Why should you upgrade to a smart switch?
The way we use technology is changing, with help from the next generation of appliance remote controls
Our homes are filled with technology that (hopefully) enhances our lives. Gone are the days of the 70s and 80s where technology was intrusive, large and complex to control. Nowadays our technology is seamlessly woven into the fabric of our homes.
In order to use that technology, whether it be a light switch, TV, sound system, garage door, internet search, kettle fridge or gaming PC, we go up to it, turn it on and then use it. Or at least that’s how it used to be until the invention of the smart device.
What is a smart device?
Gone are the days when we had to walk up to a switch to turn it on. A smart device is a bulb, plug or switch that is wirelessly connected to your home internet Wi-Fi. You can use a smart device like a traditional one – there will be physical buttons to press - but you can also control them with your smartphone or voice.
Smart bulbs, smart plugs or smart switches?
There are 3 levels of individual controllability when it comes to your connected home:
Smart bulbs will of course be dimmable, automatable and colour changeable, via your phone’s app or your voice command. Some will have infrared as well, to help out your home CCTV.
Smart plugs connect to your Wi-Fi and are remotely controllable. They are not connected to every device in the home, so they are used to specifically control tech that is plugged into it. Turn on or off, dim, set automation, and many more functions, which we talk about more below.
Smart switches are more comprehensive. They act like a central control system, or a hub, for all the devices you wish to use remotely. Your smart switch is a one stop shop for all your connectable devices. Additionally, it is possible to choose a wired or wireless version. Some smart switches are battery powered – great if you are renting or moving-house in the future. If you’re thinking on a more permanent basis, call in your local, Newcastle based electrician to install your smart switch for you.
Smart switch features
Remote accessibility opens up a new world of personalised electronic control. Smart light switches can be used to:
Turn lights on and off from your phone at home while you are away.
Voice activate your home technology using a Smart Hub.
Dim lights and set lighting concepts using multiple spotlights, including colour and intensity settings. Press one setting for reading, one for movie time, another for when you have visitors, another for full light, and so on.
Automatically change lighting when you enter or leave a room.
Set the lights in a specific way when you leave the house – maybe with just the hall light on, or all lights off – the choices are yours.
Automatically set the lights to change on a timer.
Use other devices via technology that connects multiple devices (Z-Wave or Zigbee) such as your:
- garage door
- alarm system
- heating or air conditioning
- fridge freezer
- waste disposal unit
- ceiling and bathroom fans.
Why use a smart switch?
Why get a smart switch, when you can just work your electronics and lighting the old-fashioned way? At Real Electrical Solutions, we know that smart devices are all about convenience, safety, comfort and energy efficiency. Its as simple as that.
You’re snuggled on the lounge, you want to watch a movie, but the lights are on. With a smart switch you don’t even have to leave your chair. Or, you want to go into an unlit room, but your hands are full. A motion detecting smart switch can turn the lights on automatically as you enter.
Say you have a motion detecting camera set up at home and you get a notification that there is movement; turn on your lights remotely from wherever you are as an extra deterrent.
Or, maybe you left the heating on and you’re away for a while. Easy, control your heating from your smart switch app. You can even set your alarms remotely with a smart switch.
Do you have the iron connected to your smart plug? Did you leave the iron on or not? No problem! Remotely make sure the plug is off and enjoy a worry-free day.
Comfort and style
Light dimmers have been around for a long time, but now you can change lighting to suit your mood, your visitors, your activity, the time of day and so on.
Switch on the corner spotlights, set some pink or blue LEDs, have some floor level landing lights on to guide you to the kitchen for a midnight snack. The limit is only set by your needs and creativity.
Is it particularly warm or cold today? No problem. Just set your air conditioning or heating before you get home, so your desired ambient temperature meets you on arrival.
Turn devices off remotely when they aren’t being used or you aren’t home. Automatically control the use of lights. Smart bulbs are also naturally energy saving because they are LEDs which are very energy efficient. Some smart plugs will be able to advise you of your energy consumption - smart electricity meters will be able to do this for you as well.
The smart, connected home is not a futuristic concept anymore. The technology is in action in homes all across the world, making our lives easier, safer, more comfortable and more energy efficient.
On the one hand, it may feel unnecessary to add such technology to your life. On the other hand, once you have it installed and working, you’ll wonder how you ever lived without it!
Choose Real Electrical Solutions to install your smart devices
When it comes to smart, connected homes, we are still in the early days, but the possibilities are huge and far reaching. That does not mean, however that you instinctively know how to install a smart connected home system, but Real Electrical Solutions does.
Our services span all areas of domestic and commercial electrical solutions. You can call on us to handle your smart switches, service and barge fuses, point of attachment upgrades, switchboard upgrades, solar metering and domestic metering.
You can also come to us for anything involving underground and overhead connections, private pole installation, disconnection/reconnection, and much more.