto are starting to offer them right from construction.
For those who want to get started in home automation, here are three products that will give your home smarts for less than $700…
Thermostat: Nest, $249
Nest was the first home automation product to really take the concept out from the basement and into the public eye. Packaged beautifully, and designed to work immediately, Nest comes out of the box, installs quickly, and immediately begins to learn about you. It can easily be programmed to a schedule, or you can leave it to learn from your actions. It tracks when you leave the house and when you get home. The more time that passes, the larger dataset it has, and the better it can control your home temperature to save you money.
Lighting: Philips Hue, $200
Smart lighting has never been easier. The Hue system allows you to connect up to 50 Hue bulbs to a single WiFi network, allowing you to control nearly every single light in your home; giving you the ability to control the colour of the light, set schedules for lighting, and even set the lights to music. Best of all, the bulbs are LED, meaning that they will save you hundreds of dollars in the long run.
Front Door: Weiser Kevo, $250
Your front door deadbolt is one of the most important aspects of your home. It keeps people out, and lets people in. Now imagine you could control who accesses your home remotely? If your mom is coming to town at 4pm but you don’t get off work until 6pm, using the Weiser Kevo system you can easily send her a key to open your door, letting you know she made it there safely. The system relies on a Bluetooth connection to your phone, so all you need to do to open it is tap it with your finger and the door will unlock. Best of all, for the family member without a smartphone, you can give them the traditional key or even a key fob.
Toronto Condos with Home Automation
Canary District Condos
The Canary District Condos at 9 Mill Street offer some introductory home automation options. For $35 a month you can have a smart IPTV with ZigBee. ZigBee is a communications protocol that can currently connect to enable outlets, doors, occupancy sensors, switches, alarms, some climate systems, and many other devices.
South Hill on Madison
South Hill on Madison at 377 Madison Avenue currently offers a package for tech lovers in their bespoke condominium offerings. The Home Automation System comes with two wall mounted LED TVs, WiFi routers, sound system, dimmer switches, and a Nest thermostat, which can be controlled via a smartphone.
One Bloor East
One Bloor East, slated for occupancy by the end of the year, offers a platinum package offering with an introductory home automation system. This system includes some basic items as well as a smart window covering system for future automation of the blinds in the unit.
Are you on the home automation tip yet? Comment below or tweet us @ViewTheVibe!