Six Common Smarthome Mistakes Beginners Make

A confused man standing in front of Smarthome's controls.
sdecoret / Shutterstock

The smarthomes are becoming more prevalent year by year and the smart devices are finally quite accessible for the average person. But creating your smarthome is not something you should get started with without planning. Without foresight, you can make common mistakes.

Badly named and grouped devices

Alexa application showing two lights named Playstation Light and Window Light
Here, I named each light according to its position in the room.

Get your first smart bulb Is exciting. The whole process seems so simple: simply screw the bulb and associate it with an application. For convenience, you can even have a smart speaker to control your light by voice. Soon, you have several bulbs because the first worked so well.

This is where convenience comes through the window. If you're frustrated because you do not know what to say to control a particular light in a room, you're missing some crucial setup steps.

Unless you choose carefully Smarthome device names can be difficult to remember. Whether you choose "Green bulb" or "Light 1", you make it difficult. Choose names describing the location of the bulb, for example "lamp" or "window lamp". Stay away from numbering lights unless you plan to group them in a single light, for example, if you have four bulbs in a floor lamp.

Speaking of grouping, you should group your smart lights by piece. If you have a vocal partner in the same room and group, you do not have to remember what to say. You can simply say "turn off the lights". But what about parts without smart speakers?

Too few smart speakers

You might be tempted to stick to one intelligent speaker for voice control. For starters, it's not a bad idea. But the best voice commands are simple and easy to remember.

With well-grouped lights and smart speakers, you can say "turn off the lights," which is easy to remember. But, for this to work, you need a smart speaker in the same room as your smart lights. If you only have one smart speaker in the living room, this command will not work in the kitchen.

We recommend that you buy several Echo points or Google Home Minis and sprinkle them throughout your home, especially in rooms equipped with smart lights and smart plugs. This facilitates the control of the voice.

Too many types of smart speakers

An Amazon Echo, Google Home Mini and Harmon Kardon Invoke (Cortana speaker)
With a Homepod, I will have the complete set! Josh Hendrickson

Although we recommend charging smart speakers, do not make the mistake of having too many types of smart speakers. Google, Amazon, Apple, and even Microsoft all have smart speakers that you can install at home. Each has its strengths and weaknesses (Microsoft Invoke is mainly weaknesses), and you should carefully consider which one to put in your house (if any).

Once you have chosen a smart speaker, you have to stick with that brand. If your living room includes a Google home, your kitchen an Amazon Echo and your room a Homepod, you will lose yourself quickly. Everyone calls for a different word, and the last thing you want is to call "Hey Google" when you meant "Hey Siri".

Plus, you compose your work by adding different smart speakers. Your life is more complex and you need to add all your smart gadgets to the new speaker application, know its controls and manage scheduling and routines in many different applications.

Choose a voice assistant and stick to it. If you change your mind and decide that you should have used Google or Alexa, you will want to switch completely from one to the other, even if you make this change in stages. Do not resign yourself to living permanently with different voice assistants in different rooms.

Do not count switches

Two smart switches and a standard paddle switch between them.
If you do not use smart switch, you miss. Josh Hendrickson

If you have smart light bulbs throughout your home, you have probably figured out that light switches are a problem. As soon as someone activates a switch controlling your smart bulb, you lose all intelligence. You can not re-light the bulb with a voice or application; you must reactivate the switch.

It is difficult to break the habit of changing light, especially when many people live in the same house. It is necessary to solve this problem to get the most out of your smart lights, and you have several options.

Instead of smart bulbs, you can use smart switches, which replace your standard light switch. Smart switches look like paddle switches, but rather than lock in the high or low position they are reset to neutral. The electronic components built into the switch determine if electricity is flowing (thereby turning on and off the light).

However, if you turn on the light (with the voice, an application, or a light switch), everything stays in sync. There are however some disadvantages. You will need to connect the switch and most smart switches require a neutral wire in the switch box, which not all homes have. And you will lose the color options that come with the smart bulbs.

If you want smart bulb colors, or if you can not or do not want to replace your switches, your goal is to prevent the use of the mute switch. If you have Philips Hue smart bulbs, Lutron offers you the Aurora switch. Instead of connecting a new switch, the Aurora slips on your existing switch. It then acts as a dimmer.

If you do not have Philips Hue, you can consider covering the mute switch to prevent anyone from using it. If your smart bulbs offer a remote control device, consider mounting it next to your silent switches.

RELATED, RELATED, RELATED: The best smart switches on the wall

Many brands of devices with many different applications

17 smarthome apps ranging from Alexa to Yonomi, via SchlageHome
I have 17 Smarthome apps installed, which is probably too much.

Smarthome gadgets are all the rage. It seems that every day, a new manufacturer makes its appearance with the latest smart widgets. If you're not careful, you'll soon Wyze Light Bulbs, Kasa Wi-Fi jacks a Ecobee Thermostatand a Google home page.

Each of these devices comes with a custom application. Suddenly, you find yourself navigating between applications that try to remember which application to use when.

To reduce this problem, use the same brand on all devices as often as possible. If the manufacturer of your smart bulb also makes smart cards, try using them. If you are satisfied with your bulbs, it is likely that you will be satisfied with the plugs made by the same manufacturer.

When everything fails, use an application to control everything. This will probably be your voice assistant app, Alexa or Google Assistant. If you have a smart hub like SmartThings or Hubitat, you can use its application for control.

You will still install the other applications, of course. But, in most cases, you can hide these applications after completing the installation and pairing process.

You think you need a lot of material

A nest thermostat, a google home bub, a nest of protection, a Schlage smart lock, a Wink concentrator, a WiFi SmartThings hub and Amazon Echo.
You can buy a ton of appliances from the first day, but you should not. Josh Hendrickson

Sometimes the problem starts before you buy the first Smarthome gadget. If you do not hold a smarthome because it sounds too expensive or if you fear the idea of ​​replacing every light bulb, switch and appliance in the house, you can stop worrying.

You do not have to replace everything in one go. Even if you could, you should not. Buy as many devices and try to install them all perfectly suited to the the whole family to use would be overwhelming.

Instead, start small with only a few devices. Some smart light bulbs, a smart plug and a video doorbell are more than enough for a beginner. Start can be cheaper than you think.

Think about choosing only one room to start. A smart room or smart kitchen are good places to start and will give you ideas on how to expand to other parts of the house.

Smart homes do not have to be complicated and do not have to be frustrating. If you're not happy with how your smarthome works for you, take a step back and consider why it's not working well. The solution may be easier than you think and with some modifications you can have a simpler and more convenient model to use.

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