Why does a home need to be smart?

As we are designing and preparing to build a home I have begun researching smart home options. When I search wikipedia for ‘smart home’ it takes me to Home Automation. When I search the rest of the Web for ‘smart home’ I see mostly things about lighting and security cameras.

We live in a small and remote town so security isn’t really a big deal. We will have cameras setup but it will mainly be to spy on the dogs when we are away. Having some outdoor cameras will also be nice for peace of mind but its really a secondary concern.

The lighting part of things definitely looks cool but is expensive and again a secondary feature. I can see having the ability to turn lights off and on with voice control and via zones as really cool. I can also see setting them to go into ‘disco’ mode and sync with music anytime we want an impromptu dance party.

Setting up motion sensors doesn’t require a smart home configuration, but having them tied in can allow us to do more than just turn on the lights. We can automate music and window shades to play and open when we enter a room for example.

Getting a little more serious we can setup a water sensor in the mechanical room. If it detects water it can shut off the main water line automatically. That seems pretty good to have.

There are a lot of options for controlling air quality. At a basic level we can have a humidity sensor activate ventilation fans if it gets too high in the bathroom. On a more advanced level we can get a whole house ventiliation system that measures CO2 and VOC levels:

So many options for smart home setup but I think the important part to keep in mind is why before how. Why do we need a smart home? Why do we need home automation? Once we answer those questions it appears the how is already here.

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