5 Types of Wi-Fi Home Automation Apps to Control Your Home
You own the only remote you’ll ever need. No, not the universal remote you got for Christmas two years ago–we’re talking about your phone. Using a range of smartphone apps, your phone can control appliances, lighting, and heating in your home from anywhere. The era of the smartphone-controlled home is here, and it’s helping homeowners control their energy while improving security and personal comfort.
Smart Remote Control for Lamps and Lighting
A number of apps and hardware allow you to turn your smartphone into a light control remote. Light control apps allow you to check if you left the lights on when you’re away from the house, turn lights on and off remotely, set times when lights automatically turn on or off, and even change light color to create a specific atmosphere.
Smart bulbs are a simple way to gain remote control for lamps. Bulbs such as the Philips Hue come with apps compatible with iPhones and Androids, and work well for controlling individual lights. Smart bulb apps can control multiple lights as long as they all use the same brand of bulbs.
Adjust Your Thermostat with Remote Apps
We consume large amounts of energy heating and cooling our homes, a fact that’s reflected on monthly utility bills. Smart thermostats such as Google Nest’s Learning Thermostat and Honeywell allow homeowners to monitor their thermostats, controlling home temperatures and HVAC energy consumption.
Using the smart thermostat’s accompanying app, smartphone users can create daily schedules, setting the thermostat to lower levels when no-one is in the house, for instance, and turning up the heat just before people get home. And of course you can adjust the thermostat at any time directly from your app.
Smart homes have revolutionized home security. If you use motion-activated lights, the same app you use to turn them on will send you notifications if they detect unusual motion. Left the house only to wonder if you locked the front door? Smart lock apps can check for you–and lock the door if needed. You can even use smart locks to grant entry permission to specific individuals, such as the neighbor who waters your plants when you’re away from home.
Smart doorbells like the Ring Video Doorbell send video of whoever’s ringing the bell directly to your phone, so you know exactly who’s outside. If you’re out (or just don’t want to open the door), you can use the app to talk to your visitor.
Energy-Controlling Smart Apps
Many of the electronics in today’s homes are always on–even when they appear to be off. Televisions, game consoles, and any device with a built-in clock drain energy when they’re not in use, and these so-called “energy vampires” consume a significant amount of energy over the course of the year.
Smart plugs offer a way to lower energy costs associated with energy draining appliances. A smart plug acts as an intermediary device between an appliance and the wall outlet, allowing the user to determine when power flows to the appliance. Using smartphone apps allows users to determine when electronics receive electricity, so the coffee pot will come on at the same time every morning!
Smart Television Apps
Television remotes, like socks in the dryer, have a mysterious tendency to go missing, slipping between cushions, hiding under magazines, and just generally not being there when you need them. You know what few people misplace? Their phones.
Smart televisions come with remote apps you can download on Android and iOS devices, allowing you to control the television directly from your phone. You can use the app to perform exactly the same functions as a physical remote, without the hassle of changing batteries or wondering who walked off with it.