Your Ultimate Guide to Home Automation and Smart Homes

Smart home devices are becoming increasingly popular as they become more cost-effective and accessible on a wide scale. Here at Bidvine, in response to this, we’re seeing a rising demand in consumer requests for professionals that can install home automation features. These requests range from setting up entire smart home systems to installing individual devices and even helping to set up smart home hubs like Google Home and Alexa Echo smart speakers.

Until recently, installing automatised equipment was previously split between different traditional trades. However, with this ever-increasing rise in demand, it’s become essential for professionals to keep their skills up to date in regards to home automation.

“Although the smart home services industry is still in its infancy, it’s currently worth £2.2 billion a year, a figure that’s forecast to grow to £48 billion per year by 2020,” said Sohrab Jahanbani, Founder and CEO of Bidvine.com.

“In recent years, we’ve seen big retailers offer these services to customers buying smart home devices that either includes a set-up charge from the retailer or it’s a hidden fee that absorbed into the price. However, the surge in demand presents local professionals the perfect opportunity to offer their services at a much more competitive rate while still offering an attractive profit margin.”

“The key for experienced tradespeople in specific fields is to develop and expand their established skills,” said Sohrab Jahanbani. “For example, locksmith professionals will find learning smart lock and smart home security equipment installation skills that much easier.”

“But at the same time, we’re noticing an increased demand for smart home installation generalists who know how to synchronise overall systems. For example, this year we’ve seen over 400 requests from people looking for help with setting up their new Alexa Echo and Google Home devices, with an average payment of £50 per hour.”

Interested in learning more about smart home automation? Read below to discover everything you need to know about home automation!

What is a Smart Home?

Smart homes are increasing in popularity nowadays mainly because of the security and convenience that they offer. With complete home automation, you can benefit from the convenience of having everything from your lawn sprinkler to your security system and your TV automated. You can then easily control and manage all of these devices from a central hub. Essentially, a smart home is like having a personal assistant who has always got your back!

Not convinced? Here are a few quick benefits of smart homes:

  • Easy and fun to manage
  • They’re convenient
  • Make your home safer
  • Keep your home more comfortable
  • They save you money

To learn even more about these benefits simply keep reading. We’ll take an in-depth look at home automation benefits in the next few sections.

How to Get Started?

A smart home consists of several smart products. Any traditional home can be converted into a smart home by installing smart products and then linking them with each other. With professional help, you can install smart products quickly and easily.

After installation, the specialist will walk you through the setup so that you can easily manage all of the devices they’ve set up for you. Once the installation is complete, you will be able to manage each of the devices from a central smart hub.

Many devices also have apps that you can easily access remotely from your phone, whether you want to check in on your security cameras or just make sure you turned off the lights.

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When deciding which parts of your home to automate begin by considering your priorities and what will help to save your time, effort, and also money by minimising energy usage. For instance, you might prioritise entertainment in the living room with a smart TV, or you could focus on energy efficiency by installing a smart thermostat to optimise your heating.

What Are the Benefits of Having a Smart Home?

There are many benefits of converting your traditional home into a smart home. If you are renovating and remodelling your older home or building one from scratch, then a smart home update is a must to consider. However, even if you’re not completely redoing your home, you can still upgrade it with smart home technology and get all the benefits!

Top Smart Home Benefits

It’s Cost-Effective

Having a smart home or updating your home with automated devices can save you money in the long run. One of the most popular features of smart home devices like smart thermostats and smart sprinkler systems is their ability to optimise your energy and water usage. Rather than constantly adjusting your heating system, a smart thermostat will keep your home at the perfect temperature, efficiently heating your home so you can keep your energy bill reasonable. Then, in the case of a smart sprinkler system, you can easily program it to water your garden at an optimal time so you can save on water costs as well.

Save Energy and Reduce Your Environmental Footprint

As well as saving on costs, with a smart home you’re also helping out the environment. The less energy you’re using heating, lighting, or watering, the more you are able to reduce your carbon footprint and help the planet.

Home Automation Energy Benefits

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The energy efficiency which smart homes offer is a win-win for cost savings and lowering your environmental impact.

Simple, Intuitive, and Easy to Operate

As smart devices have become more and more popular, they have also become much easier and more intuitive to operate. Once set up most smart devices are simple, easy, and fun to operate for consumers. After installation, a professional can easily show you how to manage each of your new devices. Not familiar with smart devices? Don’t sweat it, even if you’ve never used a smart device before you’ll soon have the hang of it!

Enhance Home Security

One of the most important features of a smart home is security. A smart home security system can give you peace of mind knowing that your house is looked after. It also makes it easier to check in on your home when you’re out whether at work or on holidays, as many security systems have apps which you can access remotely from your smartphone.

Save Time

If watering the lawn drives you crazy with impatience, then a feature like a smart sprinkler system is the perfect solution. Instead of watering your lawn on your own, you can program the sprinkler system to water it automatically at a specified time. That way you can still enjoy beautiful vibrant greenery without watering it by hand.

Popular Smart Home Devices

Considering home automation but aren’t sure which devices are the best fit for you? Don’t sweat it. Check out the sections below to learn more about some of the most popular smart home devices and find inspiration for your home automation.

Hubs and Controllers

Hubs and controllers are an integral part of a smart home system. These hubs and controllers allow you to conveniently manage all of the devices in your smart home system. They also work as stand-alone devices as well. Looking to play your favourite music? Have a question you’d like to Google? Hubs and controllers make this ridiculously easy.

Simply say “Ok Google” to ask it a question, or play your favourite music directly from the device which can act as a smart speaker too!

Have a favourite TV show in mind? Hubs and controllers create easy access to online and network-based media content like Netflix and YouTube. So whenever you want to watch the next episode of your favourite Netflix show just tell your smart hub!

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Have an Amazon hub? Then you can easily update your Amazon shopping list as well, without ever having to open your laptop. Simply ask Amazon’s Alexa to add on the items you need.

Whether you’re using your hub as a standalone speaker or using it to efficiently manage all the smart devices in your home, it is sure to help you keep everything organised and simplify your day.

Lock and Home Security

Providing enhanced security is one of the most important aspects of a smart home system. There are several smart devices available on the market when it comes to smart home security. These include smart locks that allow you to remotely ensure your home is secure. Many security systems also include surveillance cameras so you can easily check in on your home when away.

Heating and Cooling

Controlling your home’s temperature through heating and cooling systems is another important aspect that a smart home system can efficiently handle. A smart thermostat efficiently manages your HVAC unit or heating system. This can allow you to easily set the temperature on your thermostat and let your smart home take care of the rest. It will automatically control your systems to ensure that your home maintains the perfect temperature all of the time.

Smart Lights

The capability of smart lights goes beyond just automatically turning on and off lights in a room. The advanced smart lighting systems can determine whether it’s dim or dark and then illuminate certain areas of the house that need it.
Smart Lights

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Not only that but smart lights nowadays also have voice recognition and motion detection technologies. You can set them to turn on and off according to your personal schedule or simply add motion sensors and forget about turning them on and off.

Smart Sprinkler System

A smart sprinkling system is another smart home device that is designed to save you time and money. Rather than watering the lawn on your own, a smart sprinkler system can be programmed to follow a schedule. You can also easily turn it on and off from your hub and some devices even have weather awareness capabilities. This means that they can sense whether it’s already raining and turn off to prevent any water waste.

Smart TV

Smart TVs have greatly increased in popularity and accessibility in recent years. A smart TV runs on an operating system that allows you to access online and network-based media content. There’s no need for an additional box either! With easy access to the internet, you won’t have to connect a laptop or worry about HDMI cables anymore. With a smart TV, you can easily watch your favourite content without any hassle.

Smart Home vs. Regular Home Improvements Costs

Now that you’re all set to update your home, it’s time to plan out a budget! We’ve included a handy cost comparison chart below so you can easily create a budget for your smart home upgrades.

Smart Home ServiceAverage Hourly RateRegular Home ImprovementAverage Hourly Rate
Smart Lights Installation£60Lighting Installation£45
Smart Home Security System Installation£100Locksmith£60
Smart Thermostat Installation£80Plumber£50
Smart Sprinkler System£120Landscaper£18
Smart TV Installation£60TV Mounting£30
Smart Hub Installation£50----
With so many new and innovative smart home features being built, upgrading your home with smart technology has never been easier. Ready to update your home? Click below to get bids from top home automation specialists today!

Keep in mind, if you hire a local service professional with relevant skills, they might be able to give you a more competitive rate. In general, we recommend purchasing the product from the manufacturer online and hiring a separate professional for the installation task as retailers often include these costs in the product prices as a premium hidden cost or charge extra to carry out the work.

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