Ask Three Questions First


This year, many families will become owners of smart home technology for the first time. Connected to the Internet and controlled by smartphone apps, smart home devices promise to enhance everyday life with convenience, energy savings and even security. However, taking the wrong approach when buying them can lead to an expensive case of buyer’s remorse.

This very new technology comes with some unique considerations and options that many shoppers may overlook in pursuit of the best deal at retail. Before clicking ‘buy’, experts say, shoppers should consider the following questions to determine the best approach.

1.Can I install it? Devices such as connected light bulbs may be simple to install, but others, like a smart thermostat, will require competence with electrical wiring and heating systems in order to work right.  If DIY is a concern, buyers should research the ‘do it for me’ option: the growing network of smart home service providers who supply, install and configure smart home devices.

2.Is security important? Many of this year’s most popular smart products, such as streaming video cameras and smoke detectors, offer awareness of what’s happening at home. But when it comes to security, they are self-monitored. You’ll get a text message if there’s trouble at home but what happens if you don’t get the message or can’t  respond? For the security minded, professionally monitored options are a better buy. These systems send you a text notification if there’s an emergency and automatically contact emergency responders on your behalf.

3.Am I investing in a smart device, or a smart home?

A common cause of smart home frustration is devices that don’t intercommunicate, requiring the user to use multiple apps and complex workarounds to automate their home. As more devices are added, the situation grows more complex.

For shoppers planning to buy more devices in future, a solution such as a smart home security system eliminates the problem before it begins. The solution approach gives the buyer a complete ecosystem of smart home devices, connected by a single software platform and mobile app that ensures every device—current and future—can contribute to the goal of a smarter home.