It’s pretty incredible to think that at one time we actually had to use pay phones to make a call outside of our homes. Now we think nothing of having real time access to our phone calls, voicemails, and emails on our cell phones. With technology only getting smarter, gadgets like Alexa and Google are really upping the ante. And I am unabashedly proud to admit that we have totally jumped on the Google assistant bandwagon. I figure that since robots will eventually handle much of our mundane tasks anyway, I might as well get used to telling Google to turn my kitchen lights on and off.
While some people may deem it lazy to have a smart home, I think it is utterly genius. According to www.smarthomeusa.com, “A smart home is the term commonly used to define a residence that has appliances, lighting, heating, air conditioning, TVs, computers, entertainment audio & video systems, security, and camera systems that are capable of communicating with one another and can be controlled remotely by a time schedule, from any room in the home, as well as remotely from any location in the world by phone or internet.”
In our home, we utilize our Google Assistant to control our thermostat, to dim lights, and to turn the television on and off. Using just a few apps on our phones, we can easily turn off a light we inadvertently left on as we ran out of the house or drop the temperature from my preferred temp of 72 degrees to 68 degrees if no one is in the house. With the programming feature on Google Assistant, one of the lamps in our master bedroom turns on at exactly 5:00 am to wake my husband up, the thermostat drops at a certain time and all the lights automatically turn on at around the time the sun sets.
The benefits to becoming a smart home far exceed avoiding that “long” walk to the light switch. First there is the peace of mind that even if I forget to turn something off in the house, I have full control of it all directly from my iPhone. I mean I can’t be the only one who leaves the house and forgets to turn off the bathroom lights, right? In addition, the automated feature can translate into energy savings, both from a carbon footprint standpoint and a financial one. (Think more vacation money! Ding, ding, ding!) And then when we are on that vacation, we can make the lights to turn on and off so that no one can even tell we are away.
As with everything there is a downside to all of this technological prowess; it is expensive. Between buying dimmers, compatible light bulbs and smart light switches, not to mention a bunch of Google assistant minis, it gets pretty pricey. Then there is the little problem that sometimes our Google Assistant decides she has amnesia and doesn’t work. Then the techie in the house has to go into the apps and do his re-programming things. So make sure someone in the house can handle all of that because I would just go hunting for the television remote again.
But seriously with all that we have to do in our lives, isn’t it a nice treat to be able to come in the door with five bags of groceries and just tell Google or Alexa to flick the lights on? I’m all game for anything that will save me time and money in the long run. How about you?