Innovations and smart technologies over the past decade have triggered a paradigm shift in people’s lifestyles. Things that we once thought could only be possible in the distant future are now a reality. Smart homes are one of them.
According to the new research report called “Smart Home Market with COVID-19 Impact Analysis,” the smart home market is likely to reach $135.3 billion by 2025, at a CAGR of 11.6 percent.
Smart homes come with hi-tech appliances, lights, a security system, and an HVAC system that you can control remotely via computers or through timers. There are various smart homes with automation systems that you can install to serve multiple purposes. Most of these systems can make your home more energy-efficient, safe, and comfortable.
In the US, Illinois is one of the growing markets of smart homes. Features such as automated lighting control, shading, and smart devices are getting increasingly common in homes and businesses. These smart homes can make your living more safe, secure, and green.
In Illinois, homeowners can get many benefits by installing smart homes, as they are 30 percent cheaper to operate and maintain than traditional homes. Estimates show that just using a smart thermostat device in a smart home can save a homeowner energy costs of nearly $150 annually.
How Do Smart Homes Work
There are various types of smart homes, such as full-floor and eco-smart, with their unique automation and smart home devices, which run through different operation methods. A smart home turns “smart” through automation by installing advanced technologies and equipment.
Usually, home automation works by installing smart devices to do specific tasks automatically. For example, a smart thermostat can adjust the room temperature according to previous settings or lights, and their sensor figures out when you are in the room and turns on as soon as you step into the room.
Most devices in a smart home can work remotely. Equipment like security systems, cameras, lights, and appliances can even work without any manual intervention.
You can also operate these devices through your computer or smartphone and control certain areas of your home remotely when you are away.
For example, when you are at work, you can use a smart camera to monitor your front door, unlock it for your family members, turn on the thermostat to regulate the room temperatures, and turn on the security lights around your property. These applications often include video feeds that will allow you to check things at home when you are away somewhere.
What Can You Automate in Your Smart Home?
You can automate nearly every room of your smart home and its exterior. Some of the crucial things you can automate are:
- Security systems
- Front door locks
- Security cameras
- HVAC system
- Kitchen appliances
- Window shades in the bedroom
- Interior lights
- Garage doors
You can install at least one type of these devices in all the rooms of your smart home. Most consumers pick a few things that they find most useful, like a smart security system, video monitoring, or sensor lights.
Crucial Aspects of a Smart Home
A hub is the primary controlling unit or equipment for all the devices in your smart home. A hub will help you control all the electronic devices or appliances to make your home centrally automated.
However, an increasing number of smart home devices are now having integrated controllers, which come with an IFTTT device to set up a connection or a built-in app that will allow you to control that device. The cost of hubs ranges from $80 to $100 each, and you may have to buy multiple hubs to control all the devices.
Singular software platforms are another type of hub that will enable you to control different devices in your home remotely by using an app, a device, or voice commands. There is a range of devices that you can choose from, although not all of them will be compatible with every device available on the market. This is why it is important to do detailed research to ensure that if you select a primary software as your hub, it works with all the devices in your smart home.
IFTTT is not a platform, but a collective range of free, web-based services through which you can control your smart home. Instead of using a hub, you can download an IFTTT on your desktop/laptop or smartphone and control other devices. Again, find devices, which would be compatible with the system.
Amazon’s Echo dot comes with a voice recognition program, “Alexa” that you can pair up with other devices and control them. Both Echo and Alexa work through Bluetooth by connecting smart devices within a home. On some occasions, you may need to pair Bluetooth first and then make a voice command. The Echo’s retail cost ranges from $50 to $200, which may vary depending on the model.
HomeKit is an Apple product, which has a wide range of items that are compatible with it. You can use either iPhone or Apple TV to make it work. You may also need to pick devices from Apple’s strategic partners such as Honeywell, Philips, and Haier to pair with their devices. The costs of HomeKit range between $150 and $250, which may go up fast if you pair up various devices with it.
Costs of Making Your Home Smart
The costs of home automation systems in a smart home such as remote monitoring, security system, smart thermostats/lights, and cameras vary across different brands. Usually, most consumers pay roughly $1,000 per room in their smart home for automation, which will go up substantially with customization.
There are unlimited ways to automate and customize your smart home. We have given a breakdown of the most popular home automation devices for smart homes:
$150 – $1,000
$130 – $250
$50 – $130
$30 – $60
$50 – $55
Garage Door Openers
$130 – $210
$50 – $150
$80 – $100
$100 – $250
Although you can DIY a smart home through an automated system, you need professional installers to get the full benefits from a smart home. A smart home installation provider will send their representatives for installing automation systems after learning about your requirements and priorities.
You can select a plan that suits your needs and budget, including the types of devices and their locations. After installing the devices, the representative (s) will give you a complete walkthrough of the whole process, including features and remote operations. For example, if you install a smart security system with features like smoke and carbon detectors, they will link to the monitoring hub. In case of an emergency, the installation company will be able to send help.
Many companies in Illinois offer home automation systems for smart homes. Each of these companies and their systems has its unique features and its pricing. We suggest you consult a service provider that can provide you with the level of services you are seeking. Prices often start somewhere around $500 for basic set-ups and go up as high as $10,000 for fully automating a smart home.
Home Automation Installation Costs
The cost of installing a smart home varies according to the nature of automation, brands, devices installed, and other factors. The cost largely depends on the number of devices and their features. If you transform your entire property into a smart home, the expenses are much higher than automating a single floor. The costs will also vary based on whether or not your home has the required wiring for Ethernet or other cables and whether you are getting full monitoring services.
Most service providers charge in the range of $1,000 – $3,500 per room for installing smart home set-ups, along with monthly monitoring fees somewhere between $9 and $50. However, to save installation costs, you can purchase your hub and devices for nearly $500 and manually set up a smart system.
Smart Home Enhancement Costs
If you wish to enhance your smart home experience, you can add on things, which may increase the overall cost. For example, you can install smart home theater systems to get a fantastic experience with sound. The packages range from $300 to $600 for the hub and speakers, and you need to set up Bluetooth or internet connection, along with a TV or screen.
Even for people who are specially-abled or aged, installing smart devices can be useful for them. For example, sensor-enabled faucets that turn on automatically or doors will open when someone steps toward them. The average cost of these devices starts at around $600 per device.
How Solar Energy Is Helping Consumers with Smart Home Improvements in Illinois
If you are thinking of upgrading your Illinois home to make it a smart home in an eco-friendly and cost-effective way, installing a solar system can fulfill the energy requirements for at least 20-25 years. Besides saving your electricity bill substantially over the years, this clean energy will reduce your carbon footprints.
First, your property will need an energy audit where a solar expert will check the appliances you have and examine the heating/cooling system, doors, windows, roof and walls, doors, and windows.
Installation of Solar Panels
The installation of solar panels in your smart home can generate clean and renewable energy that is sustainable and inexpensive. A solar installation provider will identify a perfect place on your rooftop to install panels, along with the system size and type that would be ideal for your home.
You can also opt for other energy-efficient options, including a supplementary solar energy system to outdoor power areas or install solar-enabled smart garage doors.
Insulating your smart home can reduce heating and cooling costs substantially. Even re-insulating your home can make it more energy-efficient and comfortable in all climates all year round. The average price of insulation is around $1,380. This investment can lower your monthly energy bills and carbon footprints significantly.
The costs of installing a smart home can be a few thousand dollars to tens of thousands of dollars for a wireless system or a hardwired system. Despite the higher initial costs of installing a smart home, homeowners can get long-term benefits through energy savings using solar, as appliances will be more energy-efficient.