General-SmartHome

How to Build the Ultimate Smart Home

So you’re looking to build the ultimate smart home but want to know how? We’ve worked together here at BT Shop to bring you this guide and how you can build the ultimate smart home.

Lighting

The ultimate smart home wouldn’t be complete without a host of smart bulbs. We stock a wide range of smart bulbs from the world’s leading smart home manufacturers including Philips and TP-Link.

TP-Link Smart Bulbs - shop.bt.com
TP-Link Smart Bulbs – shop.bt.com

We should point out that some manufacturers opt for a ‘bridge’ system when it comes to their smart bulbs, whereas other build the technology right into the bulbs. Philips adopt the bridge system whereas TP Link build the technology right into the bulbs so no need to connect anything to your router.

If you’re looking to build the ‘ultimate’ smart home then we’d recommend going with the Philips Hue system as you can easily connect up to 50 bulbs to one bridge. For people with large homes this is ideal.

Philips Hue - shop.bt.com
Philips Hue – shop.bt.com

If you don’t want to plug a bridge into your router then go for the TP-Link bulbs. Both offer very similar features, however, the TP-Link bulbs do not work with Apple Homekit (note: there is an iOS app).

When selecting the bulbs, note that there are usually a few different options and not all bulbs support ‘colours’. Some smart bulbs will only have white light (usually the cheaper option in the range).

Heating

When it comes to smart heating in the UK you’ve got multiple options, Google’s ‘Nest’, British Gas’ ‘Hive’, Tado and Honeywell.

Tado - shop.bt.com
Tado – shop.bt.com

Don’t get us wrong, each system is great and has their own unique benefits but we’re big fans of the functionality and looks of both Google’s Nest and Tado.

Nest are currently in their 3rd generation and Tado have been perfecting their product since 2010.

Both apps are really slick and use the location of your smartphone to identify whether you’re in your home in order to save money on your heating bills.

Power

You’ve probably had your energy supplier asking you to upgrade to a smart meter by now? Well, why not go one further and use smart plugs on all your top appliances in order to save even more energy?

Energenie Mi Home Starter Pack
Energenie Mi Home Starter Pack – shop.bt.com

Our range of TP-Link smart plugs allow you to save energy and control your devices/ appliances using your smartphone. Plus, they’re Alexa enabled so you can turn whatever is plugged in using your voice.

Security

We all want our homes to be as secure as possible so why not ensure that your home security products hook up to the rest of your smart home eco system. We’ve got full ranges from Ring and Netgear’s Arlo that would work perfectly within the perfect smart home.

Is there anything worse than arriving home from work to see a note from the postman?

‘Sorry we missed you, your parcel will be ready for collection from tomorrow afternoon”

With the Ring Video Doorbell this is no longer an issue, answer the door from anywhere with the Ring app on your smartphone. The doorbell also works perfectly alongside the Ring Stick-up cam, is there motion outside your house when you and your partner are at work? You’ll get notified on your smartphone similar to the way you do when there’s someone at your door. Plus, with 2-way talk you can even speak to whoever is outside your house.

Ring Stick Up Cam
Ring Stick Up Cam – shop.bt.com

We’ve been using both the Video Doorbell and the Stick-up cam here at BT Shop for about 12 months now and don’t know where we’d be without them.

Ring Video Doorbell - Satin Nickel
Ring Video Doorbell – Satin Nickel – shop.bt.com

If it’s just a security camera system you’re after then it’s Netgear’s Arlo you need. Similar to the Ring stick-up camera but with more camera options. Choose from Arlo Baby, Arlo Pro, Arlo and Arlo Go, there really is something for every household.

Arlo Pro - shop.bt.com
Arlo Pro – shop.bt.com

Entertainment

Arguably the most important part of any smart home, TV, speakers and anything you can get to work alongside them!

TV

For us at BT Shop, if building the ultimate smart home we’d have to go with a 4K Ultra HD Smart TV from LG. The operating system built into the TV’s have all the apps and their ‘magic remotes‘ make flicking through apps and typing a breeze.

LG 55 UJ670V - shop.bt.com
LG 55 UJ670V – shop.bt.com

Speakers

Ok, so you’ve got the picture quality but have you got the sound quality to go alongside it.

Although a lot of the manufacturers now manage to pack half decent speakers into their super thin displays, there’s no denying that a quality soundbar will dramatically improve the viewing experience.

 

LG Electronics SH7 360W 4.1 - shop.bt.com
LG Electronics SH7 360W 4.1 – shop.bt.com

LG are now incorporating things such as Chromecast so you can stream directly from your smartphone to your speakers, perfect for if you’re having friends round for dinner or unwinding after a long day at work.

Wearables

You will have heard of fitness trackers by now.  But what about fitness trackers with smart home capabilities? How about a fitness tracker that can tell your heating to come on when you wake up?

Well, with the Fitbit fitness trackers with heart rate monitors you can do just that using IFTTT. Check out the Fitbit Charge HR 2 if you want a slim band with smart watch functionality plus the ability to control your smart home.

Fitbit Charge 2 – shop.bt.com

 

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