Smart Home Basics: How to Make your Home a Smart Home

Apr 15 . 5 m

Young woman utilising smart home features from tablet in the kitchen

Smart Home Basics

Are you one of those people that makes it halfway down the street and have that mini heart attack moment on the realization that you never switched the straightener off, or worse, you left the front door open? The last thing you want to do is only to turn around. Am I right? Imagine the freedom of locking and unlocking it with your smartphone! You can manage things like your lights, surveillance cameras, smoke detectors, and garage doors all from your mobile device. Turning your home into a smart home is not as overwhelming as you may think. WeCompare will shed some light on the top-rated intelligent devices, simple enough for you to test out the smart appliance waters.

So, let’s get into some of the basics required to turn your home into a smart home.

Smart Home Systems

What exactly is a smart home system? Think of it as a hub that links all of your devices together. The most popular being Amazon’s Alexa and Google Assistant.

Smart home- Echo dotThe new Echo Dot with Alexa is an affordable option that allows you to stream your favourite tunes from streaming platforms, listen to a podcast or an audiobook with multi-room speakers activated by voice command. Furthermore, coming in at under 50 euros enables you to make voice calls, be entertained with jokes, and have any questions answered by Alexa.

ASmart home- Alexa with video screenmazon has taken things one step further and enhanced the usability of Alexa with the addition of a video screen. Now, you can also use it for video calls, as a baby monitor, to follow step-by-step recipes, listen to the news, podcasts, and even checking the weather. While in idle mode, you can customize the home screen and create a slide show of your favorite memories. Furthermore, there is an abundance of affordable smart devices that are compatible with Alexa.

Set the Mood

Are you looking for a reason to go SMART? Picture this, it’s date night, you are eager to impress. You have a beautifully cooked dinnerSmart home- multicolored LED bulbs that you scheduled to cook on your Cosori Smart Fryer via the app and want to set the mood for what comes next. You ask Alexa to play some smooth RnB and dim the lights from your mobile to something more romantic. Smooth, right? You can get a suite of add-ons like these smart LED multicolored bulbs, compatible with Siri, Alexa, and Goggle Home. As the lighting dances to the groove of the music, these babies will have you seeing la vie en rose.

Smart home- Nest thermostatFeeling warm? You can also adjust the temperature with an Intelligent Thermostat from Nest via the Nest app. You can also schedule the warm water for your midnight soak! The Nest thermostat will learn from your habits and can be programmed to switch off and save energy when you are away.

Smart socketIf you are feeling extra lucky, plug your coffee machine and toaster in with a Smart Socket. A few minutes shaved off the morning rush means more time in bed.

In short, automated home appliances simplify your life so you can spend more time doing things you love.


Smart home- Ring doorbellAnother way we can benefit from intelligent systems is through the sense of security that they provide. You can find a suite of gadgets that will give you peace of mind. For example, the Ring Video Doorbell allows you to see, hear and speak to anyone via your mobile device.  It is compatible with Alexa, and a simple command like, “Alexa, show me the front door camera” will enable you to see who is outside. With crisp night vision and a motion detector, this 1080p HD video doorbell removes the fear of the unknown.

Another popular item is a smart smoke detector.  With a battery that lasts as long as the product itself, this smoke detector is self-testing and will warn you via the app if there is a problem with the battery, smoke sensor, or Wi-Fi. It’s as easy as screwing in the smoke detector and downloading the app. Talk about a decade of repose!

Ultimately, smart appliances are desirable because they simplify our lives. Moreover, you will find that most are certified for energy efficiency. So in the long run, by being smart, you can save money too!

Do Smart Devices Slow Down the Wi-Fi?

It is important to remember that an abundance of smart devices will require strong broadband. So you will need sufficient bandwidth to support those new additions. By utilising a comparison site like WeCompare, you can save time and compare all the best deals on broadband in Ireland. WeCompare top providers like Sky broadband, Pure Telecom, eir, Imagine broadband, Rural WiFi, Vodafone Ireland, and Virgin broadband. Some of the latest offers include speeds up to 500Mbps for the same price as 100Mbps, so why wait?


With an abundance of products out there, it’s enough to make your head spin! Fortunately, there is no need to panic or rush into anything. We all survived the transition from Motorolla flip phones to Nokia’s, then typing on a Blackberry’s keyboard to a digital screen on Android devices or iPhones. So, we will survive the learning curve that is smart appliances. For most, it will be a gradual change since smart appliances are not on the low end of the price scale. Undoubtedly though, we can expect a future filled with appliances boasting smart capabilities at more affordable prices.

Have you started to transition your home into a smart home?



Zoe Theofilou