by Michael O’Hearn
Getting up on time, getting ready for the day and staying ahead of the morning chaos can be challenging.
Zooming toward work to make that 8 a.m. meeting, the mind might get scrambled. After bursting through the front door and into the conference room, the meeting begins and questions start coming to mind.
Was the coffee maker shut off? Has the security alarm been set? Does Grandpa Eddie need anything and I’m not there?
With a smart home, these worries can be put to rest using a smartphone or tablet. Smart home devices can be connected to talk to each other and the homeowner while the person is away.
Any device using electricity can be connected to the home’s internet network, and there are several businesses in the Greenville area that give homeowners command of these devices.
Bill Labus, owner of Smart Home Electric in Greer, is independent and said some of the most popular home automation products are affordable surveillance cameras and lighting control.
“Cameras provide peace of mind and security. Lighting control provides security, convenience and energy savings,” Labus said. “For clients that are disabled, these products can provide a lot of help and security.”
These devices can provide a wide range of services, from monitoring children while the homeowner is away with cameras to detecting water leaks, smoke and changes in temperature.
“For clients that are disabled, these products can provide a lot of help and security.” – Bill Labus, owner, Smart Home Electric
Most of these assistance tools require an internet connection for app and voice control, but these devices can still be manually controlled if needed. Labus said the most important item to have is a strong household Wi-Fi network with multiple access points.
Using the Drakes Penwell Design Group in Greenville and its Kasted team of professionals, home automation products can be built into the architecture of the house using the Josh Artificial Intelligence technology.
The group provides options that will prevent pipes from freezing by shutting off water or driveway sensors that notify homeowners when visitors set foot on the property.
Unlike cloud-based products like Google Home and Amazon Echo, Lead Designer Nichole Rath said Josh AI works exclusively for the homeowner, meaning it will never advertise other products.
Whenever there is a problem with a device, Labus said it is the network rather than the product. Depending on how much someone relies on a device, a lot can go wrong.
“With everything we introduce in our lives comes maintenance, cost and failure,” Labus said.
Rath agreed and said disadvantages are all commonly based in electrical issues or power outages. If or when something goes wrong, she said it is often the result of a long-term power outage in a space that does not have a backup generator.
“Home automation goes far beyond Alexa and is meant to be viewed as a fully automated control system that is programmed to you, your lifestyle and potential needs,” Rath said.