Although we only started to really embrace smart homes in 2017, 2018 is shaping up to be the year we take the tech in our homes to the next level.
With the arrival of Alexa in Australia earlier this year, things have begun to sky rocket, in fact, smart home penetration in Australia now sits at around 19.1% in 2018 and is expected to hit 27.6% by 2022, proving how the possibilities of home automation widely appeals to Aussies.
At first glance, home automation can sound like a pretty farfetched concept, however the development of tech (specifically over the past 2-3 years) has meant automation is now extremely accessible to the majority of households (all you really need is a high-speed internet connection).
With this said, navigating and understanding which products to initially buy, can rightfully cause a few headaches due to the large number of smart devices and gadgets in the market
If you're on the fence about investing in smart home tech, here’s our four-step guide on getting started with home automation.
1) determine your tech level
As a first step, it’s important to become familiar with how home automation works, as some smart devices require much more technical proficiency than others.
If you’re not particularly tech-savvy, stick to basic smart devices that are intuitive and easy to use, such as Amazon Echo and Google Home.
These devices can act as the hero device in your smart home, by stitching everything together.
2) decide how much you want to spend
Many of the concerns people have when starting their journey towards building a smart home, stem from how expensive it can be to retrofit your home for automation and there's no doubt that converting your home into a smart home can be a slightly daunting task.
With this said, smart devices are found at all price points from affordable to high-end, so before you go any further, decide how much you feel comfortable spending and set a reasonable budget.
For some simple ways to help build a smart home ecosystem, without a high-tech budget, here’s how you can upgrade to a smart home without breaking the bank.
3) match your home smart devices with your own personal needs
Remember, everyone is different, so the smart light switch your usually trusty neighbour swears by, might not be as useful when it comes to our own personal needs.
Weigh up what tasks you'd like to make the most of around the home. For instance, if you’ve got younger kids, you might want the extra security of investing in a smart doorbell.
For those living in larger households, being able to control the temperature of your home using a smart thermostat might be the task you find most useful to automate.
4) do your research
As with everything you purchase, once you have an idea of what home automation tools are the best fit for your tech level, budget, and lifestyle, make sure you do some extra research and read user reviews before committing to your shiny new gadgets.
C-Net is a good place to start and host reviews for pretty much every smart home device on the market.
Once the research phase is complete, you should be good to go!
five of our favourites to get you started
To help kick start your home automation goals, here are five of our favourite smart home gadgets you may want to consider.