10 Essential Smart Home Ideas To Include
10 smart home ideas to create your best automated home
Looking for smart home ideas? Here’s our list of essential things to integrate into your system.
This list is based around creating a robust automation system that is interconnected and intelligent. The modern home will feature many electronic elements – from lighting, blinds and climate control, to security, access, audio-visual and more. But in order for a home to remain user-friendly when adding so many different electronic elements, automation should be used to bring everything together and allow all systems to cross communicate. Otherwise you add fans, floor heating, electric blinds and various audio-video sources – just to name a few – and you end up with countless remotes or separate apps. Making your home feel cluttered and unconnected, and most of all, inconvenient to control. Unlike a supplier who just sells individual products, we offer full solutions so your entire home feels blended and interwoven. Making for simplicity and wow-factor, and ensuring your system is future-proof. Where you might be used to controlling electronic things in your home separately from switches, apps and various remotes, Ryelec automation systems reimagine the way you experience your home by bringing everything together. This solidifies the connections, makes your home effortless to control and evokes a refined sense of luxury.
So when thinking about smart home ideas, we recommend you think unified. The more integrations you select, the more impressive and beneficial your home automation system will feel.
Read on for our top 10 interconnected smart home ideas that will ensure you end up with an automated home that you absolutely love living in. Incredible convenience, luxury, and wow-factor.
Smart Home Ideas:
Our number one essential inclusion for a stable, reliable automation system, is a strong and secure home network with fast internet. This is especially important for systems where WiFi will need to reach outdoor areas for things like audio systems and intercoms. We always include connectivity into our scope of works when we take on a full smart home project. It allows us to ensure there are the correct amount of WiFi points around the home and allows us to be certain that the automation system has the strongest foundation possible.
That’s why a strong network tops our list of smart home ideas. It’s an essential.
2. Trusted Technologies
There are a lot of different automation technologies available out there. But not all of them are ready to handle the task of controlling a large home with lots of different integrations. That’s why we recommend going with brands that have been in the industry for decades, staying ahead of the game when it comes to innovation and high quality products.
Reliable smart homes need to have a building management system at the core and then a control system overlaid. The building management system is what physically allows the smart home to function. It is how the elements in a building share information with each other. We install 2 main building management systems: C-Bus & KNX. C-Bus is perfect for systems with basic integrations – usually lighting, shades and some climate control. Other smart technology such as audio-visual, security and access can be installed alongside but controlled separately. For full systems, we recommend KNX Building Management. It is a well-established, worldwide standard and allows us to bring everything together into one system. Stable, future-proof and cross-communicating. KNX allows for higher level of automation with no limitations on integrations or product choices.
Based on the building management system, we then overlay a control system. The control system is the umbrella all subsystems sit under. It pulls it all together and allows everything to work as one. This control system is what you’ll interact with in your home. Control systems we trust and frequently use include
– C-Bus Wiser Automation Controllers
– Savant Home
– Basalte Home
C-Bus Building Management can pair with C-Bus Wiser or Savant Home Control. KNX Building Management can pair with Savant Home or Basalte Home Control.
It’s important to use trusted technologies for your smart home to ensure a high quality result.
3. High Quality Products
Alongside trusted automation technology, using high quality products from the best suppliers around the world is another way to ensure you get the most from your smart home. These products include your switches, touchpanels, remotes, audio-visual equipment, speakers, alarms, cameras, solar gear etc. Through working in the smart home industry for a decade, we’ve tried and tested many products and now have our established favourites for the different components of a smart home.
For switches, our favourites include the C-Bus Saturn Zen range, Ekinex 20Venti & Signum Switches, and the incredible range of controls from Basalte. C-Bus switches use C-Bus building management. Ekinex & Basalte switches use KNX building management. For touchpanels, we use iPads for our C-Bus projects. For KNX projects, we love the Savant Home touchpanels and remotes, or the Basalte panels and remotes.
Our favourite speakers are Origin Acoustics and Sonance invisible speakers.
For security products, we trust Doorbird and Savant intercom, and Hikvision cameras. Based on what you hope to include in your Ryelec smart home project, we work with you to select the most suitable products for your budget and aesthetic. Explore our website to see the other products we use throughout our projects.
4. Lighting Control
Lighting control comes in at number 4 on our list of smart home ideas. The options are endless when it comes to smart lighting control, making it the most commonly automated feature. Lighting automation allows for control of every light in the home without limiting your lighting choices at all. Removes the need to have so many light switches on the walls and instead allows us to install modern, intelligent wall switches that can control much more from a single switch. Automating your lighting also means you can control it from your phone anywhere in the world, create time-based lighting schedules, and add groups of lights into single ‘scenes’. For example, each room could have a Bright & Soft scene so you can enter a room, press one button, and all the lights in the area will ramp to the perfect levels set by you. Utilise sensors and automated lighting for added luxury in areas such as hallways, stairways and robes where we can program groups of lights to ramp up as you walk past. Rather than the starkness of lights suddenly switching on, we program our systems so they gradually get brighter over a few seconds, for a calming environment of sophistication. Day or night programming of these sensors also means the lights ramp to different levels depending on the time of day. We can even use automated lighting to compliment your circadian rhythm, which is your internal clock that cycles between sleepiness and alertness at regular intervals. Your circadian rhythm functions best when you have regular sleep habits. Disruptions to this rhythm can make you feel washed out and make it harder for you to pay attention. Lighting can be programmed to mimic the sun’s daily patterns by automatically shifting the warmth and brightness incrementally throughout the day. The consistency will create spaces that feel restorative, natural and functional, and help create a regular sleep pattern for overall wellness.
Control all your outdoor lighting with one button, or even better, add it to a schedule so you can set and forget. When you’re going out, press one Goodbye button and be certain that everything is turned off. Lighting control is one of the best smart home ideas.
5. Blinds & Shades Control
For inside your dream home, tying your electric windows, blinds and curtains into an automation system is a great smart home idea. This means they can be controlled by switches, remotes, phones and central wall-mounted touchpanels. We expertly plan out our automation systems to make sure control is always quickly within reach. Allows you to group blinds or curtains together so an entire area can be controlled collectively. Create schedules to open your shades at a certain time on certain days. Means there will be no messy cords around your windows. Automation is all about refined living and effortless control. The more integrations you choose, the more unified your home will feel. By integrating your blinds and curtains, you can combine them with other elements for added convenience. For example, a ‘Watch Movie’ scene in your living area can instantly transform it into a home cinema by closing the blinds, dimming the lights to off, dropping down the projector screen and setting the AV up. One smart remote controls the blinds and everything else in the room, even the climate.
And for outside, your dream backyard can greatly benefit from automation as it provides instant control at your fingertips. Eliminates the need to have various switches or remotes for things like outdoor lighting, fans, heaters, audio-visual, irrigation and pool control and instead brings everything into one system. Including your external blinds, louvers and awnings in this system increases convenience and makes for the ultimate in outdoor entertaining areas as your guests will be comfortable and weather-protected, not to mention impressed. Utilise weather stations to automatically adjust outdoor louvers or awnings based on rainfall, wind and sunlight. Set schedules for throughout the year for the louvers or awnings to adjust at certain times, or set the louvers to track sunlight and automatically alter the angles throughout the day.
6. Climate Control
The temperature of a home influences the overall comfort of living. Including climate control in the automation system is one of the most important smart home ideas. Air-conditioning, fans, heaters, electric fireplaces, heated towel rails and floor heat are all commonly automated climate elements. By integrating these features, it eliminates the need for each of those controls on a wall, so you no longer have AC thermostats around your home, fan switches in each room, or floor heat controls on every wall. We consolidate it all into one system and design the perfect control layout for your home that is refined in design whilst remaining highly user-friendly. Also controllable from phones and smart remotes, providing massive convenience as you can always check on your home to make sure no climate control has been left turned on when it shouldn’t be. Schedules can be used to automatically turn on heated towel rails and floor heat so they’re warm when you want them to be. No need to remember to turn them off. Advanced level automation can be used to constantly monitor room temperatures and adjust the HVAC to keep the home at a comfortable temperature – this is especially beneficial for homes using renewable energy sources such as geothermal.
7. Smart Audio-Visual
We definitely recommend including high quality audio-visual in your smart home system. It allows you to seamlessly blend music into your daily life by making it effortless to start playing over your home audio system. Select your audio from your favourite streaming service and choose which rooms you want it to play in. Select a different source for each room, or group rooms together to play the same music throughout your whole home. Studio-quality speakers in stylish and discrete designs are available for both indoor and outdoor use. Add incredible sounding music to as many zones in your home as you like. Soundbars, in-ceiling, in-wall, wall-mounted or even invisible speakers are the latest in advanced speaker designs available for any room. Mind-blowing garden and outdoor speakers with directional designs and burial subwoofers allow for the best in entertaining spaces with minimal neighbour disturbances. We provide audio products from some of the best manufacturers around the world. There are many design and size options available. And for those spaces where speakers could clutter the aesthetic, we love Sonance invisible speakers which are installed into a ceiling or wall and then finished over the top of by the builders. Delivering flawless sound quality with zero visual intrusion. Completely invisible.
Integrating all your TV sources into one system is an excellent smart home idea. This allows you to hide all the hardware in a communications rack, so your living spaces are refined and tidy. One touch-screen remote or your phone controls everything in the area, including lighting, blinds and climate. Smart TVs are user friendly to control and provide access to any video streaming service that you’d like, without having to juggle remotes. Power everything on or off with one-button. You can also combine your TVs with your multi-room audio system for big, surround sound in your video zones. Drop-down TVs, projectors and screens are also available. We can design, supply, install and program expertly mapped out home media or theatre rooms. Engineered sound and high quality home theatre products with smart control. Incredible picture and sound quality. Immersive viewing experiences. Evoke that authentic theatre experience by tying in the lighting and curtains so a simple press of the ‘Watch Movie’ button prepares the entire room along with the AV. Dimming the lights to off, turning the volume up and ramping up the subwoofer. Automation can massively enhance your home’s audio-visual systems, it’s just up to you and your family on how you want to experience entertainment in your home.
8. Smart Security
Protecting your dream home is important. Smart automation technology can provide a high level of security solutions to keep you and your family protected, making it an excellent smart home idea. Alarms, access control and cameras are some of the common smart security integrations.
Using a network of sensors, alarms can detect break-ins as well as fire and carbon monoxide, to keep your home safe at all times. Alerts sent to smart devices. Keeps you and your family protected, deters intruders and can alert authorities immediately. May even lower your home insurance costs. Provides ultimate peace of mind.
Integrating electronic doors, garages and gates allows you to monitor and provide access to areas of your home remotely. There are many access device options, ranging from intercoms to keypad, swipe card and even fingerprint access to name a few. Scheduled access can be programmed by setting certain access codes to work at certain days and times. For example, a cleaner’s code that only works 3-5pm on a Monday. Set as many codes as you like and monitor when they are entered. Watch over and control your doors/gates/garage from anywhere in the world. Smart intercoms alert your devices with a video feed of who is at your door which you can answer or decline. Answering begins a two-way call between the intercom and whatever device you’re on – one of the touchscreens around the house or your phone. You can then grant access. If motion is detected, even without a button being pressed, the intercom will take a photo of the door. You can also check your missed door calls.
Incredibly high definition security cameras are available that you can view anytime, anywhere. We install cameras to keep all corners of your home safe. We ensure all main doors are protected and we place a camera inside your garage so you can view the garage door from your apps. Ability to tilt and pan the cameras so you can check on every angle. High quality image with impressive zoom capabilities. Ability to review your footage. We can also provide temporary site security camera setups to your builders to keep the site protected during construction.
9. Outdoor Automation
Including your outdoor elements into your smart home systems takes the work out of maintenance. Control your irrigation from your smart devices anywhere in the world, or better yet, let the system do the work for you with editable schedules that activate the irrigation at a certain time on certain days and keep it running for your preferred amount of time. Rain sensors can also be installed that will prevent the irrigation from turning on if it is wet outside.
Pool and spa control is amongst the most convenient features of an automation system, as maintaining a pool can often be tedious. Tying in your pool, spa and sauna pumps, heaters and cleaners means that you can schedule these to turn on and off at certain times, so you don’t have to remember to. View and adjust the water temperature from your smart devices, and trust that the system will monitor the temperature to keep it at your preferred level whilst in the most energy efficient way – on weekends for example, the system will raise the temperature of the pool as this is often when the pool gets used most, or if the house is in ‘Vacation’ mode, the system will lower the temperature to save energy.
Weather monitoring tied into your automation system means your home will be prepared and adaptive. We install the GIRA Weather Station Plus. It measures 9 different meteorological parameters and sends that data to the KNX system so that devices can react accordingly – shades, louvers, awnings, HVAC etc. It records wind speed and direction, precipitation, temperature, twilight, relative humidity, and air pressure. Four sensors determine brightness levels based on direction. It calculates the position of the sun at any time and then this can be used to automatically adjust blinds with precision throughout the day. Particularly useful for climate control and energy efficiency, as the position of the blinds can be used to provide heating or cooling support. Making sure the irrigation system doesn’t run when it’s already been raining is a further example of a weather station making a home more sustainable. Another great example is the in-built global radiation sensor which records the energy input on the roof. This can be compared against a solar power system input to monitor if it’s working correctly or requires maintenance. The radiation sensor monitors itself and will report any errors.
That’s why outdoor automation is one of our top 10 smart home ideas.
10. Solar & Energy Management
Every home should absolutely consider adding solar power to their build, making energy management number 10 on our list of smart home ideas. Solar energy creates pure, clean and renewable power, a perfect alternative to fossil fuels. In an hour, the amount of power from the sun that strikes the Earth is more than the entire world consumes in year. We have a source of unlimited clean energy, it is just up to each home to capture their fair share. Solar is a good investment for your power bills and for the planet. Saving money every day and reducing your environmental footprint. Increases property value and safeguards from rising electricity prices.
Maximum energy independence requires battery storage for when solar generation is not possible. Adding a battery to a solar system lowers running costs, means you can operate off-grid or in an outage, and allows us to use automation to ensure all your solar energy is being used. Join a virtual power plant which is a network of homes with batteries that instantly share stored energy when it’s needed.
We are certified installers of Power Tags and KNX energy meters to view and track energy use over time. When we use automation in an energy setup, it ensures all energy captured will be utilised and allows decisions to be made on how and when it is used – charge electric cars, boost hot water, power appliances, pool pumps or whatever else. Capacity is monitored and the system will ‘load shed’ things that are not required when capacity is approaching.
Adding an electric vehicle charger into your system is another great smart home idea. This contributes to a cleaner environment while increasing the value of your property. We use high quality EV chargers that are tidy and compact, taking up minimal space in the home with sleek, user-friendly designs and status indicators. Fast charging times. Anti-tripping modules and peak controllers constantly monitor how much power is being used and will change the capacity of the charger to not overload the electrical supply of the house.
The Best Smart Home Ideas
Creating the ‘best’ smart home system is highly individual. Some people want a smaller system whilst others want the full smart home experience. That was our list of the top ten smart home ideas, now what you include is completely up to you. We recommend using a smart home installer that can integrate everything into one system so it is cross-communicating, stable and reliable. When you’re ready to get started, please use our online form to start building your smart home system.