From smart home security systems to smart sprinkler systems and everything in between, technology has woven its way into our daily lives. With the touch of a button on our mobile phone or a simple “Hey Alexa” voice command, we can turn on our lights, put on our favorite song or water our garden. While the efficiency and simplicity of smart devices is unmatched, nothing is perfect. Here, we’ll take a look at some of the benefits and disadvantages to today’s interconnected world.
Pro: Power at your fingertips
There are few things more convenient than adjusting your thermostat or seeing who’s ringing your doorbell from your smartphone. What’s more, homeowners don’t even need to be home in order to access these features thanks to remote capabilities. Convenience and accessibility are undoubtedly one of the top benefits of any intelligent home device.
Con: Loss of internet connection
As handy as smart technology and appliances can be, it doesn’t do anyone much good if internet access is unavailable. Whether that’s due to a power outage or some other outside factor, losing the ability to turn on your lights or enable your home security system can be frustrating. It’s important to know the limitations of any device and what, if any, backup systems they have in place so they can keep working offline.
Pro: Energy management
Right after convenience comes energy control. Smart home technology’s automation features allow homeowners to implement programmable settings to fit their needs. For example, a homeowner can schedule their thermostat to increase its AC temperature during the day so as not to run as frequently when no one is home. Other intelligent technologies like smart power strips and smart lighting can cut down on energy usage, too, in turn cutting down on your utility bill and your carbon footprint!
Con: Compatibility issues
Like any competitive industry, there are a lot of smart home technologies available today. Unfortunately, not all of these appliances and devices are compatible with one another, so it’s important to do your own research before accidentally purchasing devices that won’t communicate together.
Luckily for people of all generations, smart home devices are becoming increasingly easy to use. What once required logging into a computer and signing onto the internet to search for an answer to some question, can now be done by simply talking into your phone or virtual assistant.
Con: Learning curve
While smart technology is designed with humans in mind, it might not be as intuitive for some as it is for others. However, once all of your technologies are in sync and you understand how each device operates, there is great pleasure in the flexibility and ease that comes with an integrated system.
Pro: Independent living
Another great advantage to smart home technology is the level of independence it offers for those who may be elderly or disabled. Thanks to features like voice activation and remote control, it’s simpler to access home appliances and other systems.
Con: Up-front cost
There’s no beating around the bush here - initial costs for smart home electronics can be expensive. You should always do your research before you buy to make sure the devices, appliances and/or systems you purchase will fit your needs.
Pro: Peace of mind
Thanks to the advancement of smart home security systems, your home - and family’s - safety is always in the palm of your hand. Whether you require a complex security system or simple camera and sensor setup, there are plenty of options available to offer you peace of mind.
Con: Cybersecurity concerns
It probably goes without saying, but the more connected our devices, the more susceptible they are to hackers. Fortunately for any homeowner, there are simple practices you can follow to keep your internet and devices safe. Some of those include changing passwords often, updating your firmware and securing your WiFi network.
Pro: Increased property value
One lesser known benefit of smart home devices and appliances is that they can increase the value of your home. Things like smart thermostats and home security systems are all great home technologies to increase property value.
With as prevalent as smart home technologies are, it’s hard to imagine a world without them. From improved security systems to energy efficiencies and endless conveniences, upgrading your home to make it work for you seems like a no-brainer. However, there are some drawbacks that can come with these connected devices. At the end of the day, it’s important to do your own research to see which smart technologies are the right fit for your home.