The eve of the Smart Home Revolution, but what smart home appliances are actually available? What appliances are useful? And how much does this all cost?

As I’m sure you know the barrage of advertisements about smart home meters and how they will bring an end to estimated bills and being able to control your home from your mobile devices. It sounds great and I have no doubt that a decade from now it will be rare to find a home that doesn’t include these appliances. But then during this thought process I realised that I had no idea what appliances are currently on the market, and more importantly what costs the average consumer would incur while buying the tools to build their smart home.Therefore, I decided to make a shortlist of what I would regard as ‘the basics’ of smart home appliances – effectively the minimum number of appliances you would require for a fluid use of a Smart Home. Once I had done this I did a quick Google search for costs of each appliance and if they would all be compatible with the same smart appliance application.

For the sake of example I landed on ‘Nest’ as my app of choice and decided that the basics of a smart home would surely consist of: a) a smart doorbell, b) a smart lock for the door, c) a smart alarm clock, d) smart lights and e) a smart thermostat. Now it’s at your discretion what you would regard as essentials to your smart home, everybody is different. However if it was me I feel that with that combination I could control my home effectively, with extra appliances being luxuries.

Though I’ve repeated the term ‘basic’ for the appliances above, the cost is anything but. Through my very quick calculations the total of my basic smart home would come to a total of £969.69. Hardly screaming a working person’s budget! The significantly most expensive in my list was the ‘Philips Hue Beyond Pendant Light Starter Kit’, landing at £529. What do you get for this? Well, you get the Hue connected hub to control your lights, and sets of ceiling fixtures. This starter kit is more top end as rather than bulbs, the lights are built directly into fixtures, and CNET claims that there will be no need to change for the next 15 years. That works to slightly over £35 a year over that period, though the £529 is an upfront cost. You know you’re paying for convenience and effortlessness over this decade and a half though because personally I certainly do not spend £35 a year replacing lightbulbs!

So you’ve gone out and bought your appliances and connected them up. What are the downsides? Especially for those not tech savvy? The issue at the forefront of my mind is firstly your wifi connection. If your wifi drops, or you lost power to your home then what would this mean for your appliances? Also, I personally live in an area closer to the country than the city so sometimes the wifi won’t drop but connection will be poor. If that’s the case then would it be faster for me to get up and twist my conventional thermostat than wait for the buffering of an app? These questions will be answered in time but for now I think I’ll be holding on to my wallet until I see teething bugs of smart homes get ironed out. If you have smart appliances already I hope they are as good for you as I imagine they will be!

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