Expert Advice on Improving Your Home
Home Smart Home

Smart Home

From the dozens of brand providers, hubs, and protocols to the endless list of available devices, it can be easy to get overwhelmed when considering a smart home or appliance. However, you’ll discover that they’re extremely efficient, helpful systems once past their steep learning curve. They can:

  • Help you save on electricity costs
  • Schedule appointments
  • Order groceries

Smart Home Basics

To help you better understand how smart homes work, we’ve compiled a quick guide to all the main parts of a smart home system. 

  • Smart home hub: The smart hub, also called a home automation hub, is the core of a smart home. It’s a piece of hardware (or sometimes software) that controls and directs all communication between smart home devices. Smart hubs can be designed explicitly to work with certain devices, like the Vivint Home Security Hub, while others are designed to interface with any third-party device, like the Samsung SmartThings Hub. 
  • Smart home protocol: Also called a home automation operating standard, a smart home protocol is the means by which your devices communicate with one another through the smart hub – think of it as a shared language. A device must use the same protocol to connect to and interact with the rest of your smart home system. There are protocols for wired, wireless, and hybrid systems, each with its own benefits, installation costs, and limitations. 
  • Smart home devices: A smart home device is any appliance, system, tool, or object that can connect to and communicate with your smart home system. A smart device can be anything as simple as an electrical socket or light bulb to complex appliances such as dishwashers, washing machines, or fridges. 

While smart homes can be complex to set up by yourself, some companies and brands offer full-service installations. While expensive, these services make getting a smart home a breeze. If you want to learn more about smart homes, the brands that supply them, and ways you can create your own DIY smart home, check out our articles below. 

“Today’s Homeowner” host Danny Lipford, pictured with Paul Williams, Cync by GE's Vice President of Experiences & Professionally Installed Lighting

Keep Your Home Safe and Secure With Cync’s Innovative Systems

Listen to learn about Cync's wide array of options to make your home even more safe and secure!
Smart plug featured in Chelsea Lipford Wolf's mid-century home

Giving a Mid-Century Home Smart Technology and Energy-Efficient Upgrades

In this special podcast, we sit down with Chelsea Lipford Wolf to learn about how she modernized her mid-century home with smart and energy efficient technology.
Sprinklers in the grass

How to Install the Rain Bird Sprinkler Smart Controller

We're installing a Rain Bird sprinkler system in Chelsea's mid-century home. Here's how to install one for your home!

Making Chelsea’s Mid-Century Home Smart and Energy-Efficient

In this episode, we're making Chelsea's mid-century home smart and energy-efficient.
Google smart thermostat bnp

Smart Thermostat Will Recognize Your Habits

There's nothing more annoying than your thermostat not doing what you input it to do. Lucky for you, Google has just the solution.
Innovative smart home products from Design and Construction Week 2020

Innovative Smart Home Solutions That Make Life Easy

Design and Construction Week in Las Vegas is a great place to find innovative smart home products. Here are some of our favorites that will make your home easier and more enjoyable to navigate.

The Basics of Home Automation

If you're interested in home automation, but you don't know where to begin, here are the basics.

Demand Growing for Smart Home Products

People plan to invest more in ‘Internet of things,’ or IoT, technology in their homes, according to a new survey report.
c-by-ge-smart-switch-and-nutone-vent-fan

Smart Lighting and Ventilation Solutions for Your Home

People always want to know how they can make their homes smarter, and here are two awesome products to do just that!