What is a smart home?

Did you know there are now said to be around 15 million smart homes in the UK? That’s 57% of our population using technology to carry out daily tasks, from setting up a home security system to simply boiling the kettle!

But, for the rest of us, smart home technology might still feel like a bit of mystery. From knowing which products to actually buy, to working out how to set it all up, it might seem more trouble than it is actually worth!

This is why Hey! is here to help! We want to make smart home technology as simple as possible, which is why our range can be set up in almost any home with just a few easy to use products.

We’ve even put together this guide explaining exactly what a smart home is to help you get started...

What is a Smart Home?

Let’s start by defining what a smart home is.

Despite the name, you don’t have to be a genius to be able to understand smart home technology!

Put simply, a smart home is any home that makes use of connected appliances to enhance the way you live.

This could be through a voice assistant, like Alexa, Google Home or even Siri such as other devices such as smart light bulbs or smart plugs.

Once you get the hang of using smart home devices, you can build up a network that all works together seamlessly.

For example, from one app on your phone, you could adjust the brightness of your smart bulb when your favourite film has just started - then, turn on your smart plug in the kitchen to boil the kettle without having to get up and interrupt it!

How do Smart Homes Work?

Smart homes today are smarter than ever before. Devices are connected together wirelessly, sometimes through a bluetooth connection or over your wi-fi. In many cases, like our range at Hey!, you can control all of your smart home devices by wi-fi via a dashboard on one simple phone app.

Do Smart Devices Connect Together?

Where smart devices sometimes get confusing is when it comes to integrating them together.

There are a few different types of signals that smart devices can use to communicate with. These are sometimes referred to as ‘mesh networks’, and the most commonly used ones are:

● Z-Wave

● ZigBee

● Insteon

This is why many smart homes choose to use a ‘smart hub’ to connect all of their devices together. A smart hub can usually receive a range of these signals in one place, which allows you to control them all from one integrated app.

Here is an example:

You could have a smart light bulb from one brand and a smart plug from another brand that connect via different mesh networks. If you didn’t have a smart hub, it is likely that you would have to install two different apps and control them both separately.

However, as smart technology advances, there is less need for you to require a smart hub. Today, many people are able to use their Alexa or Google Home in place of a smart hub, as they are compatible with a broad range of devices.

Wi-Fi Enabled Smart Home Devices

Even if you don’t have a smart speaker or a smart hub, you can still set up a smart home system via your home wi-fi.

There are plenty of smart home devices that are now wi-fi enabled, meaning they can integrate straight into your home network without the need for a ‘go-between’ such as a hub or smart speaker. All you need is a smartphone or tablet and a compatible app to control them through.

For example, our full range of smart home devices at Hey! are all wi-fi enabled and can be seamlessly integrated and controlled with our own app.

Why Would You Want a Smart Home?

Now you understand what a smart home is and how they work your next question might be - why would you want one?

Well, there are plenty of benefits you can get from setting up your own smart home!

The beauty is that smart home devices are incredibly versatile, so you can set them up to fit in with your own lifestyle.

Some of the main benefits of smart homes are…

You can save on energy

Forgot to turn the landing light off? Just open your app and you can switch it off from downstairs. Do you keep leaving your TV on standby all night? Use a smart plug to set it on a timer.

There are numerous ways you can put smart home devices to use to ensure you aren’t wasting any energy where it’s not needed.

They make life more comfortable

If you feel like you are rushing around and spending all day on your feet, coming home to simply kick back and relax can really be the highlight of your week!

So, why not make it as comfortable as possible? No need to get up to turn the light on when you're snuggled up on the sofa - use your phone app. Want to make sure the cat has come in? Use a motion sensor to be notified when he jumps through his cat flap without having to go and check.

They can help those with mobility issues

If anyone in your house struggles with bending down to turn on switches, or struggles getting up off the sofa, a smart home can really help. They can turn lights and any other appliances on and off right from their chair or bed.

Home security

Improving home security is one of the most popular reasons people choose to set up a smart home. Cameras, motion sensors and alarms can all be set up so you know when doors and windows are open, and who is coming into your home.

It’s fun!

Finally, having smart technology to use at home can be great entertainment! Colour changing bulbs can be used to completely change the atmosphere of your room, whether you want a movie night, dinner party or somewhere calming to relax.

Can Anyone Have a Smart Home?

Wondering if you can set up a smart home? With Hey!, anyone can!

So long as you have a wi-fi connection and a smartphone or tablet, you can find exactly what you need to get going today. All of our smart bulbs, smart plugs, cameras, motions sensors and doorbells are wi-fi enabled and are easily integrated together through our easy to use app.

Want to use them with your Alexa or Google Home Assistant? They can do that too! At Hey!, we want to make smart homes as easy as possible, so anyone who wants to try it out can get started themselves!