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How smart Is your home?

Break Bread.

It is estimated that by 2021, 73 million homes — or 55 percent of all homes in the United States — will be smart-homes due to technology innovations that increase the efficiency and comfort of consumers’ homes, according to market research firm Berg Insight. Some of today’s most popular devices that homeowners and homebuyers alike are seeking include:

Smart thermostats – Among the most popular and arguably the most effective at improving energy efficiency, smart thermostats can learn the temperature preferences of the homeowner and auto-adjust to his or her schedule.

Smart security systems – The price points and options are seemingly endless, but highlights typically include remote/mobile access and control, to security camera footage and auto-locking doors.

Smart light bulbs – Certain energy-efficient light bulbs can keep shining when the power goes out, illuminate or dim at desired times or at the sound of a doorbell, and sync with smartphones so the lights can turn on when the homeowner is not home.

Smart doorbells – These come in various designs and colors, but most offer high-definition footage of live and/or recorded video whenever someone presses the bell, or on demand if the owner wants to see if someone is at the door.

Smart window shades – Control them from a phone, schedule them to open and close at specific times and/or simply tell them what to do using the voice activation feature that many models offer.

All in One

Smart hubs allow users to control multiple smart-home devices that are interconnected through a central hub. Most of the big manufacturers offer hubs for their various products, but products from different makers do not always integrate easily with each other, if at all. It is important to determine what your home automation needs are first and then identify which products offer the most compatibility.

“I always suggest that consumers start small with just a Hub and a Multipurpose Sensor,” said Jayson Howell, home appliance builder division account manager at Samsung and HBA member. “With those in place, you can do so many things — get notifications if a door is opened, trigger a light to go on if movement is detected in the garage, or know when your elderly parent opens the medicine cabinet.”

There are many applications for using smart-home technology depending on the needs and desires of a homeowner. “Via just a single app, users can turn on the lights, turn up the music and manage everything in between, whether they’re at home or away from the house,” said Howell. “The possibilities are endless.”

Given the convenience, efficiency and ease of use of smart-home technology, expect to see several of these features in future Parade homes.

By Home Builders Association of Kansas City