Life

Making My Home Smart…

March 18, 2019
PIcture of the tplink plug and its packaging sitting on my kitchen table.

Everyone seems to be adding smart technology to their homes with Google Home and Alexa’s but that sort of tech really isn’t for me. I am not a fan of a device that can listen to you and am pretty confident in the future these devices will be used against people. Don’t pop me in with tin foil conspiracy theorists but history shows recording people is something we like to do! This doesn’t mean I don’t want to make my home smart and I have been activly researching ways to adapt my flat with smart technology.

Smart Technology Is Great For Older Family Members.

Last year I went to a conference that spoke about families using smart technology to look after frail relatives, allowing the older generation to stay home longer. There is a smart toaster that communicates a message, via an app, sharing if the appliance was used. Great for confirming if your older relative got up in the morning. If they aren’t a toast fan you can get small sensors that are placed in doorways and register that the occupant is up and about.

Picture of tp link adapter plugged into poiwerpoint

The Piece Of Tech That Got Me Into Automating My Home.

Dismissing using Alexa’s and Google Home limits my ability to join the smart tech train. However, reading Young House Love’s blog and their love of all tech, I was introduced to the Kasa Smart WiFi Plug. Adding this plug to a favourite lamp or in my case fairy lights means you can turn them on before you arrive home through an app. You can also link it with an Alexa and Google Home to turn on lights by voice control.

My flat is incredibly dark in winter and often I have multiple bags, mail and parcels with me as I enter. I know most of my readers can relate if you live in a big city, you want to get inside and lock the door quickly! Lack of lighting always meant I was fumbling longer then I was comfortable at the door. Initially I used a traditional timer from Ikea, but my days aren’t scheduled exactly and I was often returning home to darkness.

Picture of tp link plug with fairy light plug plugged into it

Setting Up The Kasa Smart Wifi Plug.

Once the Kasa Smart Wifi Plug arrived I set aside 10 minutes to activate it. I’d already downloaded the app in anticipation! The process took less than 3 minutes to link the device to the app and my wifi. Plugged in the wall I added my fairy lights and then stood there for longer then I care to admit turning them on and off via my phone! Done or so I thought!

Turns out it takes a bit of prethought for me to activate them via the app when I’m on the train home! Sometimes I stand outside my flat doing it! The app recently updated and now has the ability to set up schedules which works for my days with a set routine.

The function I use the most is the timer. Once I turn on my fairy lights I set them to turn off after an hour. This allows me to wander around the flat with some light putting my bag away and turning on other lights. If I’m home quite late I can just use the fairy lights to get ready for bed without having to turn on a burning overhead light. I am not a fan of overhead lights, so harsh!

Picture of my mobile phone with app open.  It is showing that I have my fairy lights scheduled.

Now I Want Everything To Be Smart!

I’m still not one to use smart technology that can record my conversations, but I am on board with ease and cost savings automation can bring.  There are a few more lights in my home that I would love to add automation to.  Then I could have one schedule that would have my home lights on for when I returned.  Lovely! 

I’ve also started investigating upgrading my heating system so that I can turn it on before I come home.  This would be especially fantastic after multiple days away as my flat freezes quite quickly.  Finally, the dream purchase would be an automated vacuum.  I love the idea of having my floors swept every day when I am not around.  My ultimate would be that all my electrical outlets are smart wired and connected to an app. This just makes so much sense but I can’t find anyone who has built that technology yet. Until then automated fairy lights are a fantastic treat! 

What have you automated in your home or plan to do?  I’d love to hear about it in the comments.  PF xo

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