We all lead a busy life and it’s easy to get bogged down with so many things to do - without stopping to ask ourselves ‘is there’s a better way to do this?’. Luckily, the creative people at companies such as Google and IFTTT have been busy… coming up with ways to make home-related activities easier using technology that in many cases, doesn’t cost a lot of money.
Nobody has yet worked out how to make the clothes get ironed automatically or the cooker to take food out of the freezer but we are sure you will like the ideas we have listed below!
Note: the devices and ideas listed here are just some examples. Some of the activities can also be performed with different technologies and we would love to hear your feedback on other ways to automate your home.
Last-minute preparations for the next day
It’s close to the end of the day and you have a few things to do… set the alarm, quickly check what’s on your agenda for tomorrow and head back downstairs to turn off the hall light you keep leaving on by accident. If that sounds familiar, you will be glad to know that this can all be automated using what Google calls ‘routines’. Simply say ‘ok Google, Bedtime’ to your Google Home device and it can perform a series of actions including all 3 mentioned at once. You can even get it to play soothing wildlife sounds to make sure you get the good nights rest you deserve after a busy day.
Left for work, left the lights on?
We’re not suggesting anyone keeps leaving lights on by accident but if from time to time you find yourself leaving the house with the hallway lit up then don’t despair. Most Smart Bulb suppliers offer an app that allows you to remotely turn off (or on) your lighting and if it’s not the lighting that you have left on then there are also a range of Smart Plugs that can be turned on or off from your phone allowing you to quickly turn off any devices that are plugged in.
On my way home, get the heating on
As well as being able to control your heating and hot water from your phone, it’s now possible to recognise when you are on your way home so that the heating will automatically come on. There’s nothing worse than coming home to a cold house and you no longer have to with devices such as the smart thermostat from Nest.
Relaxing music, wherever you are
It’s much nicer doing chores around the home when you can listen to your favourite music (or audiobook?) but it can be annoying when you are moving between rooms and can only listen to what you like in one room. Using devices such as Alexa, you can set up groups so that the same music can be played on different devices in different locations, making the manual chores much nicer to do!
Save time ordering pet food or washing powder
Amazon Dash buttons are a great way to order household items that you have run out of and now it’s possible for suppliers to programme their own buttons and offer them. How long will it be before milk or coffee can be re-ordered with the touch of a single button?
Carpets cleaning done for you
Robot vacuums have actually been around for a long time now and whilst they are well established, they aren’t as widely used as they possibly should be. This might be due to concerns such as ‘they might not be as good as standard vacuums’ (although they still do a great job) or that they can’t hoover areas such as the stairs. We believe they are still very effective and if you could save an hour every week then that’s more than 50 hours a year you could spend on other activities, including relaxing! And whilst they maybe a little bit on the expensive side, they could be justified against the time you save manually cleaning every week.
A bit of gardening help
If you have plants that need watering regularly or a lawn that needs cutting then there are ways to save time and have it automated. An automated water irrigation system is a great way to make sure your garden looks amazing, especially in summer and there are brands such as Robomow that… yes, you’ve guessed it, offer robotic mowers to cut the grass for you.
What automation do you use?
We have covered a lot here from automating lights and heating to carpet cleaning and gardening but there’s still a lot more that can be done. Did you know for example, that you can install smart locks on your house for keyless entry? Or that security cameras and smart smoke alarms can be set up to keep your house safe; notifying you of any issues.
Rewiring for Smart Homes
If you need help with electrical work when setting up your smart home then make another smart move and get in touch with us here at iRewire. We would love to provide you with some free advice on smart home rewiring and how we can help.