How to Automate Your Day Using Smart Home Systems

I thought it would be fun to see where smart home systems were today and see what a day could look like with existing home automation technology.

So, we’ll take a walk through a day with a smart home.

Throughout the narrative, the use of smart products will be highlighted with a number, and you can scroll down below to see the products that enabled that event or feature.

Rise and Shine

Before you even wake up, your coffee maker comes on and starts brewing a cup for you (not impressed yet?).  Your Z-Wave thermostat brings the house to a comfortable temperature (1) so that it’s not so chilly getting out from under the covers. Then, your bedside lamp ramps up the light from yellow to blue to simulate a sunrise and wake you up gently.

Tell me that’s not better than an obnoxious alarm clock!

There are no excuses for being late for work anymore!

The smell and thought of that caffeine boost motivates you to step out of bed.  When you do, the lights come on (2) and the iron starts to warm up (3) as you grab some clothes out of the closet for the day.

You ask Alexa what the weather is going to be like to make sure you are dressed for the right weather.

Ten minutes later, the iron turns off (3).

Connected to Your Smart Home System from Work

Once you leave, the door and motion sensors sense that you are out of the house (4 & 5), the dead bolts lock (6), and the alarm mode is activated (7).

Once you leave your house, the garage door closes automatically (8) and the temperature is adjusted to conserve energy (1).

During the day, you periodically check in on your pets with your phone to make sure they aren’t making a mess of the place.  The microphone let’s you get on to them when they’re playing on the couch or touch base with them during the day. (9)

When the cable guy comes over to do some work between 8 & 12 (if you’re lucky), he gives your phone a call and you deactivate the alarm (7) and unlock the door for him (6) so that you don’t have to miss half a day of work.

You communicate with him about the problem (9), and he makes sure you’re all set to watch the playoff game that’s coming up this week.  As soon as he leaves, you lock the door behind him (6) and re-activate the alarm (7).

Unwind and Enjoy the Family

On the way home, your Nest thermostat adjusts the temperature a few degrees so that you’re comfortable when you get home.  The garage door opens as soon as you turn into the neighborhood (8), the outside lights come on (10), the door unlocks for you (6), and the radio comes on inside (3).

After dinner and catching up on a few shows off of the DVR, you head upstairs and get ready for bed.  The lights and the TV are turned off as you leave the living room (2 & 3) and as soon as you walk into your bedroom, your bedside light comes on (2 & 3 again). The thermostat adjusts a few degrees (1), the alarm is activated (7), and you thank God for technology as you drift off to sleep.

What You Didn’t See Might Save You

During the day, your fire alarm (11) and water sensor (12) protected your house in case you had a bad electrical outlet or a leaky hot water tank.

Meanwhile, your door, window (4), and motion (5) sensors made sure no one entered your home while you were away.  And the siren (13) stood by, ready to alert the neighborhood if any of those things happened.

After you went to bed, your CO sensor (11) made sure levels were safe all night while your family slept, keeping you from drifting off into an eternal sleep (yikes!).

The Hard Work Behind the Scenes

Here are the items that could make this possible.  I’m not endorsing these, even though I did make an effort to pick out items that were well reviewed and that I would consider myself.  The links are affiliate links that will take you to Amazon so that you can see reviews and the latest pricing yourself.  I make a small commission from them, but they don’t affect your price at all.  If you have any feedback on any of these suggestions, I’d gladly take it in the comments below.

  1. Nest thermostat or the Ecobee with sensors for multiple rooms ($249)
  2. A motion detector under your bed triggers an outlet switch for your bedside lamp – Belkin WeMo ($72)
  3. A WeMo outlet switch ($43)
  4. Z-Wave Door sensor ($30)
  5. Motion sensor ($30)
  6. Deadbolt ($92)
  7. Home automation controller (~$100)
  8. Garage door switch ($45)
  9. Camera ($85)
  10. Light switch (~$31)
  11. Smoke and CO alarm ($50)
  12. Water sensor ($47)
  13. Siren ($38)

OK, I think all we’re missing is Rosie from the Jetsons to do the housework, but let me know if you see something I missed for the benefit of the people who are reading behind you.

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If you like this article, you’ll love our write-up on the best home automation ideas.  It includes how-to guidance and the best ideas we’ve seen on the web.

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