If you've been curious about turning your home into a smart home , but have felt overwhelmed with the amount of solutions out there or don't even know where to begin .
This is the video for you .
I'm Josh Tedder for six months later .
And in this video , I'm going to take you through how to kick off and expand your smart home in 2019 .
Let's dive in when looking to turn your home into a smart home .
You're just inundated with choice , maybe too much choice .
But in general , there are actually basically two routes you can go when trying to go about creating a smart home .
The first one being that you can buy a bunch of devices from different manufacturers and connect them all to a common platform like the Google Assistant Alexa or Siri Home Kit or there are other companies out there that make home automation platforms and have regional installers that will come out and install an integrated solution for you .
So which one do you go with ?
Well , that largely depends on one how much automation you're planning to do in your home .
Second , how much you're willing to spend on that automation and then finally , how comfortable are you at setting up your smart home by yourself ?
Now , companies like Control Four , Savant and Crest will come and install everything in your home or use an integrator to do it .
Their solutions can often vary widely in how their user interfaces are designed and the third party platforms they can work with .
Now , thankfully , things have been getting better with them recently , but there's still a lot of competition coming at these companies from the larger tech companies like Google and Amazon .
If you look at Google's newly rebranded Google Nest page , it's obvious that Google Nest is making a play to customers who want the type of whole home solution that the traditional smart home automation companies provide .
And today , it's not just the luxury home automation companies offering in home consultation and installation services for smart home devices .
More mainstream companies are getting into this space like Best Buy , best Buy will actually come out to your home and do a consultation for free and then they also offer paid installation services as well for the rest of this video .
I'm mainly going to focus on the consumer tech oriented companies and their smart home products because I think these are the products that most people are going to choose for their smart homes in 2019 and beyond the first part to setting up one of these systems in 2019 is using which core platform to go with that all of your smart devices will talk to and this platform will be the central point of control for all of your smart devices .
The major mainstream platforms you can choose from out there are Amazon's Alexa devices , Google's Google Assistant devices or Apple's home kit enabled devices .
My advice right now would be to either go with Amazon or Google .
More devices work with their platforms .
Though Apple's home kit is slowly starting to catch up with more devices supporting home kit .
Now that the company has dropped a hardware chip requirement for devices to be eligible on the home kit platform .
Now personally , I use the Google assistant as well as Alexa for my own smart home .
Though I typically use the Google Assistant as my predominant platform just because I use Google services more than I do to Amazon once you decide on which core platform is right for you to run your smart home .
Now it's time to talk about the devices that actually make your home a smart home .
Typically , you can put these types of devices into several main categories including music , media , lighting , climate , security , and appliances slash accessories .
First , let's look at music with whole home audio .
This fun personality allows you to play different music in different parts of your home .
Now , typically through a voice assistant , you have various options here , Amazon , Google and Apple , all make their own speakers that natively play music from various streaming services .
However , do note that currently Apple's homepod can only stream music from Apple Music or your itunes library .
There are also third party speakers and systems you can buy from companies like Sonos and bows that can work with all three companies , platforms , some bows and Sonos speakers will even allow you to have Alexa and the Google assistant directly on their speakers .
We've done quite a few reviews on smart speakers including the Google Home Google home mini Google Home Mac Google Nest hub and Amazon Echo .
Now the nest hub and Amazon Echo Show have the added benefit of having a screen on them which makes controlling your media as well as other smart home devices even easier .
If you're interested in learning more about any of these devices , I'll make sure to throw the links to their reviews below in the video description .
Next , let's take a look at controlling your media rooms with your smart home .
Typically , this involves controlling your TV and associated speakers as well as the lighting in your media rooms .
We'll get to lighting in just a second .
Right now .
The best integration with your TV from consumer companies would either come from Amazon or Google .
They both sell devices that can control your TV .
Turn it on and off with an assistant as well as deliver content from all the major streaming services you'd expect and they're relatively affordable , only costing between 30 to $70 .
Google's chromecast in particular is pretty powerful .
Thanks to its casting feature , you can cast media from your Android iphone or any chrome browser over wifi to your chromecast enabled devices which makes it easy to cast media from your phone to your TV , pause and then cast that media to your bedroom TV .
Google's newer version of the chromecast devices can also turn on and off your TV and receiver and other devices connected to your receiver through a technology called H D M I CE C .
Amazon also has this feature as well .
Both companies allow you to use your voice to control your media hardware as well as tell Alexa or the Google Assistant , what media you want to play on which screen in your home ?
Now , the Apple TV , unfortunately can't be used to turn on and off your TV using Siri , although it does use H D I CE C .
So when you turn it on , it will turn on the other devices connected to it .
It has a dedicated remote which the Google Chrome cast does not have and it has something similar to casting called airplay , which you can use to stream media from pretty much any Apple device with a screen over to your TV .
Now , our next category is live .
The main players in smart lighting right now are Phillips , G E life X IKEA and U P .
These smart light makers make led bulbs that are typically in three categories , plain white bulbs that go from daylight to warm white hues or multicolored bulbs .
Smart bulbs typically connect either through Bluetooth or through wifi .
Now , smart lights save you a lot of time and steps throughout your house .
You can turn on all of your lights at night with just using your voice .
You can make sure you've turned them off while you're away from home using a smartphone app or a smart assistant through your phone .
Typically , you can create routines with them so you can wake up with your lights dimming up with sunset colors and you can even set geo fencing with your smart lights .
So they automatically turn on when you arrive home and turn off when you leave .
Now , some smart lights do need a hub that connects to your router like with the Phillips U bulbs brands that do this typically offer starter packs that come with the hub and then a couple of smart light bulbs .
So if you're just starting off with smart lights in your residence , I highly recommend picking up one of these starter packs , other brands like G E smart bulbs directly connect to wifi and do not need a hub .
So you can start off by just buying a single bulb that will connect to your smart home platform .
There are also other accessories you can get with your smart lights like wireless dimmer switches that you can assign to control a variety of lights in your residence or switches powered by kinetic energy like the one from Phillips U Phillips U probably has the most accessories and just variety of smart light bulbs out there compared to any other brand .
And they're the brand I actually use in my own residence .
We did do a six months later review of the Phillips U lighting system .
So if you're interested in Phillips U , I'll make sure to leave a link to that review in the video description below or you can just pause this video now and click the card in the video to go watch it next up .
Let's talk climate control .
And mainly we're talking about smart thermostats .
There are thermostats that are wifi connected that can be controlled with your smart assistance .
Some popular ones include the nest learning thermos stat , which is now made by Google the Eco four , which Amazon has a pretty large stake in and then various smart thermostats made by Honeywell , which is at least here in the US , if not worldwide , the largest maker of thermostats .
By far .
Some you can program like the more traditional thermostats with a weekly schedule while others like the nest learning thermostat , learn your pattern and use A I to predict what the temp should be set to based on the history of your patterns and a variety of environmental factors .
Now , most also allow you to stick sensors in different rooms around your house to aggregate the temperature data in your home to give you a true home residents temperature , most smart thermostats will work with each of the big three smart platforms and their installation usually is pretty straightforward .
Next , let's talk smart home security systems .
Now home security has been around for years with companies like ad T Brinks and C P I security .
But there are more recent companies now out on the market with solutions that offer customers a different experience .
This experience is basically customers can mix and match the type of equipment they need for their home based on their own needs .
And then the customers can actually do the installation themselves and buy all of these products either on a shelf or online .
The three new main players in this space are Nest Ring and of course simply safe .
Each of these companies' products do come with a monitoring service but they're optional .
Nest's monitoring service is through Brinks home security where simply safe and ring have their own in house monitoring services .
And those are typically cheaper than what you find with the brink service , which is a a bit more pricey with Nest products with all three services .
The types of devices offered are somewhat similar .
There's usually a home base sensors for your doors and windows , motion sensors , cameras , smart locks , smart doorbells , and a key fob and usually a keypad that helps you disarm the system .
And one of the best parts is none of these services ask you to sign a long term .
Besides the monitoring services and the consumer tech focus , the other main benefit of these systems are that they allow for integrations with the main platform assistance .
So you can ask Alexa to arm your alarm or ask Google to see the downstairs living room camera , et cetera .
Some of these services also offer smoke detectors , carbon monoxide detectors and smart water leak detection devices .
So they're not just keeping your home safe from burglars but also other issues that can affect homeowners and their safety .
The last and final category of smart home devices is a catch all category that I call appliances and accessories .
There are so many devices that fit into this category and the list just keeps growing every year .
The basic concept is that these are devices like your typical home appliances such as your stove , refrigerator , washing machine , but also home accessories that can connect to your smart home platform like smart blinds , robotic vacuum cleaners , smart scales , smart switches , etcetera .
My go to smart home accessory over the past few years has been smart switches .
They turn any appliance into one that can simply be turned on or off by any of the major smart home assistant platforms .
They're especially handy when it comes to holiday decorating .
For example , during the holiday season , I use 5 to 8 smart switches from various companies to help link all of my holiday lights to the Google Assistant .
I group them all into a room called Christmas lights .
And then I can ask Google to turn on or off all of my Christmas lights .
At once , once , you've chosen your smart home platform and have started buying devices for your smart home .
You're going to be amazed at how easy it is to automate some of the most money parts of your life like turning off lights in every room of your house with just your voice or doing things .
you could have only dreamed of years ago , like a thermostat that you never need to adjust because it's learned how you like your temperature given a variety of factors or moving through your house and playing music that is synced in every room .
Smart home devices really have the power to change people's lives for the better .
And they're an important part of what we do here at the six months later .
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Well , that wraps up our video on how to start a smart home in 2019 .
If you like this video and found it useful , make sure to hit that thumbs up button below .
And if you have any questions at all about smart homes or smart home devices , make sure to leave us a comment .
Well , thanks so much for watching for six months later .
I'm Josh Tedder .