Yes it’s April, and the title was an April Fool’s pun; cheesy I know. But seriously, DIY smart home products are everywhere. Manufacturers push the convenience and safety that these products can add to our lives. Sometimes these products do exactly that, but sometimes they disappoint.
There are three different topics regarding DIY smart home products that we need to know and think about: Functionality, Compatibility, and Professional Install.
The majority of smart home products are really helpful. Unfortunately, most of the time what is advertised is not what you get out of the box. For example, it takes a strong WiFi system for top video quality and it may also take a complicated setup to get to the higher end function of the product. Common functionality issues include when the internet goes out and DIY security sensors cannot alert you of a break in. Or when alerts to your phone from the garage sensor or a WiFi camera are delayed by 20 minutes. This is not functional for anyone! Speaking to a smart home professional can help set expectations and assist in selecting the products that are right for you and functional from the get go.
A person wants to control their heating and air when they aren’t home, so they purchase a smart thermostat. Set-up goes smoothly and the thermostat seems to work great and is doing exactly what they wanted the product to do. A month later this person wants to add a video doorbell. They purchase a popular smart doorbell and install it. Enjoying the convenience that these smart home products are providing, they now want to add smart controlled lights to their family room. An inexpensive smart switch is purchased from Amazon to do the job. Mission accomplished; they can now control the family room lights via an app. Since they love their family room switch, lights for the kitchen are now added to the to-do list. Problem is the kitchen has a three-way switch and needs a different brand than their family room. Wanting to tie it all together, they purchase a Google Home to turn things on/off with voice commands. The brand of smart switches in the family room and the doorbell are not supported by Google Home. Plan B, an Amazon Echo Show is purchased, hoping this avenue will be more successful. Are you confused yet? Because I am.
This person now has up to 6 different apps on their phone with some devices not even being controlled by Alexa. Trying to fix the problem, they now have to purchase a different doorbell so that it will be compatible with Alexa. They are totally over the app-hopping and decide to incorporate a professional automation system to get things down to one app. GREAT, but half of the DIY products they purchased are not compatible with a professional system and will need to be replaced.
Purchasing these products that were meant to cause less hassle and more convenience has spun out of control, causing more of a headache. Unfortunately, we have seen this scenario play out with our clients time and time again. A lot of time, money, and frustration could be avoided by designing a compatible system with a smart home professional.
DIY Smart products are advertised to be a simple install for everyone. They are designed for a typical installation situation. However, as we all know, not all homes are made the same. We all have different wiring constraints, different doorbell chimes, different ages of HVAC systems, different front doors, and different building materials. All of these can lead to a catastrophic install and the need for a professional. A consultation with a smart home professional can avoid unwanted installation hiccups.
E-Style Home Systems is here to be your smart home consultant. We can advise, design systems, and install your smart home automation products. We can combine professional and DIY products into one cohesive system, or help select and install DIY products that work together. There are expectations that smart homes are meant to make our lives more convenient and helpful. E-Style can help deliver on those expectations. Call us today if you are looking to incorporate a smart home into your lifestyle.