Building a Smart Home Series: Step Two, Plan Your Home [#BaSH]

By - January 2015

Okay so you’ve assessed what devices you already have in your home. If you are starting from scratch that may not be anything at all. As you as can see from step one of this series, I have quite a few devices that were standalone before, but now they can be linked together in the beginnings of a smart home automation movement. If you are going to build out your smart home, you must first plan out what you hope to accomplish. What areas do you want your home to be smart in? Or what smart functions do you wish your home to achieve. After you plan this out, you can begin adding the devices to accomplish these goals.

Smart house
So what do you want to accomplish? You may only want to automate your heating and cooling. Or maybe just add some cool lighting effects is your thing. Maybe you just hate having to pull out your keys when you come out. Planning what you want will help in the process of getting the desired effect. For myself and for the purpose of this series, I’ll be going for complete automation and smart home maximum. I want locks, lights, heating, and anything else that will make my home more efficient. Now I live in New York City and in an apartment in a private home. There will be limits to what I can change or mess with. My landlord is cool and all, but I’m sure I don’t have complete free range. For the purpose of this series, I will be building out a smart home in an apartment setting. As we go along this series will break down into the following:

– The basics: I will talk about what I’ve set up so far using the items I already have in my stable.

– The entrance way: I will talk about the smart locks I’m using, how it is working out and what I want it to do as I enter into my home.

– The lighting: Here I will talk about what I want to accomplish with lighting. What lighting system I go with and why. Also what automation processes I put in place for lighting.

– Heating the home: Definitely got to talk about heating the home. I’ll go into how I will automate this process.

nest-stock-image-1 Now above is just the first couples steps. But what have I accomplished so far since part one? Well since Nest works with some many new devices now, I figured it would be a good idea to connect them to my Nest. As of last time I’ve connect my Nest Thermostat to my Dropcam PRO and original Dropcam and to my Ooma telephone. I also connected my Nest to my IFTTT, Google, and Wink accounts for future automated processes. Two items you may notice I mentioned new is IFTTT and Wink. I’ll talk about this a little more in a future piece, but they allow me to either control all my devices in one place or connect various device together to do something when something else happens. Stay tuned for the next post where I begin to start adding devices to the mix and talking about them.

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Jason Anderson is the Publisher & Editor At Large of G Style Magazine. A known gadget head and lover of all things digital. Some of his favorite movies include Hackers, The Net, The Matrix (1, 2, & 3), and Transformers.....see a trend here lol.