Wednesday, May 14 2014 09:15 AM

TechWire: How to make your home smarter

Making your home smarter has never been easier and has never managed to save more money than today. With today's latest technology, making your home smarter is as simple as 1-2-3. From Bluetooth to tablets and everything in between, making your home smarter gives you more control from anywhere in the world.

'Smart' Options

One of the first features mentioned here is the ability to lock and unlock your doors from anywhere with an Internet connection. With newest hardware and technology, you can wirelessly lock and unlock your doors as well as keep a record and time of who entered and when. Because you can use an app with most of the newest technology, this because easy and convenient. The best option with this feature is August Smart Lock.

Home Automation Systems are becoming a popular favorite when it comes to making your home smarter. They allow you to configure your irrigation control to remote control lights and HVAC. These systems can be controlled from a single app on your smartphone, and are designed to be easy to setup and easier to use. Insteon currently leads the pack in Home Automation Systems.

One of the best features to making your home smarter is knowing who comes to your house and when. Security is a great benefit to making your home smarter, and "video doorbell" features provide just that. VTech provides a video doorbell technology that allows whoever is at your door to be shown on your phone and/or tablet. You can take a picture of that user for the future, providing a "Doorbell Caller ID" like feature. If you are not home, the technology will record who comes to your door and even send you a text or e-mail notifying you.

One of the most popular features to smart home technology is the ability to control your lighting. With Philips Hue Smart Lighting, you can set a schedule to allow your lights to gradually brighten in the morning to provide you a more natural wake-up pattern. You can also change the color of your lights form your phone or Internet capable device. There are hundreds of colors to choose form and even different blinking patterns. You can also simply schedule your lights to turn off and on at set times.

Smart technology even branches off to your thermostat. Smart thermostat technology by The Nest is a savvy programmable thermostat that will learn how you program your home's temperature and begin adapting automatically without further intervention. This is one of the many smart technologies that allows you to save money, as The Nest thermostat will begin to gradually modify the temperature in your home to allow you to start using less power.

Finally, saving water is also a feature of smart technology. The Water Pebble Water Saver is a round device placed in your shower that begins to learn how you use water. By learning the length of your showers, it will begin to flash a small green light for future showers to indicate your shower should end soon if you go for too long. It will gradually flash sooner and sooner to help you shorten your showers, save water and ultimately save money.

Smart technology has greatly advanced in the last few years. The above are just a few options of the many smart technology features available to make your home smarter by the day.

MATTHEW SGHERZI lives in Tehachapi where he has operated an IT business since 2007

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