Smart homes are increasing in popularity, and we’re building our own at Lombardo Homes! Our new decorated model at Preserves at Legacy Estates in Macomb Township, scheduled to grand open this summer, will be equipped with smart home technology both inside and outside the home.
To help gear up for this exciting grand opening, here’s what you should know about smart homes, and which products we’re showcasing in our new model.
What is a smart home?
Having a smart home goes beyond having Amazon Echo or porch lights that can be controlled with your phone. In a smart home, not only can you control features in your home remotely; smart homes connect all of the electrical components in your home so they can talk to each other and operate more efficiently.
If that sounds way too high tech for you – or if it makes you think your thermostat and sprinklers are going to team up for world domination – have no fear. Apps and programs from big names like Apple and Amazon help to ensure your home works for you, instead of ganging up against you to take over the world.
When it comes to smart home technology, there are two key terms to know: assistants and bridges.
When you think of products that make up a smart home, you typically think of assistants. Amazon Alexa, Google Home, and Apple HomePod are all examples of smart home voice assistants. These products allow you to control features in your home – from smart lighting to room temperature to music – with just your voice.
Bridges are vital components of your smart home. The apps and programs you use to control your electrical components often rely on Bluetooth to operate, which, in turn, relies on a solid Wi-Fi signal. Wi-Fi doesn’t transmit through building materials very well, especially concrete. If you put your Wi-Fi router in the basement and you’re trying to control your devices from the home’s second floor, it won’t work very well.
That’s where Wi-Fi boosters, like bridges, come in. Think of bridges as cell towers for your home: they receive signals from your wireless router (or a nearby bridge) and sends the signal to other devices, like your smart TV or computer. Bridges extend your Wi-Fi network, making your internet connection appear stronger, which means you can still operate the exterior lights from the master bedroom, even if your router is in the basement.
I have my product wishlist. Now what?
Once you have smart home products in mind, you need to decide if you’re going to operate on a single-app or multi-app platform. A single-app platform operates all of your smart home products, even if they’re different brands. These platforms, such as Savant or Alarm.com, typically require a subscription through a provider and cost between $20-$80 a month.
With a multi-app platform, you have separate apps for every smart home product you buy. If you go that route, we recommend buying as many of the products from the same family (such as Amazon Alexa) as you can – this can mean have 5 apps to manage, versus 20 apps.
What will I see at the model at Preserves at Legacy Estates?
The Preserves at Legacy Estates model will showcase a variety of smart home products inside and outside the home, from a motion-activated security camera, to Amazon Alexa, to a smart thermostat.
The Windsor model at Preserves at Legacy Estates in Macomb Township, Michigan is scheduled to grand open summer 2018. Stay tuned to our website for details and updates!