Having a Smart Homes is a luxury that is easily attainable if you are willing to put in a little bit of work. I find that it is best to prioritize and budget for the things that are most important to you.
Setting up a Smart Home costs money. This is why it is important to prioritize and figure out the things that are the most important to you.
I like to start with lighting. For around five hundred dollars, you could automate most of the lighting in the main areas of your house. This will also force you into making decisions about which technologies to use - z-wave, zigbee, homekit, etc….
Sound is another easy entry point with products such as Sonos, Apple Homepod, Amazon Echo and Bose Soundlink.
If security is your number one concern, start with products for Nest or Ring to add visibility to the outside of your home.
Preparing for the future
When starting, it is important to think about the features and products you might like to integrate in the future. Do you like the Ring doorbell slightly more than the Nest Hello? What about the entire suite of products from Ring? It might be a better choice to look at Nest over the Ring if their outdoor cameras and smart thermostats are a good fit for you in the future.
The fastest way to get in to smart lighting might be a Phillips Hue, but would it be a better idea to get a smart hub from Vera, and change out light switches that can be controlled both manually and digitally?
Setting up a budget
It’s a good idea to start small, but not too small. If you start with lighting and only automate two or three switches, it’s likely you won’t see the real benefit of having your entire living area automated. On the other hand, there is really no reason to change every switch in your house. I don’t automate bedrooms or bathrooms, as I simply turn the lights on or off when I enter or exit the room.
Grab a few dimmer switches and a scene controller. Pick an area of the house that you could think would benefit from automated ligting. Your front door and entry lights for security and safety? You kitchen and living room for convenience? Start by figuring out your budget. Realize that this is a journey, and you don’t have to buy everything up front. Make sure that you have a plan going in, and that future purchases will work with your initial purchases.