Introducing what a smart device is, how it works, its benefits, and some of the best and easy-to-setup smart devices, like smart plugs, smart button pushers, and smart bulbs, to set up a smart home.

Your coffee machine automatically turns on to make your coffee right after you roll out of bed. The hallway lights automatically light up when you enter your house. Your phone vibrates when the camera in your house detects something abnormal. 

We’ve all seen such scenes in movies or someone’s smart home. With more and more smart home devices flooding the market, it’s now easier to build your own smart home than it may have previously been.

You can buy new smart devices to replace or smarten up your old appliances to make daily life easier. Before discussing how to make those old devices smart, let’s bone up on the definition of smart devices first.

What is A Smart Device?

A smart device is an electronic gadget connected to other devices via different protocols such as Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee, and other connections to perform automated actions.

After installation, you can control smart devices at home or remotely (if Wi-Fi compatible) by tapping a button on your phone or using your voice with the help of virtual assistant technology, such as Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple’s very own Siri.

Types of Smart Devices

In fact, most mobile phones and TVs we use today can be regarded as smart devices. But the smart home devices we discuss in this article can be classified by categories including: security, comfort, productivity, entertainment, and sustainability. 

Many conventional appliances, for instance, lights, doorbells, and security cameras, are currently accessible as smart devices. 

Some devices give you the option to choose what you want to control. One of these kind of smart devices are smart plugs, the most used and popular smart found in the smart home market. As its name implies, a smart plug can be plugged into a wall socket, and you can plug your fan or similar devices into that plug instead of the wall socket directly, thus turning your regular fan into a smart device.

Where to Start with Smart Devices?

Building smart devices around your house could cost a fortune and a lot of time. Sometimes, you may even have to remodel your house to some extent. 

First, start by checking your old devices or appliances and see which can be made smart by using a smart device. Second, think about what you would like to do when you’re away from home and those things you most want to do hands-free.

You can smarten up your stoves, radiators, air conditioners, lights, and humidifiers just to name a few. So what exactly do you need to make this happen? Here are some of the best and easiest-to-set-up smart devices. 

Smart Plugs

Smart plugs allow you to turn your devices on or off remotely by cutting or passing the electricity current through plugs which can be controlled via your phone. They come in many shapes and sizes and connect through Wi-Fi, Z-Wave, ZigBee, or even Bluetooth. Different smart plugs might have different functions. 

SwitchBot Plug Mini is one of the most compact smart plugs you can use to turn on and off your device through an app that can be installed across all Apple devices including your iPhone and Apple Watch as it supports both Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. And it features energy control functionality too.

Additionally, SwitchBot smart plugs work with 100-125V AC 50/60Hz sockets. So you can connect your TVs, humidifiers, lamps or even phone chargers to plugs and control them via your smartphone or use voice control through Alexa, Siri, or Google Assistant. For instance, when coming home from work on cold days, you can turn on the radiator in advance to heat your room.

Smart Button Pushers

Getting a smart plug is the easiest and cheapest way to make many appliances smart. But it won’t work for devices that do not come with a plug fitting into a wall socket. Some devices, such as old light systems and garage door openers, can only be turned on and off by pushing a physical button. That’s where smart button pushers come in.

Unlike smart plugs, a smart button pusher has a mechanized robotic arm that connects to your phone via Bluetooth. This robotic arm can execute “push” or “lift” actions based on settings on an app to turn your device on and off. 

Smart button pushers usually come in a compact design to work with almost any rocker switch or button of any appliance. Some can also be controlled remotely by pairing with a hub and connecting to Wi-Fi.

Smart Bulbs/Lights

Turning a machine on and off is probably considered basic home automation. However, some smart home devices can do more than that. If you want to change the hues of your light for different occasions, schedule it to turn on or off, and further minimize unnecessary light and energy usage, you can also use smart bulbs/lights. 

Some smart bulbs need to connect to your smartphone through a home automation hub such as the Philips Hue Bridge. But a hub is not required if it uses Wi-Fi or Bluetooth to communicate.

SwitchBot Smart LED Light Bulb doesn’t need a hub as it can be operated using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth no matter where you are. It lets you choose from 16 million different light colors, features adjustable brightness depend on your mood or environment, and color temperature can be set between 2700K to 6500K. Furthermore, this smart bulb can be timed to fit your schedule. For instance, at 8 am your light can gradually illuminate to assist you with awakening. You can likewise set actions at 11 pm to gradually turn your lights off to assist you with loosening up better before sleep.

On top of that, you can pair your smart bulb with a SwitchBot Motion Sensor or Indoor Camera, and you can perform actions like setting your bulb to turn red when your smart sensor or camera is activated to warn off any suspicious presence.

A Little Summary

There are still many other types of smart home devices that improve appliance functionality, maximize your home security, and increase energy efficiency so as to make your life easier. Setting up a smart home takes time and money. So it’s better to start off by turning your old appliances into smart devices before buying newer devices.