At WiseGEEK, we're committed to delivering accurate, trustworthy information. Our expert-authored content is rigorously fact-checked and sourced from credible authorities. Discover how we uphold the highest standards in providing you with reliable knowledge.

Learn more...

What is a Smart Home?

Geri Terzo
Geri Terzo

A smart home is one that can be controlled by the touch of a button. Through home automation, an entire house can be connected via a smart home controller. This acts like a remote control to activate household systems, such as sprinkler units, and to monitor inside temperatures. If done successfully, a smart home system will be integrated so seamlessly that a household will appear to run itself.

Home automation is designed to introduce convenience and efficiency to a home. It achieves this by saving homeowners time and money. An efficient smart home uses sensors to prevent over-watering of outdoor gardens, monitors water heating systems, and can control room temperatures, all of which can reduce expenses. In addition to cost savings, home automation often provides a sense of security to homeowners.

Man with a drill
Man with a drill

Families with children or elderly adults in the home might be reassured by some of the safeguards inherent in smart home security, such as burglar and fire alarms that alert the appropriate agencies in the event of a problem. Additionally, a smart home continues operating whether home owners are there or not. Lighting activation runs on timers, as may appliances, which can be a life saver if an oven is left on when someone leaves the home. In addition to protecting people, home automation also offers security for expensive items inside a residence.

Home automation is not just for safety, however. It can also provide luxury and convenience to people living in the home. With a centralized control unit, a person does not have to leave the couch to turn down the blinds or even to order groceries, which can be automated. While this is considered a convenience to many, people living with physical handicaps may rely on the features of a smart home to accomplish mundane tasks that might otherwise be difficult or impossible.

There are some drawbacks with an automated home system. Such a home becomes dependent on technology for routine tasks, including locking and unlocking the front door and setting a fire alarm. If something goes wrong with the central automation unit, it is not just one appliance at stake as malfunctions can disrupt systems that are vital to running a home. Instead of being a place of refuge, a home can become a place of technical glitches that repeatedly require repair.

Discuss this Article

Post your comments
Forgot password?
    • Man with a drill
      Man with a drill