Do we need a Smart Home?

I have to say when it comes to gadgets I'm pretty happy to admit I am a bit of a geek.  I LOVE a good gadget and it's more often me than Tom that gets excited about new technology or kit that I think that help in our life.

So when Maplin got in touch and asked if we'd like to give their Smart Home Survey a go I was really intrigued. Gone are they days when the idea of lights been operated by your voice was something from a Sci-Fi (or just for people on the TV show Cribs!). I feel like technology like this is being embraced and becoming more and more common for everyday families. Currently the only smart device we both own are smart phones and I can't imagine life without one now, I rely on it for everything and it's made so much of my life so much easier. I couldn't wait to hear what they would say or recommend for us to help out in the home.

Like most families I guess the things that are most important to me in our home is knowing its secure. I was particularly interested in seeing what kit was available for monitoring anyone at the front of our house and being able to record any suspicious behaviour. We've thankfully never had any break ins but you never can be too careful and as we travel quite a bit its often a worry.

What I was immediately impressed by after meeting Chris from Maplin was that this wasn't about a sales pitch. It was about evaluating what our needs are and what we might genuinely be in need of. I'm sure I'm not alone in being wary of being pressed to buy things or additions to things you might not actually need. Chris went through all the items that he thought might be of use but never pushed anything and actually at a few points suggested to me that certain items might not be a good fit for our needs, I thought this approach was really great as I knew he was only recommended what honestly might be of use.

We loved the sound of Smart living so went for a Google Home (which as well as being useful for questions and playing music can also help control other smart devices using TP Link Plugs). We also went for a Nest Protect which is a smart smoke and CO2 detector and a Ring Doorbell which will send notifications of who is at the front door or in the vicinity.

I loved the sound of the Ring Doorbell as we are often getting deliveries for my job and the idea of being able to communicate with the courier when we are not there and letting them know where to leave the parcel or when we'll be back was such a good idea. You can also answer it when you're out and pretend you are in but not able to get to the door (even if you are away on holiday!).

We also went for the Smart Lighting which included TP Plugs again and the Phillips Hue which will be controlled by the Google Home.

In terms of security we decided upon the Yale Smart Alarm which as well as acting as a visible deterrent also has a Smart Hub which connects to the router and wirelessly to the sensors which are in  our home. Whats great is the sensors are pet friendly so they won't pick up the cats wondering about. We also went for the Canary Flex to use as a monster in the kids room and provides footage via an app on your phone.

Lastly we picked up a 'Fake TV' which is such a neat idea, its basically LED lights that seen behind a closed curtain mimic the lights from a TV, simulating scene changes, colour changes etc. It also used less power than a night light so is really eco friendly. Such a simple and cheap idea to seem like you are at home when you might be off on hols!

We've just received all the items from our free home survey and booked in for the installations of some of the items before we give them a proper go. I'll be back in a couple of weeks to let you know how we've been getting on!

Would you turn your home into a smart home? Or do you already have some of these products? I'd love to know.

In association with Maplin

1 comment:

Melanie said...

We do not have any of these products but interested in making our home smart x

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