Choose your Smart Home Assistant

Choose your Smart Home Assistant

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Smart technology and devices continue to revolutionise how we live and help us to achieve better lifestyles. Therefore, making your home a smart home is one of the best things you can do to drastically improve the quality of your life. It is estimated that the world will have more than 73 million smart homes by 2021. Because if this trend, we have decided to create a list of the 16 best ways to make your home a smart home.

Think about it, other than work most people spend the majority of their time at home. Therefore, by gradually implementing smart devices and solutions you can drastically improve many aspects of your home life. By using smart technology, you can automate many processes throughout your home.

Additionally, smart homes also save up to 15% of your electricity bill each month and will save you more money in the years to come.

Here are some ways of how you can make your home a smart home.

Choose Your Home Assistant

Kakdoma Personal Assistant

At Kakdoma BCN, we provide quality Home management services in Barcelona. KD Personal Assistant hears and understands your needs. With us you not only equip your home, you save your time! Personal Assistant will do everything you need to make your home smart and well functioning.

All in one or one-stop solution

Nearly everything in your home — including air-conditioners, thermostats, lights and garage doors — can be connected to the internet and be remotely controlled with a mobile device or smart speaker. But setting up a so-called smart home can be mind-boggling: There is a plethora of different accessories that work only with certain products, and some work better than others. Here’s a guide to help you sort through the jumble and become acclimated to your first voice-controlled smart home.

There are more than 18 ways to make your home smart.

With us you won’t waste your time and effort. We will do it all for you.

Smart Home Assistant (Smart Speaker)

Get a smart home digital assistant. Virtual voice-controlled assistants like Apple’s Siri, Google’s Assistant and Amazon’s Alexa make it easy to control smart home products by speaking simple commands like “Alexa, turn on the lights.” Each of these tools has its strengths and weaknesses, so choose the one that will be more likely to work for your needs:

AMAZON’S ALEXA

Pros:
+ If you want to quickly get started with a smart home, buying an Echo product is your best bet.
+ Amazon’s Echo products are easy to set up and plug in anywhere that you need to summon Alexa.
+ Echo Dot, the smaller speaker, is one of the cheapest smart home controllers in the market.
+ Alexa has more than 10,000 Skills, or third-party capabilities, making it the most broadly supported smart home hub.
+ The smartphone apps for setting up Echo products work with Apple and Android devices.

Cons:
– Amazon’s Alexa app for iPhones and Android phones, required for setting up some smart home products, can be clunky.
– Alexa sometimes has difficulty responding to what you are asking it to do.
– The speakers on Echo products are generally mediocre.
– You can’t trigger Alexa by speaking to a smartphone; you have to talk to the speaker itself.
– In its privacy policy, Amazon says it takes no responsibility for third-party products that work with Alexa. In other words, the onus is on you to find out what third-party home accessory companies can do with the data they collect from you.

GOOGLE’S ASSISTANT

Pros:
+ Google’s Home speaker and smartphones running newer versions of Android include Assistant.
+ Google Home costs less than Amazon’s standard Echo speaker.
+ In terms of artificial intelligence, Assistant is generally smarter than Alexa and Siri because it is powered by the brains of Google search, meaning you can ask a broader array of questions and are more likely get a correct response.

Cons:
– You summon Assistant by saying “O.K., Google,” which gets annoying.
– There are far more smart home products supporting Alexa than Google’s Assistant.
– Google Home’s audio quality is just mediocre.
– While Assistant is slightly smarter than other virtual assistants, it is still flawed and has trouble responding to some requests appropriately.
– Google’s privacy policy on the data it collects with Google Home is vague. It says: “Google collects data that’s meant to make our services faster, smarter, more relevant and more useful to you.”

APPLE’S SIRI

Pros:
+ With privacy in mind, Apple worked directly with home accessory makers to ensure that the data transferred between accessories and Apple devices is secure and encrypted.
+ The integration of Apple’s HomeKit into its mobile devices makes it much easier to set up Siri with home accessories.

Cons:
– Partly because of Apple’s stringent privacy requirements, it has taken longer for smart home accessories supporting Siri to reach the market, meaning there are fewer available.
– Siri sometimes has trouble understanding what you are asking it to do.
– Siri is exclusive to Apple products.

Choose Your Hardware

After you pick your virtual assistant, you’ll be able to choose a piece of hardware that will become your primary smart home controller.

Amazon’s Alexa: Echo Dot, Echo and Echo Show
Google’s Assistant: Google Home, Newer Android Smartphones
Apple’s Siri: iPhones, iPads and Apple Watch
The related reading below will help to guide your decision, but cost will likely play a factor, along with your need for a solid set of speakers or desire to have an additional device in your home in the first place.Then, the fun begins. With your virtual assistant you can set up your home a number of ways to make it “smarter.” Here’s a rundown of the different assistants and some products that work well with them.

Smart HUB

Samsung SmartThings Hub 3rd Generation [GP-U999SJVLGDA] Smart Home Automation Hub Home Monitoring Smart Devices - Alexa Google Home Compatible - Zigbee, Z-Wave, Cloud to Cloud Protocols – White

If you opt for a smart speaker without a built-in hub, a Smart HUB is the next smart device you should consider getting. This device allows you to automate all the smart devices within your home. It is essentially the brains of your smart home operation. It connects to almost any type of smart home device be it Zigbee or Zwave to allow for the ultimate home automation.

More importantly, smart hubs allow you to control the majority of the smart devices and appliances in your home with only one app.  This makes managing your smart home much easier and less complicated without the hassle of dealing with multiple apps. We recommend the lastest SmartThings HUB as it wirelessly connects and controls a wide range of compatible smart devices.

Smart Lighting (Smart Lightbulbs)

Adding smart light bulbs to your home is another great way to make your home smart and your home life a lot easier. Using Amazon Echo, Google Home, or the app on your smartphone you can control all smart light bulbs in your home via voice control or by the push of a button. You can also control and have different settings for the lighting of each room or turn lights on individually.

Additionally, depending on the smart lightbulb you purchase, you can light a room with any color you so choose via RGB lighting. This is a great way to change the mood of a room depending on the event or activity. No to mention these bulbs are also energy efficient and last a lot longer than standard light bulbs. You can learn more about the best smart lightbulbs for Alexa here.

Smart Thermostat

ecobee4 Smart Thermostat with Built-In Alexa, Room Sensor Included

Installing a smart thermostat is a great way to automate the temperature throughout your home. Additionally, many smart thermostats are compatible with both the Amazon Echo and Google Home or can be controlled via their apps on your mobile device.

We recommend the Nest Learning Thermostat which automatically learns your favorite temperature settings or the EcoBee4 thermostat (recommended)and its sensors which can be used to monitor the temperature in different rooms of your home.

Smart Doorbell

Replacing your normal doorbell with a smart doorbell is another great way to make your home smart and safer. What makes most smart doorbells great is that they come with HD cameras. These smart doorbell cameras allow you to see who exactly is at your front door via your mobile device. Also, through Alexa (Amazon Echo) or Google Home, some smart doorbells can recognize your visitors and inform you that a specific person is at your door.

You can also communicate with the person at your front door via your mobile device. This is a great way to monitor when your kids get home, your package is delivered or see anyone who rings your doorbell.

Moreover, most home invasions start with a ring of the home’s doorbell to see if no one is home, so if an intruder tries to right your doorbell while you are away you can answer via your mobile device and deter your home from being invaded. We recommend the Ring Video Doorbell 2.

Smart Door lock

Schlage Z-Wave Connect Camelot Touchscreen Deadbolt with Built-In Alarm, Satin Nickel, BE469 CAM 619, Works with Alexa via SmartThings, Wink or Iris

Replacing your regular door lock with a Smart Door lock is another great way to improve the security and smartness of your home. Smart Door locks will save you the hassle of having to find missing or forgotten keys. Moreover, it allows you to unlock the doors of your home by using a fingerprint, entering a special pin, or by using your IOS/Android smartphone.

There are many companies that provide good smart door locks, however, we recommend the Schlage Z-Wave Connect Smart Door Lock. This lock has an ANSI Grade 1 residential security rating, a built-in alarm system with 3 alert modes, and has a beautiful design to go along with its other amazing features.

Smart Indoor Security Camera:

Nest Cam

Installing smart cameras inside your home is another great way to make your home smart and more secure. Amazon Cloud Cam is one of the best smart indoor security cameras available in the market. It has the ability to capture FHD 1080p live feed with prompt motion notification. It also stores the 24-hour video footage in a storage device which allows you to watch the whole day’s video whenever you want.

Nest Cam indoor security camera is another great option and with an 8-megapixel 4k image sensor allowing it to record amazing footage to go along with its other amazing features.

Smart Outdoor Security Camera:

Nest Security Camera, Keep An Eye On What Matters to You, From Anywhere, For Outdoor Use, Works with AlexaSmart Outdoor security cameras are essential to anyone who is serious about their home’s security. They provide a more effective field of view, better overall efficiency, and performance when compared to traditional security cameras. You can install 2 smart cameras in the front and back of your home. Or install 4 cameras with one on each corner of the outside of your home in order to have a complete view of what’s going on around you.

We recommend the Nest outdoor security camera which can record 1080p footage and comes with excellent night vision. It has a built-in microphone and speaker as well. Also, you can use the Nest app to see live footage via your smartphone.

However, if you are looking for a cheaper option, we recommend the Zmodo Security Camera. It is one of the best outdoor security cameras currently on the market. Additionally, it can record 720p footage and comes with night vision which is effective in a 65 feet range.

Smart Plug (Outlet)

Utilizing smart plugs is a great way to manage the electrical appliances and power consumption within your home. With smart plugs, you can group and schedule your electrical devices via your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant enabled devices. We recommend the EFUN SH330W Wi-Fi Smart Plug because it is cheap, easy to install, and it works well with your smartphone, Google Home, and Amazon Alexa.

Smart Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector

Nest Protect 2nd Generation Smart Smoke/Carbon Monoxide Wired Alarm, White

A smart smoke and carbon monoxide detector is an essential component of any safe smart home. According to research by Michigan state university, smoke inhalation is the most common cause of death in home fires. Therefore, a smoke detector that can not only swiftly detect problems but also clearly notify by using clear spoken messages and sending notifications to your smartphone.

There are many smart fire & CO detectors in the market but the Nest Protect Smoke and Carbon Monoxide Detector is the one we strongly recommend. It features an industrial-grade photoelectric smoke sensor which can distinguish between the different type of fires. The Nest Protect can also connect and communicate with other smart devices in your home including your smartphone.

Moreover, its state of the art sensor enables it to ignore the false alarms and it also alerts your phone when it thinks something is wrong so you can take precaution. It also comes with some additional sensors including an occupancy sensor, ambient light sensor, and humidity sensor to give you the information you need about your home.

Smart Multipurpose Sensors

Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor

Installing smart multipurpose sensors is another great way automate and secure many processes within your home. Smart multipurpose sensors can be used for both convenience and security.

An example of its convenience would be a smart multipurpose sensor on a door that automatically turning on the lights when you arrive home late at night without you have to locate the light switch in the dark. Or you can simply add smart multipurpose sensors to the doors and windows of your home to provide an extra layer of security and peace of mind.

We recommend the Samsung SmartThings Multipurpose Sensor. This combined with a Samsung SmartThings Hub (number 2 on this list) allows you to detect vibrations, temperatures, and when things within your home are open or closed.

The small size of this sensor also allows it to fit anywhere and you can connect it to your Wi-Fi network in order to communicate with your smartphone and other smart home devices.

Smart Robot Vacuum Cleaner

eufy [BoostIQ RoboVac 30C, Wi-Fi, Upgraded, Super-Thin, 1500Pa Strong Suction, 13 ft Boundary Strips Included, Quiet, Self-Charging Robotic Vacuum Cleaner, Cleans Hard Floors to Medium-Pile Carpets

Vacuums cleaners today have become so technologically advanced to the point where they can operate on their own without the need for human intervention. High-quality smart robot vacuum cleaners come great sensors that allow them to intelligently navigate and clean your home autonomously. They also come with Wi-Fi connectivity that allows a user to control them via a smartphone or other smart devices within your home. These smart robot vacuum cleaners come with charging docks and they will even charge themselves.

The Samsung Powerbot R7070 is one of the best smart vacuums cleaners you can get for your home. Its noise level is only 71 decibels which is very low when compared to conventional vacuum cleaners. It also comes with a HEAP filter which can prevent allergens from spreading through the air. Its small size enables it to clean the places where you can’t reach with your regular vacuum cleaner.

You can also connect it with Alexa, Google Home and Samsung connect. Powerbot R7070 have the bin size of 300 ML which is sufficient however if you want the more size you can go with EUFY Robovac 11 which have same features but with 600 ML Bin size. However, for a more cheaper option, we recommend the eufy BoostIQ RoboVac 30C.

Smart Robot Lawnmower

Worx WG794 Landroid Pre-Programmed Robotic Lawn Mower with Rain Sensor and Safety Shut-Off

Mowing the lawn can be a very unpleasant experience unless someone or something else is doing it for you. Therefore, you can get a smart robot lawnmower that will automate your lawnmowing process. These smart robot lawnmowers use advanced intelligence algorithm to accurately cut your grass whenever you wish without you having to be there.

There are currently a few smart robot lawnmowers but the WORX WG7954 Landroid Pre-programmed is one of the best robot lawnmower currently on the market. It features the advanced Intelligence Algorithm (AIA) which helps it to navigate and cut most grass types without any problem. It’s also able to dock itself for charging in case of low-battery or when it senses rain. Additionally, it can efficiently mow any lawn under 10,000 square feet.

Smart Garage Door Opener

Managing your garage door can be made a lot easier with a smart garage door opener. With a smart garage door opener like the NEXX Garage NXG-100 NXG, you can conveniently open and close your garage doors using Wi-Fi. You can do this via your smartphone, Google Assistant, or Amazon Alexa enabled devices. It is quick and easy to install and gives you the ability to control your garage door with a simple tap of your phone.

Smart Refrigerator

A smart refrigerator is another great way to make your home a smart home. Via the app and voice control, you could easily monitor and adjust the temperatures within a smart fridge. You can also get alerts of when its doors are opened, receive reminders, along with other useful features. We recommend the Kenmore 4675049 Smart French Door Refrigerator as it is much cheaper than other smart refrigerators but offers comparable performance and smart home features.

Smart Sprinkler Controller

Rachio 3 WiFi Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller, Works with Alexa, 8-ZoneWatering your garden or lawn is not something we remember to do regularly. However, this task can be easily automated by implementing a smart sprinkler controller. With a smart sprinkler controller, you can set your own automated watering schedules, input details such as plant type, and even sun exposure to water your lawn. Moreover, you can do this using your smartphone, Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant enabled devices.

The Rachio 3 WIFI Smart Lawn Sprinkler Controller is one of the best smart sprinkler controllers on the market. It is fairly easy to install and its features make it intuitive to use. This advanced smart sprinkler controller not only adapts to your lawn, but it also adapts to your local weather using Weather Intelligence Plus to automatically adjust your irrigation schedule.

Smart Trash Can

Smart Trash Can

Getting a smart trash can that reminds you when it’s time to take out the trash or when you’re low on bags via your smart devices is also a good way to make your home smarter and more efficient. The Bruno Smart trash is touted as the world’s first smart can and for good reason. Other than its beautiful design, this smart can have a multitude of used and quite frankly brilliant features.

Those features include a powerful integrated vacuum at its base that completely eliminates the need for a dustpan. It also features a hands-free lid, built in charge and filter, and a trash bag storage pod that takes standard 13-gallon kitchen trash bags.

Smart Blinds and Shades

Installing Smart Blinds and Shades is a great way to make your home more sophisticated and stylish. It allows you to automate the management of the blinds and shades within your home via the tap of your smartphone or voice control through Amazon Alexa, or Google Assistant enabled devices. This saves you from the annoyance of having to get up every time you want to adjust your blinds and shades. We recommend using the MySmartBlinds Automation Kit to turn your regular binds into automated smart blinds.

Smart Home in a Smart Way

Turning your home into the smart home has never been easier as there are tons of smart devices available in the market. These smart devices are available at the different price points which makes it easy to get your desired smart home device at an affordable price. Smart devices can help you manage your home more efficiently and save money on your electric bills. Kakdoma Personal Assistants can help you to LIVE more efficiently and SAVE you TIME. Good luck in making your home a smart home and starting a smart living! Call us now, because the time passes so fast and there is so much to live and enjoy.

Source: NYtimes, Thesmarterhome

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