In a rush to make your flight on time, you leave your house, forgetting to close the garage door and switch off the lights, but it’s too late. As a result, you open your home automation app, close the garage door and turn off the lights because you have a smart home in South Africa. Technology has done it again! It has made your life simpler and safer, which is essential in today’s economic climate.
Smart home automation defined
I continually wonder how to convert ‘dumb’ homes to smart homes in South Africa. A smart home gets set with linking devices to a network. Consequently, homeowners can control the network using voice commands or smartphone apps.
The technology driving smart homes in South Africa empowers citizens to take back some control of utilities like water and electricity. Although the upfront investment can be high, the long-term savings of being off the grid can be substantial.
How smart homes in South Africa save money
Some household items like geysers, pool pumps and heating appliances consume far more electricity than others. Devices like smart plugs, controllers and isolators empower homeowners to track and control these items by scheduling on and off cycles at specific times and days.
Manage electrically powered appliances and irrigation systems. Smart home apps can detect rainy days and prolong the turning on of these items until necessary. All these tech-enabled products bring down costs and improve home maintenance efficiency.
Smart home products in South Africa that save money
Before setting up your smart home in South Africa, ensure you have a good fibre internet connection covering all areas of your home. Also, the WiFi router you have will determine how many devices you can connect simultaneously. The more devices you join, the more bandwidth you need, which your router handles, not your fibre internet connection.
1. Smart bulbs
Arguably the easiest way to start saving money with a smart home in South Africa is to screw in new light bulbs. All smart LED light bulbs use at least 75% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. They can also dim down, adding an estimated 40% additional cost savings.
2. Smart switch
Coupled with the smart bulb is a smart, in-wall switch that controls the time that lights switch on and off. For security purposes, you can have lights switched on and off at different times during the night. If you need some light while leaving early for work, you can program the bulbs to switch on before sunrise and switch off just after you leave the house. This type of smart home product in South Africa is great for security.
Rather than an electrician installing a switch for you, smart plugs are a good alternative. You can plug lamps and other small appliances into these smart devices with the same scheduling functionality.
3. Smart water-saving technology
In the US, the EPA has reported that household water leaks account for roughly four trillion litres of wasted water every year. Smart leak sensors monitor kitchen sinks, toilets, and other leaky areas like outside taps. When a leak gets detected, a notification is sent to a phone. The leak can get attention before escalating.
Furthermore, you can fit smart devices on your water main, and when leaks get detected, they shut off the water supply to your house, avoiding any costly wastage and household damage.
Smart garden watering devices control waste by regulating how much you use. They measure things like soil moisture and plant types and link to information about weather patterns, so no more watering your garden just before a rainstorm.
4. Heating in smart homes in South Africa
Smart thermostats optimize the heating in smart homes in South Africa by controlling appliances like air conditioners. The Google Nest Learning Thermostat automatically adjusts temperatures based on consumers’ habits, location, and the time it takes to warm your home.
If you need to cool down, fitting a motion sensor to a ceiling fan keeps them running when needed. A regular standing fan and a smart plug can achieve similar results if your home doesn’t have ceiling fans.
Devices suck power without being used
Speakers, TVs, and kettles use power even when not in use. Smart plugs can monitor the energy used by any plug-in device. Smart plugs cut the power completely when devices are not in use saving unnecessary costs.