Imagine waking up to the radio, coffee already brewing, the lights brightening as you enter the kitchen, and an alert letting you know when someone walks up to your front porch. When you leave the house for work, you tap a single button on a smartphone app, and all of the lights in your home turn off, the thermostat turns down, your doors lock, and your security system arms itself.
This is life in a smart home.
In addition to offering a variety of ways to protect your home and family – everything from home security cameras to identity theft protection – the team at ADT can also help you set up a security system integrated with your other smart home devices.
In this guide, we’ll take a look at what smart home devices are available and how to find the ones that will help elevate your home and home security system.
What Is a Smart Home?
You feel proud when you can show off that your kids and pets are smart, but what does it mean for your home to be smart?
In essence, a smart home connects with different electronic devices, allowing you to interact and control these devices easily, conveniently, and even from a great distance.
A smart home is a home equipped with smart devices such as smart lights, smart thermostats, smart door locks, and a whole host of other items, that can be remote-controlled or automated. You’ve most likely turned on your TV and changed the channel using a remote. A smart home allows you to do the same with your lights, doors, speakers, security system, and more.
Remote Controlled Smart Homes
Remote control is being able to access your favorite devices from virtually anywhere. This can be done with a voice command when you integrate with Amazon Alexa or the Google Assistant, or it can be done with the touch of a screen on a smartphone app.
Monitor and control your system remotely from anywhere that has WiFi access. This could be your phone, laptop, or any similar device. Gone are the days of wondering if you remembered to lock the door. You can simply look on your phone and check. If you forgot, just tap to lock your smart door lock. It’s that easy.
Automated Smart Homes
Automation happens when something is programmed to occur on its own, whether at a specific time, or in response to a specific input. Examples include a smart coffee maker brewing coffee automatically at 7 a.m. or all of your lights turning off and your blinds closing at the touch of a button.
Have you ever crawled into bed at night, only to realize that you left all of the lights on and forgot to lock the door? Automation allows you to accomplish it all with a single voice command or the touch of a button once you have set up your system to do so.
This is referred to as a “scene.” When you create a scene, you can give it a simple name, such as “goodnight.” The whole sequence will then be implemented when the scene is selected, or you tell your smart home device the specific phrase.
In addition to remote control and automation, monitoring applications also allow you to view the security camera footage remotely. This allows you to respond to the doorbell even while you’re at the grocery store, or keep track of who has been coming and going in your absence.
Perhaps you want smart lighting to reduce your energy usage. Or maybe you want your entire house set up and controllable from virtually anywhere. The entire undertaking of setting up a smart home can be as simple or complex as you’d like.
Smart Home Devices
Nearly anything electronic in your home can be updated to become part of a smart home system. You can even find kits that contain an array of such devices to help get you started. Some popular smart home device offerings include:
You might not think of your door as an electronic device, but you can replace your existing lock with a smart lock. These locks can be controlled and monitored remotely and usually have a keypad for keyless entry.
If you have kids who need to be let into the house when they get off the school bus, this saves them from having to carry around (and possibly lose) spare keys. This also allows you to let the dog walker into your house when you aren’t there and much more.
Replacing existing bulbs with smart bulbs allows you to automate and remotely control the lights in your house. These energy-saving bulbs have a longer lifespan than regular bulbs and can be controlled from virtually anywhere. Another great feature of smart light bulbs is how they allow you to dim the lighting throughout your home.
Pairing these bulbs with home automations, you can program your lights to work with your motion sensors to automatically turn on when you enter your home. Not only does it create a welcoming environment after a long day, it also ensures you’re not walking into a dark home late at night.
A smart thermostat can provide comfort and save energy. You can turn the system down when you aren’t home and monitor it throughout the day. But no one wants to come home to a home that’s too hot or too cold. Adding a smart thermostat to your smart home setup allows you to set the perfect temperature when you need it.
Pairing this with devices like smart light bulbs can create a great atmosphere for when you’re returning home after a long day.
Just like with smart door locks, this allows you to lock and unlock your garage remotely. Have family locked out or maybe friends who need to drop off something while you’re out? Having remote garage control allows you to let them in and resecure your home once they’re inside. Some smart garage doors can also sense when your cars are entering or leaving the driveway.
Ever make it halfway out of your neighborhood and wonder if you shut the door? With automated open and close, you won’t have to worry again! (And if you still are worried, you can always remotely check on your smartphone app)
Want to be able to answer the door, even when you’re not home? Or maybe you’re in the kitchen and want to check who’s out front before answering. A video doorbell camera allows you to do just that, alerting you from virtually anywhere when someone’s at the front door. You can view them on the camera and even talk to them with built-in 2-way audio.
Doorbell cameras also offer an extra layer of home security. Due to them being positioned mainly at front doors or other major home access places, you’re able to monitor what’s coming to your front door but also your front yard or driveway based on its position.
Home security cameras
Security cameras can be set up both in and outside the home. Not only do they allow you to record footage of potential perpetrators, but also you can use them to monitor your kids and pets while you are away. Many cameras have built-in motion sensors that send video recordings to your phone when activity is detected.
This is great if you’re looking to keep an eye on when your package arrives at the front door or if someone inside wanders into a room they shouldn’t be in.
Ever been worried if your home is safe while you’re out of town? Or maybe you’re looking for peace of mind while you’re at work. Connecting your smart devices to an alarm system from ADT helps ensure that your home is connected to monitoring centers 24/7 for added protection. And with the ADT mobile app, you’ll also have remote access and control of your security system from virtually anywhere.
If you don’t want to use smart bulbs, you can install smart switches throughout your home. Smart plugs are another great way to control electronic devices that aren’t otherwise smart-enabled. For example, by plugging a box fan into a smart plug, you can remotely turn it on and off or integrate it into other home automations you have running.
Smart home hub
A smart hub is a device that facilitates communication between your smart devices in one place. Set your automations, check-in remotely and monitor your system all within an app interface.
You can use the ADT mobile app to control your smart devices individually or create modes that let you set multiple-device automations in motion with a single touch.
Digital assistant: voice-activated home security
If you’ve asked Alexa anything today, then you’ve used a voice-controlled digital assistant. A digital assistant is a great addition to any smart home.
Already in bed and don’t want to check that you locked the front door? Ask your digital assistant to do it for you. Have a smart screen in your kitchen and want to see who just rang your doorbell? Ask your digital assistant to show you.
While this list is not exhaustive, it’s a good place to start. If you choose to set up a smart home security system with ADT, you can purchase a number of the devices above at the same time and get everything installed all at once.
What Are the Benefits of a Smart Home?
The benefits of a smart home are many and go well beyond keeping up with the Joneses. Not only is this technology becoming increasingly affordable and easy to use, but also it can be extremely convenient and save you time and money, all while helping keep you safer than you’ve ever been.
Among the many benefits of a smart home are:
Increased safety and security: A smart home can allow you to check on your house from a remote location, interact with your home security system, lock your doors, and arm and disarm your home remotely. You can even set up your system to alert you by email or phone if anything unusual happens.
Money and energy savings: By being able to remotely control your lights, automate your thermostat, and much more, you can significantly reduce your energy usage and ultimately monthly energy bills.
Convenience: The ease of use that comes with being able to control, monitor, and automate the devices in your home remotely cannot be understated. With a smart home, there’s no need to run all over the house, turning off each light before leaving, or making your guests wait outside if they arrive at your house before you.
Keeps you connected to your home: It’s nice to have a sense of home, even when you’re not there. Whether you are away on a business trip and want to still be able to answer the doorbell, or you’re at the office and want to check and see if the dog is tearing up the sofa cushions in your absence, if your home is a smart home, you can connect to it and interact from virtually anywhere.
Most importantly, a smart home can give you peace of mind.
The ability to check, monitor, and control all aspects of your home from virtually anywhere can alleviate the all-too-common panic of wondering if you forgot something or worrying if something is going wrong in your absence.
Smart home technology is also rapidly evolving, with each year bringing new changes. The options are endless with better connectivity and efficiency and a wider array of devices to choose from.
By getting connected now, you will be better prepared and able to adapt to the future and increase the value of your home.
Transform Your Space Into a Smart Home Today
Many people begin their smart home journey with a home security device before adding it to their system. ADT smart home security systems connect to your Wi-Fi network and allow you to control and monitor devices remotely. All systems incorporate sensors for windows and doors, motion detectors, and a smart hub.
A more complex system can include locks, garage door openers, cameras, lights, sirens, and even smoke and carbon monoxide sensors. A digital assistant and/or smart hub provides a convenient way to connect and control all of your devices. ADT home security works with Alexa, as well as the Z-Wave smart hub.
If you’re ready to turn your home into a smart home, start by making a list of which smart devices you’d like to incorporate. That could include lights, locks, thermostats, security cameras, and security systems.
The final step is to install and connect your devices to the smart hub. If you choose ADT, a highly trained technician, with an average tenure of over nine years, can set up your ADT security system for you. They will also help you connect and control your devices through the ADT mobile app.
If you’re ready to begin, visit ADT’s smart home page and find the package that’s right for you. ADT’s packages are designed to protect and connect your home in a way that works for you and your budget. Let us work with you to customize a system that meets your needs.
ADT also offers same-day or next-day service, a six-month warranty, and free ongoing service after installation, along with a theft protection guarantee.
With three times as many monitoring centers as our nearest competitor and billions of signals sent and managed, you can count on ADT to keep you safe while providing the greater convenience of a protected, connected home.