smart home guide

The smart home guide: how to automate your home

Turning on the lights with a voice command, activating appliances with a single control and having a robot that does the cleaning are already possible realities in a smart home . You know all those ideas, which seemed crazy in fiction movies about what the environments of the future would be like?

It is possible to start home automation without spending a lot. Here, we separate all the products you need to automate your space and turn it into a smart home . Ready to connect everything? Give a search!

smart home Automation

Still don’t know what home automation is? We take a step back and explain. Also read: Home automation: know what a smart home is

Virtual Assistant

virtual assistant
Example of using Amazon’s Echo Dot 3. 
To turn off the lights, you also need a smart light bulb.

Smart speakers are the most popular home automation items in the world, as well as being the first step towards a smart home. The devices work as virtual assistants activated by voice commands, through artificial intelligence. Basically, they are the general commanders of the smart home, as they manage the tasks and enable the activation of the devices through speech.

Alexa and Google Assistant are the assistants available on the market and integrate various devices. Among the functions, you can set reminders, play a playlist from your favorite music streaming service , with Deezer or Spotify , make calls and, most interestingly, control your home appliances by voice . Amazon’s smart speakers, with Alexa, are the most popular, but there’s already the Google Nest Mini , Apple’s HomePod, etc. and range between $200 and $800.

The most important point of the process is that the device is compatible with the virtual assistant and has remote control. That is, be activated via infrared. If your electronics don’t support this technology, you’ll need a second device for voice activation to work: an infrared controller.

To better understand what the virtual assistant can do, also read: Understand: how Alexa works and cool things it can do for you

infrared control

Infrared control, also called universal control or HUB, is the second essential for the smart home. The function of the control is to connect with household appliances – those that do not have direct support for virtual assistants – through infrared waves, so that smart speakers can direct commands.

Unlike a smart speaker, the operation of this item does not involve artificial intelligence. They are, therefore, complementary to assistants and the flow occurs as follows: the command is activated with Alexa or Google Assistant, they encode the action for the universal control and, finally, this sends it to the electronics of the house with infrared. .

Broadlink RM Mini 3 and Geonav are two very popular options in the technology market, both with Wi-Fi connection. Also a popular alternative is the infrared control from Positivo, the national brand. If you don’t want to invest in the smart speaker, the controls also offer their own applications to command directly from the cell phone, without the use of speech.

Lighting

A constant expense in any environment is the electricity bill. For smart homes, the options are many, from small light fixtures to switches that control up to 3 light bulbs. All, of course, with the voice command. To better understand the differences, we explain them below.

smart lamps

smart lamps
Smart lamp control by mobile app.

Smart lamps , or smart lamps, are an easy and inexpensive way to start venturing into the world of home automation. They are usually made of RGB LED, a technology that is more economical than the traditional ones and has 3 LEDs of different colors, allowing the choice of different shades, between purple, red, yellow, blue, etc. Traditional white, on the other hand, has a graduation between hot and cold.

The operation is very simple: just fit the smart lamp and control it through the smartphone app or even integrate the virtual assistants, with the help of the smart speaker . That is, in this case, the use does not depend on the infrared or directly from the smart speaker. The option to use the virtual assistant is the extra feature that allows voice command and that makes perfect sense in a smart home because of its practicality. After all, who has never suffered a little when having to get out of bed because they forgot to turn off the light ?

Xiaomi ‘s smart bulb , Yeelight, is an option on the market, as is Positivo’s smart bulb. When choosing, it is worth paying attention to which control the chosen model uses, as compatibility may vary.

smart switches

smart switches
Smart switch also allows voice command and cell phone control. 

If you prefer specific lamps or do not want to change the ones already used for smart ones, smart switches are a good alternative to achieve the same effect in automation. These have the same control features, including voice, and also work with Wi-Fi. The difference, however, is with the installation.

While smart bulbs are extremely easy to install, switches require direct wiring. Therefore, the task will demand skilled labor. As already mentioned, they can be controlled through Alexa or Google Assistant and also do not rely on infrared.

One of the best known on the market is the Sonoff switch, which has models for connecting up to 3 lights simultaneously. With it, you can schedule times to turn the light on and off, such as when you get home, and adjust the brightness. Finally, it is another step towards the house of the future.

Home appliances

smart devices

smart-home
Samsung Family Hub, smart fridge for a smart home.

Within the universe of smart homes, many manufacturers have explored technologies integrated into the home appliances themselves. Samsung, for example, has a line of smart appliances – some are already available here, such as the washing machine , refrigerator and robot vacuum cleaner . Among the functions most sought after by users is the possibility of control through virtual assistants or cell phones.

The Family Hub , Samsung’s smart line refrigerator , has a screen on the door to mirror the smartphone’s image, write reminders or the shopping list, see the weather forecast, etc. The refrigerator application also manages the food, informing you how many units you still have of a certain product, and informing your energy consumption. To ensure you make the right choice, review the services offered and, most importantly, check whether Alexa or Google Assistant is supported.

Smart Sockets

smart plugs
smart socket allows monitoring of the energy consumption of domestic appliances.

Alternative for those who cannot invest so much in a smart appliance , smart sockets are an option to make the home smart. This little device costs around R$ 100 and is nothing more than an adapter for the sockets of electronic devices that do not support personal assistants. The objective here is to offer some of the smart functions to the traditional device.

By connecting the socket to any appliance, you can turn it on and off directly from the mobile app and also monitor energy consumption. And the coolest thing: the socket is compatible with virtual assistants. So, imagine the scenario: you wake up, in the cold, and before you even get out of bed you can start the coffee maker . Depending on the distance, you don’t even have to move, just ask Alexa and she will do the commands.

Positivo has not only the socket, but the complete set for entering the world of home automation. The Connected Home Kit comes with the adapter, a smart lamp and an infrared control. With this, there is access to almost all the functions already mentioned so far, for a smart and functional home.

Cleaning

smart home automation
Robot vacuum cleaners do the cleaning automatically.

The robot vacuum cleaner is already known to many people and, in a smart home, it is only fair that cleaning is also automated. With the popularization of the device, it is now possible to find very affordable simple versions and smart versions , with values ​​between R$1500 and R$5000 – varying according to the features and powers. When choosing the ideal model, it is necessary to pay attention to the technical specifications.

The most important thing is: to accompany a remote control , because, in this way, there is the possibility of using the infrared control, the HUBs, and, therefore, of voice command with Alexa or Google Assistant. Among the functions of the most technological robots is the intelligent mapping of the environment to optimize navigation and avoid accidents, cameras to monitor the cleaning, battery sensor that makes it go back to the base by itself and it can even schedule times for the automatic cleaning .

To learn more about some options on the market, also read: How to choose the best robot vacuum cleaner?

Safety

Lastly, security is a point that always raises concerns. In this aspect, home automation has been an interesting feature that promises to bring a little more peace of mind, as it allows full control of the environment, even from a distance, when you are not at home. Two products that perform these roles well are smart locks (smart locks or electronic locks, as they are also called), and devices such as cameras and sensors. Here below, we explain better about it!

electronic locks

Similar to the system already used in hotels, electronic locks have the proposal to do away with keys. You know that story about staying out of the house? Smart locks, as they are also called , are unlocked using biometrics, an access key or cards, depending on the model chosen.

When we talk about home automation , many digital locks allow management through mobile applications. In other words, the screen provides you with images from the security cameras and, on it, the user decides whether or not to allow entry for those who are at the door. In addition, some models have a built-in security alarm, in case of break-in or many wrong attempts to enter the password.

The locks require a source of energy, which can be the electricity grid, from the house itself, or a battery of its own. There are already many options on the market, ranging from R$500 to R$2,000, each with specific features and functions. Therefore, it is worth being careful when buying. provides templates with passwords as well as biometrics for even more security.

Security cameras and sensors

Coming to the end of our list of items for a smart home, we have the cameras, which can be accessed directly from the smartphone, and the motion sensors, which detect “strange” presences in the internal environment. When we talk about home automation, the intention is that all points of the house are integrated and both fulfill this role.

With these technologies it is still possible to trigger alarms automatically in some programmable circumstances and, of course, control everything through Alexa or Google Assistant. Once again, the national company Positivo brought together the main pieces in the Casa Segura Kit, which comes with a security camera, motion sensor, opening sensor for drawers and cabinets, and a central control. With it, it is possible to carry out the main monitoring through the cell phone and connect the smart speakers .

So, were you able to clear your doubts about what you need to assemble a complete smart home? Now that you’ve learned the basics, learn how to build the perfect smart kitchen.

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