5 smart home tricks that will save you money and nerves

Smart Home Trick Number 1 – Asking the Crucial Questions

If you want to convert your home into a smart home, you have the choice of a smart home system with coordinated components or a combination of devices from different manufacturers.

Smart Home Expert Trick: Regardless of the decision, you should answer two questions in advance:

Should the smart home be operable by voice? Which wireless standard should be selected?

If the answer to the first question is yes, smart home friends should commit to a voice assistant as early as possible. You can choose between Alexa from Amazon, Google Assistant from Google and Siri from Apple.

If you have decided on a smart home assistant, we recommend checking with the manufacturer of the smart home system to see whether it is compatible with the desired assistant.

The second fundamental decision that many smart home beginners overlook is the choice of wireless standard. WiFi and ZigBee are particularly popular here. WiFi devices are cheap, but they need more power and good WiFi coverage. In comparison, ZigBee devices are more cost-intensive, but also more energy-saving and expand the ZigBee network with each new device, just like a mesh system.

Smart Home Expert Trick: If the devices of different wireless standards are Alexa-compatible, with a little luck they can be related to Alexa routines. If you want to assemble a smart home with devices that support different wireless standards, you can do this with the modular home system, for example, even afterwards.

Amazon Echo (4th Gen.) | anthracite

Amazon Echo (4th generation) with integrated ZigBee hub

All Alexa functions, high sound quality and integrated ZigBee hub

Smart home trick number 2 – keep track of things and gain new ideas

A smart home can often only do the things that the individual components offer. The technical progress that is taking place in the Internet of Things is enormous. Voice assistants are a matter of course and devices that were expensive premium products two or three years ago are now affordable, state-of-the-art products. For example WLAN radio-controlled sockets with integrated consumption meters. Our editorial recommendation TP-Link HS110 is now available for just over 20 euros (as of 09/2020). The device can be used to identify power guzzlers or to completely switch off devices such as televisions that otherwise consume energy in stand-by mode using a smartphone app or voice command.

Smart Home Expert Trick: It may sound trite at first, but keep up to date. In this way you gain new ideas and keep track of what is happening on the market. If you don't always want to google for new products yourself, you can also automatically get information about smart home innovations and exciting products. This is possible, for example, via our 14-day home & smart newsletter.

Smart Home Trick Number 3 – Buy At The Right Time And Save Money

Smart devices are more expensive compared to their analog relatives. This is because the devices require a radio chip and the manufacturer also has to spend money on software development for app control and programming the intelligent functions. In addition, the products must be continuously adapted to current requirements, e.g. B. in the form of security patches and firmware updates.

But at certain times of the year smart home devices are offered at enormously discounted prices. Smart Home friends should therefore always keep an eye on the following dates and coordinate them with planned purchases:

Black Friday – this is what the USA calls the first Friday after Thanksgiving. Traditionally, electronic devices are then offered at a greatly reduced price. Black Friday has now established itself in Germany and will take place on November 27 this year. (Status: 2020) Amazon Prime Day: On Amazon Prime Day, the e-commerce retailer discounts many item prices exclusively for members of Amazon Prime. Originally only for one day, Amazon Prime Day has now been extended to two days. This year the deal days are expected in early October. (Status: 2020) Amazon summer offers: The Amazon summer offers can be compared with the traditional summer sales. Technology enthusiasts will find some super bargains here. The summer offers took place from July 1st to 15th in 2020. Cyber ​​Monday: Cyber ​​Monday was originally the response of online retailers to Black Friday, which was then heavily influenced by offline retail. In the meantime, the term Cyber ​​Week has also established itself, as retailers usually lure them with offers for a week. Cyber ​​Monday falls on the fourth Thursday in November, i.e. November 26th. (Status: 2020) Last Minute Deals Christmas: At Christmas time Amazon regularly calls out the last minute deals. The e-commerce retailer then attracts technology fans with offers that change on a daily basis. The start time varies.

Smart Home Expert Trick: Mark the above dates in bold in the calendar and then save a lot.

Smart Home Trick Number 4: Automate ostom lockdown with smart routines

It is the secret power guzzlers that add up to energy costs. Users can usually recognize them by the glowing little LED lights that indicate that the device is in standby mode. Their representatives include televisions, stereos or computers and lamps. Devices that can only be completely switched off directly on the device itself.

Of course, residents can get used to the daily round of the house before going to bed and switch off all electronic devices manually, but it is much easier to switch off the devices with a single voice command. Because, hand on heart: who doesn't like to watch a movie in the evening and is then too tired to get up again to unplug electrical appliances? In the course of the year, “the few cents” will turn into a penny, for which energy savers can then afford one or the other smart gadget.

Smart Home Expert Trick: Using Smart Home Routines, users can specify automatic operations in which several devices are switched simultaneously with one command. For example, if the devices are Alexa-compatible, they can be switched off using an Alexa routine with a self-defined voice command. If the devices are not Alex-compatible, a compatible radio-controlled socket, into which the electrical device is then plugged, helps. With “Alexa, send devices to sleep”, all power guzzlers can then be switched off completely. Of course, this also works in the opposite direction; users only need to define a wake-up routine. This smart home trick also works in the same way with Google Assistant or Siri-compatible HomeKit devices.

Smart home trick number 5: IFTTT – the adhesive for different devices

A smart home can only show its capabilities when the individual components can communicate with one another. If the motion sensor detects a person on the basement stairs, the smart light ideally switches on automatically. The logic behind this is therefore linked to an if-then condition. If a state occurs, an action predefined by the user should occur. Anyone who opts for a smart home system will benefit from the optimized cooperation between the devices, because everything comes from a single manufacturer.

The situation is different when components from different manufacturers are used in a smart home. This is not unusual, because sometimes a device is in operation whose manufacturer may have disappeared from the market or someone buys a solution from a third-party provider because it is not offered by the manufacturer of their own smart home system.

Smart Home Expert Trick: If Smart Home devices are in use that cannot connect to each other, the IFTTT service helps. Translated, IFTTT means "IF This, Than That". Users can connect devices and services that are IFTTT-compatible. Ready-made “recipes” save you tinkering and offer a multitude of ideas. For private users, the free use is limited to 3 of their own applets; those who want more can choose between three regular subscription models from 3.99 US dollars per month.

Smart high fidelity loudspeaker with 3D audio and Alexa.-13%

Smart high fidelity loudspeaker with 3D audio and Alexa.

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