Like anything in life, home automation has its pros and cons. Overall, we think it’s more than worthwhile, but it may not be for everyone, depending on your personal preferences.
Being able to control devices remotely means things like unlocking the door for a plant sitter without having to leave a key under the mat.
You know when you’re all comfy in bed but realize you’ve left the bathroom light on? With smart light bulbs, you can turn them off from the comfort of your bed without having to leave those high thread count sheets.
How many times have you left the heat on blast while you’re out of the house for eight hours? With home automation, you can set things like thermostats on schedules to make sure you’re not wasting energy. A study found that Nest thermostats in particular can save about 12 percent on heating and cooling costs,6 for example. That means that over time, these smart thermostats can actually pay for themselves in savings.
Being able to control devices remotely or via voice commands, set them on schedules, and even sync them with the sunrise and sunset is nothing is not convenient. Imagine being able to come down in the morning to freshly made toast without you having to push a button!
Finally, there are many smart security products that can increase your home’s safety, like sensors for doors and windows, security cameras that can detect people, and video doorbells that let you greet whoever’s knocking from anywhere with Internet.
IoT devices are certainly more expensive than their non-WiFi-connected counterparts. For example, the average smart bulb costs around $32, while the average regular light bulb is about $5. Of course, you have to factor in the additional features like remote control, dimming, 16 million different colours and voice integrations, to name a few, but overall, home automation isn’t cheap, depending on where you shop.
It’s scary but true: anything that has to do with the Internet, whether it’s browsing for a new bedspread or checking in on a motion notification from a smart security camera, can be hacked, and that includes IoT devices. Unfortunately, we’ve seen a fair share of hackings and security breaches from large tech companies that manufacture IoT devices; Ring’s cameras, for example, were famously hacked, allowing the live feeds to be compromised. Of course, this is an issue you wouldn’t have with devices that aren’t connected to the Internet, but if you want IoT devices, you’ll have to adhere to some best digital security practices, detailed later on.
Since IoT is a relatively new technology, you may run into some bugs, like devices having trouble connecting to the Internet or experiencing lag, depending on the device’s make and model.
If privacy is a huge concern, then smart security is probably not for you, as users can livestream footage from the camera’s respective app. Instead, you might want to opt for a local alarm system; SimpliSafe has an option if you don’t pay for the monthly plan, detailed in our SimpliSafe security review.
Because of the high level of customer interest in home automation technology, the world’s biggest tech businesses and entrepreneurs are competing to outdo one another. As a result, bigger and better home automation technology is continually being developed to meet our digital needs, and the industry is on a meteoric rise.