Theoretically speaking, Smart home upgrades may be very savvy and futuristic, making them highly appealing to us. But just how practical are they in terms of real world expense? A recent study on energy usage and cost impacts found that lower income users will need their current energy bill to increase by at least double, in order for them to consider making major home upgrades.

Image depicting cost trouble

A hefty price to pay?

Source: moneyaware.co.uk

 

However, the situation isn’t necessarily bad, as there are many individual Smart home appliances/devices that are relatively inexpensive. In order to give you the full picture, we’ve discussed the basic methods of home automation as well as how you should go about turning your home into a smart home:

 

Firstly, something you should know:

Smart homes may not exactly be inexpensive, but the fact that there is no affordability in them, isn’t true at all. There are ways in which you can effectively plan and carry out step-by-step, the entire automation of your home.

Illustration depicting making a plan

Plan your smart home project

Source: dreamstime.com

 

Time is the essential factor when it comes to cost-effective smart home solutions. If you plan out your devices and gradually add upgrades to your home, the cost factor can be taken care of quite efficiently. Here are the basic two basic classification when it comes to Smart home installations:

 

  1. Point systems (plug and play devices)

There are many smart devices that, as the name suggests, can effectively be unpacked, plugged in, set up, and used. These devices can cost you as little as 3000 INR, and go all the way into tens of thousands of rupees. Pricing is one of the foremost advantages of point devices. For example: Consider a simple Smart security camera unit, as opposed to a  full-fledged smart home security system. There will be a clear difference between the two, in terms of cost.

Pros:

  • Relatively easy set up
  • Flexibility to evolve and upgrade your devices/systems as per your changing lifestyle
  • Pricing and versatility

Cons:

  • Long term reliability is questionable
  • Possible compatibility issues between different brands
  • Limited ‘Smartness’, since the devices usually aren’t multi-applicable.
Nest indoor WiFi camera

Plug in and secure, with the Nest smart camera

Source

 

  1. Fully integrated systems

Some Smart home solutions come as a full package, and are meant to be completely integrated with your home environment. In this category, you can either have complete home system upgrades, or retrofitted system upgrades. In both cases, you will most likely have to hire a  technical expert. This is because such systems have their own hardware/software requirements that need to be looked into by experienced professionals.

Pros:

  • Long term reliability
  • Expert setup ensures avoidance of error
  • Ability to customize precisely as per your needs

Cons:

  • Too much cohesion. Meaning that the entire system is vulnerable in case of a cyber attack/breach
  • Not a lot of scope for dynamic or device-specific upgrades
  • Cost
Illustration of fully integrated/retrofitted home automation system

A home that knows all, does all

Source: hypernet.co.id

 

Although full system integration has far more long-term reliability as compared to ‘point devices’, the cost is also significantly higher.

 

Here’s what you can do

In order to keep the expense low, you will have to plan your entire home automation in terms of individual devices, and build on them over time. For example: First you could buy a Smart security camera. Then after some time, consider buying a Smart lock and integrate both the devices onto a single platform. In this way, you could go on building your Smart home environment through timely/occasional upgrades.

Want to a cost-effective solution to your smart home goals? Just get in touch with us and we’ll be glad to walk you through it!


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