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    Smart Home Buying Guide

    Whether you’re already a lover of smart tech, or you’ve not got a clue, we’ve put together a guide to help you transform your house into a smart home.

    Imagine waking up to your favourite tunes in a toasty house, turning off a switch when you’re not even home, or getting into bed at night and the lights automatically dimming. Sounds good, right? With a full range of smart tech at your fingertips, you won’t have to wake up to all of this being just a dream. Check out all the info below to find out how you can make this your reality.

    What does 'smart' mean?

    The word ‘smart’ is thrown around everywhere these days, but what does it really mean? For a piece of tech to be smart it needs to be able to connect to other tech using WiFi. This usually means that you can then control it through your phone or a voice assistant speaker.

    You’ll probably be surprised that you’ve already got some smart tech in the home, like your phone or TV. However, it’s when you start linking all the tech together that the magic really starts to happen.

    What are the main benefits of having a smart home?

    Makes life a little easier

    From turning on lights when you’ve got your hands full to reminding you that the kids have non-uniform day that week, smart tech is always giving you a helping hand.

    Saves money on your bills

    Got a child that’s famous for making the house look like Blackpool illuminations? Or maybe your partner is always cranking up the heating? Whether you’re in or out, you can always make sure your lights and thermostat are on and off when they should be, letting you save a few extra pounds on your energy bills.

    Keeps you safe and secure

    Monitoring tech like doorbells, sensors and security cameras let you keep an eye on your house day and night.

    Manage the tech from wherever you are

    Whether you’re sat at a pool bar abroad or chilling out on your sofa, connecting all the smart tech to your phone means you’ll be able to control them from anywhere. So, you can check if you’ve left your straighteners on when you’re out, or warm up the room while you’re still snuggled up in bed.

    What do I need to set up a smart home?

    Without WiFi you’ll be pretty stuck, so make sure you’ve got a reliable internet connection at home. If your WiFi does struggle from time-to-time, you might want to pick up a WiFi extender before you start buying anything.

    Once you’ve got that sorted, you’ll then have to choose which smart home eco system you’re going to go with. The 3 main players at the moment are Google Assistant, Samsung SmartThings and Apple HomeKit. After you’ve made a decision, you can have fun buying compatible smart tech to make your home smarter (and life easier).

    How important is compatibility?

    Now that smart tech is becoming popular, the bigger names are compatible with each other. However, there’s the odd awkward Annie out there that’ll only work with certain brands.

    If you do buy something that doesn’t work with all the rest of your smart tech, it’s not the end of the world, but you won’t be able to sync it with everything else to get the full experience. So, before you add it to the basket, just check the specs to make sure it works with what you’ve already got.

    Smart products

    Smart speakers

    Apart from the obvious use of playing music, smart speakers let you ask them questions like ‘What’s the weather forecast for today?’ or ‘how do I bake a Victoria sponge?’. With an answer for near enough anything, they’ll be able to give you a helping hand throughout the day.

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    Smart lighting

    Turn your lights on and off without even getting up from your seat. There are bulbs that light up in different colours, meaning you can paint a room in loads of shades. And they’re dimmable too, letting you set the mood on movie night.

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    Smart monitoring

    From doorbells to security cameras, you’ll be able to see inside and outside of your home from your phone and get alerts when anyone’s walking up your garden path. This is great for answering the door when you’re out or checking in on the dogs while you’re at work.

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    Smart thermostats

    Smart thermostats let you warm up your home from your phone or smart speaker. Some even learn your routine and will make all the adjustments for you. As well as not having to get out of the covers to crank up the heating, you’ll also save money on your energy bills with one of these in the house.

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    Smart appliances

    From TVs to tumble dryers, a lot of appliances are jumping on the smart bandwagon. Check out all these different products that’ll help make your everyday chores and daily life a breeze.


    With the handy app, you’ll be able to pre-heat a smart oven from your phone and get alerts when your food’s cooked. So, instead of spending your evenings in the kitchen, you can enjoy time with the family and just slip back in to serve up.

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    Washing machines

    Smart apps let you control the washing machine from wherever you are in the house and will send you notifications when a cycle is nearly finished. This is great if you’ve gone to a friend’s house for a catch up, as you can make sure you’re back before the clothes start to smell musty in the drum.

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    After everyone has loaded their plates and the washing tablet’s been added, you can start a smart dishwasher from wherever you are. This means when you’re out, you’ll be able to use your phone to start the wash and come home to sparkling pots.

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    Fridge freezers

    Ditch your shopping list with clever fridge freezers like the Samsung Family Hub. The handy built-in cameras let you see inside from your phone, which you can use to check if you need more eggs or milk when you’re out.

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    Tumble dryers

    Smart tumble dryers come with compatible apps that let you find special wash settings for different items. From your gym gear to a silk shirt, you won’t have to worry about any of your delicate clothing shrinking in the drum.

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    With Smart TVs you can jump online and access all your favourite streaming apps, letting you binge boxsets and enjoy movie marathons. Plus, with voice assistant built-in, you’ll be able to ask it to change the channel for you, meaning you won’t have to throw all the cushions off the sofa to find the remote.

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    Wearable tech

    From helping your health to making your life a little easier, there’s so many benefits of a smart watch. Plus, since it sits on your wrist, it can help out wherever you go, without taking up one of your hands. And Huawei, Apple and Samsung watches have stylish faces and additional straps that you can change, making them look great with any outfit.

    When you’re just going about your day-to-day life, a smart watch lets you tap your wrist on a card reader to pay for your shopping. Plus, it’ll connect to wireless headphones to play music, and let you call your loved ones. So, you won’t have to get your phone out for every little thing.

    If you’re into the gym or love a good hike, they count your steps and use GPS to track the distance you’ve travelled. By setting goals and checking your progress too, you’ll even be able to look back at your fitness journey as a whole. Plus, some have sensors that’ll monitor your heart health, letting you keep an eye on your wellbeing.

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    Transforming your house into a smart home? Check out how Samsung SmartThings takes all the fuss out of setting up and controlling all your smart tech

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    What is a smart home?
    Do I need to get faster broadband for a smart home?
    How do I set up a smart home?
    What are smart home ecosystems?
    What is the best smart home set up to get?
    Is a smart home setup secure?
    What does IoT mean?
    How can having a smart home save me money?
    Which smart home devices are compatible?
    What is a smart watch?
    Can you make and answer calls on a smart watch?
    What makes a TV smart?
    What are WiFi smart plugs?
    How much is a Google Home?
    Where can I buy a Ring video doorbell?