How to make a smart home for under ₹6000/ $80 USD.
Updated: Jun 28, 2020
The word smart in the field of technology has always showcased how certain things can be done in a better and efficient way. Interaction with the existing technologies getting better is called smart. We’ve had phones that turned into smartphones and Televisions turned into Smart TV’s. And a few years back, these smart gadgets were luxuries that came at a premium but the time has changed now. Smart Home changes the way you interact with your regular home appliances from Lights and Fans to all the way up to Televisions and Air Conditioners. Here’s how you can make a smart home for as low as 8000 bucks.
NOTE – If you’re already having a Voice Assistant, just 2000 bucks is more than enough to make a smart room.
A VOICE ASSISTANT
All our smartphones have a voice assistant. And as capable as they are to handle the smart home appliances, it’s not ideal to pull out your phone to perform an action every time. Here we suggest the most budget voice assistants out there, The Google Home Mini and The Amazon Echo Dot. Both the Google Assistant and The Amazon Alexa are more than capable for handling these tasks. Not only these enable the easy control for smart home appliances but also answers your questions, set alarms and reminders, play music and much more stuff which is pretty cool. Essentially, the assistant is a piece of hardware which can be accessed from a certain distance by just your voice. For smart home control, a dedicated voice assistant is more ideal than the assistant on your smartphone.
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Pro tip - If you’re having a hard time choosing between one, Google Assistant is the smartest assistant out there and Amazon Echo Dot’s 3rd Generation comes with better speakers. Thank us later!
This may be very optional but it certainly does kick things up a few notches. These smart lights are specifically made to be used with the assistants and they come with some features like pre-installed mood lighting options which is definitely something to look after if you’re trying to actually change things around. The smart lights come from very promising brands like Philips, Syska and Wipro on different price tags starting from as low as 700 bucks which comes with 16M colors and mood lighting options. Utility you ask? Smart lights can be used in table lamps, night lamps or even as the primary light to a room. And a full control of 16M colors is just sick!
Smart lights are very easy to setup, just download their respective app, setup the light, connect it to your voice assistant and you are good to go. And with your voice assistant, now you can turn on/off the device and even change colors by just asking your assistant for it. Things have started to get cool, huh?
A WIFI ENABLED BRIDGE
Smart homes aren’t just about adding things to your home and replacing the existing appliances. What if you can turn your existing lights and fans smart? Can you? The answer is Yes. And this is where a WIFI enables bridge comes into play. What it does is connects between the power supply and an appliance say, A fan. It stays connected to the WIFI and when it receives the command, it triggers the supply and turns on the Fan. In Layman’s terms, it is a new switch for your existing appliance.
For this we suggest, The Sonoff Smart WIFI Switch. A very small and nifty product which gets the job done. It’s very subtle and handles the supply nicely. Just install it, and you don’t have to touch it again. They come with small buttons which allow manual control in case of a connection failure which is a very thoughtful addition. It goes for 600 bucks and is definitely a bang for your buck!
Pro tip – Smart plugs are also a thing, allows you to plug in any appliance say the coffee machine and the morning coffee starts to prepare itself just with your voice. Get 5 mins of extra sleep now.
We have more than lights and fans in our home and we’d surely love to extend the smartness to them as well. Mostly Televisions and Air Conditioners. If you have purchased a TV or an Air Conditioner in the past two years, chances are that they come with a smartphone app for WIFI enabled remote control. And if they do all you have to do is link the app with your assistant app and you are good to go. Although Air conditioners that doesn’t support WIFI have an alternative. You can get a Smart Bridge that supports higher voltages and you are all set.
MUSIC CONTROL (optional)
All of us love good music, and what better way to enjoy it than controlling it with your voice and listening to it on some fine speakers. Let’s face it, even good quality assistant speakers aren’t that good when it comes to music. Amazon’s Echo Dot comes with an auxiliary port which allows you to directly connect the two and experience Alexa on any speaker. Google Chromecast Audio is the wireless option which allows you to cast music on any speaker or television through your smartphone or Google Home.