A smart house journey

Starting the journey

“It is good to have an end to journey toward; but it is the journey that matters, in the end”

Ursula K. LeGuin

Taking the first step towards making a smart house began innocently enough. While remodeling our home, a simple scenario was identified by our electrician; the utility room is separate from our main house. In the dark having the outside light on while returning to the front door made sense, but how would I turn off the light?

This journey could have ended as quickly as it started, had we just installed a motion activated light this problem could have vanished. Motion sensor lights are autonomous and unable to work with other devices in general, plus they are not aesthetically pleasing. This event gently coaxed my mind down the path of researching smart switches and bulbs, and that is how the journey began.

Guiding the journey

Starting by researching all the gadgets can be overwhelming, but many simple common sense solutions can be applied. As we dive into the sea of gadgets to automate our lives. Developing a set of principles to test if the journey takes us towards an ultimate destination is helpful to focus where we invest our time, money, and intellect.

My principles for smart houses:
  1. Smart things should function even when they are dumb
  2. Smart things should create an experience, but rarely seen
  3. Smart things can be practical and ordinary
  4. Smart houses should do more for you, than you for them

With these basic principles, this blog will focus on providing useful information to help you think about your journey to make a smart house.

Getting started

Smart devices

Finding all the gadgets has been a boost to starting this journey, this is a fun area for me, who doesn’t like looking at gadgets? To get you excited here is a small list of devices to check out now:

Keep in mind this is a very short list of gadgets, but a good one to start on your journey of smart home gadgets

common sense

Implementing non-gadget solutions in a house still makes it smart; this area is one I am paying more and more attention to as I realize not all smarts are gadgets. A short list of these ideas look like:

Keeping in mind that smart ideas can be staring you right in the face, and not cost a few hundred dollars per device! Letting common sense drive design often results in a smarter house without all the bugs!

Reading this blog

Sharing this experience serves two primary purposes: first, a journal of my journey to reflect on and learn from, second, a beacon for new people thinking about creating a smart house. The experiences shared via this blog will provide information on real world usage from day one through at least a month’s worth of usage. I will share actual costs where I can, and talk about customer support for companies I’ve had to contact. I’d love to hear any and all feedback, as well as suggestions for gadgets and topics to cover.