A smart home is made up of different tech that talks to each other via your WiFi and can be controlled with your smartphone. Setting up your smart home couldn't be easier. This page will help you learn more about smart home technology and how it can benefit you.
Smart sockets and switches
Smart speakers allow you to control your smart tech with voice commands, which is ideal if you are in the middle of cooking in the kitchen and your hands are messy.
Smart speakers can also play your music, read you the latest headlines, remind you about upcoming events in your calendar or even call your mum!
Smart motion sensors can be paired with other smart devices such as lights or plugs to turn your tech on when you enter a room. They can also detect whether you or your family has left the room and turn off products to save you energy.
Smart door and window sensors can alert you if you have left a window open, giving you peace of mind when you are away from home.
There are many ways to control the smart lighting in your home. Control your lights with your phone or set a schedule to have them turn off and on when you like. You can control your lights with your voice through a smart speaker or even use motion sensors to automate your system.
Our range of smart lighting includes white bulbs where the brightness and warmth can be changed or coloured bulbs that can shine in any colour you desire.
Smart hubs are a simple solution to controlling your smart tech via one app. All of your smart tech connects to the hub and you control the hub.
Some smart tech products - such as the Samsung SmartThings - require a hub to work, whilst others like Philips Hue or Hive do not need a hub to work but can be added to one. Additional tech can then be added to the hub, creating one ecosystem.
We have a large range of smart security devices to give you the peace of mind you need when you are away from home - from smart doorbells that allow you to communicate with visitors to smart locks that can be controlled whilst you are at work.
We also have a large range of alarms and cameras that can be monitored remotely, because there is no better feeling than knowing your home is secure
Introducing smart appliances into your kitchen gives you more control over the meals you cook and a greater understanding of how your machines are performing.
From ovens that cook your roast beef to perfection, to smart fridge freezers that can track the food in your fridge and alert you if there is a mechanical issue, we have a range of smart appliances that will make your life easier.
There are so many smart devices on the market these days, you may already have some without even knowing. Do you have a smartwatch or a TV streaming device? If so, it may be worthwhile buying smart products that are compatible, so you can start building up an ecosystem that talks to each other.
What phone do you have?
A lot of the smart tech we sell can be controlled with your smartphone. Does your phone run an Android or Apple operating system? Once you know this, you can find the smart tech that works best for you.
Having products that work together is essential to building a smart home that works seamlessly. The selection of smart home products you have in your house is called an ecosystem. Some of the biggest ecosystems right now are made by brands you'll recognise and may already own:
Your Google ecosystem can be controlled with your voice via the Google speakers range. Equally, Google supports all iPhone and Android phones.
Apple's ecosystem is called HomeKit. They support a huge range of smart home products. Great if you have an iPhone or Apple Watch.
Just say "Hey Alexa..." to control your Amazon ecosystem via your Amazon echo speakers. Ask her to dim your lights, turn the kettle on, or find out what the weather will be.
Will my WiFi be able to handle new smart products?
Home broadband services are getting faster and faster these days. One of the reasons for this is the amount of connected or “smart” devices we now have in our home.
The speed you need for your smart home depends on how many products you have and how much bandwidth your other activities take up (e.g. streaming movies). We recommend you are getting speeds of at least 10mbps in the areas you will be placing your smart home devices.
Can I mix and match brands, or should I try to stick to one?
Many brands are now working together to create smart home products that talk to each other, so you do not have to stick to one brand.
It is worth checking before you buy a smart product that it will work with other products you own. If not, look for a brand that will.
Can I access smart products from anywhere?
Any smart home products that are connected to your wifi will be controllable from your smartphone or tablet, wherever you are. Certain features, like cameras, may be limited if you are not signed into the system with a username and password for security reasons.
What is a smart hub?
Smart hubs act as one point of contact for all of your smart devices to connect to. This allows you to control all compatible devices on one system, rather than having a different app for different products.
Some products need a smart hub to function. Check the product details on a product page to find out.
How to check how many devices are connected to your WiFi?
There are a few ways to check how many products are connected to your WiFi. Some routers allow you to check this via their app or a program on your desktop. These programs usually allow you to limit access rights for certain products.
Alternatively, there are apps available that show you what internet speeds you are getting and what products are connected to your WiFi. Just search in your app store from your smartphone.
When was smart home invented?
There is no definitive date for when “smart home” as we know it today was invented. The idea of home automation started in science fiction in the 50s and has been an ongoing fascination for people since.
The first connected devices that we can call smart were our smartphones, that started appearing from about 1998. Since then more and more devices have been added to the smart home (sometimes called IOT - The Internet Of Things). Who knows where will be in 10 years time?
How do I control smart home products?
Almost all smart home products are controlled with an app on your smartphone or tablet. You can also set up smart speakers that allow you to control your smart tech with your voice.
Why not try setting up smart products to work on a timed schedule or via sensors placed around your home, so your house becomes truly automated?
How can I personalise my smart home?
Creating your own network of smart products gives you ultimate control of your home. You can set up different light levels depending on who is home. You can set a heating schedule to fit around your work shifts.
Some smart devices, like smart heating or smart speakers, learn with you. The more you use them, the more they build up a picture of your daily habits, allowing you to personalise your experience even further.
How many smart homes are there in the UK?
According to YouGov’s 2019 Smarthome report, 23% of British homes have a smart device in their home, excluding smartphones. That is 100% more than the report showed in 2017 and the number continues to soar.
Estimates are that by 2025 80% of British homes will have technology that automates something in the home.
How secure are smart homes?
Whilst Alexa does listen out for you to ask her a command, you have to use specific commands for each device before they start listening to you, such as “Hey Alexa…”, so don’t worry, you are not being spied on.
Just like your laptop or smartphone, a smart home can be hacked or get a virus. To protect your smart home, follow the same basic rules as you do for your home computers or phones:
Set up passwords for your network and devices that are not easy to guess and do not share them with anyone.
Keep your products updated with the latest software.
Set permissions for your connected devices, so only you or selected users can access them.