Once upon a time, kids had to actually get off the couch to change the channel on the TV. If you were lucky enough to have a garage, you had to manually open and close the door. Washing machines didn’t sing, someone was always “forgetting” to refill the ice cube trays, and our ceiling fans didn’t understand English.
It’s tough to imagine how we managed to get by with such rudimentary appliances, isn’t it? These days, we can walk into a room all Jetsons like, speak our wishes into the air, and POOF: Short of the ham sandwich we’ll still have to make for ourselves, our homes are practically at our beck and call. Alexa, play The Rolling Stones. Turn on the hall light. Bump up the heat. Feed the dog. Close the garage door.
When it comes to smart home technology, some homeowners are throwing privacy-related red flags. But more and more Dallas/Fort Worth families are jumping on the Internet of Things (IoT) bandwagon as they look to automate their lives.
Why You Shouldn’t DIY Your Smart Home System
While there are some simple, plug-and-play gadgets available—like Google Home and Amazon Alexa—going all-in on smart home technology isn’t a DIY deal. Even if you’re the early-adopter type, there’s more than technology involved with smart homes. Something has to power all those gadgets, for example, and if you want to take advantage of all the IoT-world has to offer, you’re going to need the expertise of a Dallas/Fort Worth electrician.
To be clear, if all you’re after is a wifi-enabled smart speaker to boss around, you can probably handle the install. But that’s not what we’re talking about here. True home automation requires multiple, interconnected devices and a hub or control system to make sure they play nicely together—without having to download and use multiple apps. Imagine being able to give one voice command, such as, “Get ready for bed,” and having your home automagically respond by setting the timer on the coffee maker, dimming the living room lights, playing soft music in the bedroom, setting your alarm, and double-checking the garage door and front door locks.
That’s entirely possible, but here’s the bottom line: If you try to DIY a system like that, you’ll quickly find yourself immersed in geek-speak about home automation protocols and all sorts of unfamiliar vocabulary and best-practice recommendations like neutral wires, in-wall transmitters, deep junction boxes, whole-house surge protection, non-automation loads, and more. Again, not every tech-enabled convenience requires the help of a Dallas/Fort Worth electrician, but if you’re considering anything that requires messing with actual wires, it’s critical to involve an expert. That includes:
- Light switches
- Wall outlets
- Sprinkler controllers
- Smoke alarms
How to Choose Smart Home Components
If you start Googling “IoT” and “smart homes,” you may find the results overwhelming and confusing. Whose recommendations should you trust? How can you know for sure that the system you’re mapping out will actually do what you want it to do? If something goes wonky, do you understand what you’re doing well enough to effectively troubleshoot?
Honestly, the last thing any of us needs is more technical difficulties. Your smart home should make your life easier, not more frustrating.
So there’s another reason to involve an electrician in your smart home installation: We’ve already done the research and we understand what’s possible. Make a list of what you’re hoping to gain from your smart home, and we’ll help you make it happen—from designing the system to getting the components at the best price to installing it all. Give us a call today!