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Smart Homes

We now live in a very connected and online world. Between our computers, tablets, phones and watches we are constantly connected to the internet in some form or function. Whether it be at home when connected to our WiFi, on the road and using our mobile data connection or sitting at work we have constant access to the internet and online systems. This permanent connectivity enables a lot of new devices and technologies to become smarter and more intelligent. One area that is specifically benefiting is our homes. When not at home you might have that doubt in your mind about whether you turned the heating off, did I leave the oven on, are my kids doing their homework or watching television or did I put the alarm on before I left? With modern smart devices in our homes you can silence all of those doubts with a quick look at an app on your phone or tablet and you can communicate directly with these connected devices and control and view what they (or our kids!) are doing!

Almost any device in your home that uses electricity (and is 'connected' or 'smart') can be put on your home network and when you want, whether you give that command by voice, remote control or smartphone, the home or device reacts. Most applications relate to home security, entertainment, heating systems or lighting. So with the tip of a screen or the sound of your voice you can activate an alarm, view your security cameras or control your lights amongst many other things. 'The Internet of Things' is a phrase you might have heard of bandied about. It relates to any device which is now identifiable through the internet. Some of the more bizarre objects available include a smart bin which identifies what’s going into the bin and alerts the user when its full to a fridge that knows what its contents are and will automatically notify you when you are running low on stock or a product is close to its use-by date. Some fridges even go as far as suggesting recipes based on what its contents are!

To completely automate your home can cost into the 10's of thousands of euro. There are many companies out there that will help with this set up some of which are linked below. Whilst they will do a very comprehensive and professional job the high cost can be off-putting. However there are alternatives whereby you can upgrade some of your home equipment yourself. Lighting, basic home security, smart door bells and some entertainment appliances are relatively inexpensive and often require only very basic knowledge of WiFi etc to get the device operational. 

McKevitt King Architects will be able to suggest smart upgrades to your project as well as suggesting professionals that may be able to help with the installation. In the meantime here are a few useful websites and articles to get you started...

KNX Association

Control 4

Smart Zone Ireland

Luxavo Ireland

How Stuff Works - Smart Homes

Here is a small list of some smart products that you might be able to install yourself....

Philips Hue Lighting Systems

Ring Video Doorbell and Security Cameras

Nest Smart Devices

August Smart Locks

by Richard Hatch

Smart Homes

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