More and more people want their home to be welcoming, cost-effective and with a more liveable technologically: to use a word that is very popular nowadays, what they want is to have a smart home.
The word “smart” in English means clever, and a clever home is a home that gives you the possibility to anticipate the desires of the inhabitants and to optimize the costs of living. What does it mean? Basically, this means to install a series of interconnected devices via a wi-fi network, or other wireless connection systems, which can coordinate the various internal needs of a modern home. These devices are controlled by the owner of the house, or through a program that was previously set or in real time. Many are the devices we are talking about: from home appliances, whose working time can be decided; heating, electric shutters, refrigerators that inform you what is missing, alarm systems that show you if a thief has entered or if it is only your dog who is inspecting the house… and much more. A smart home, therefore, is based on the idea to use new technologies, the Internet and new apps for smartphones.
It goes without saying that, if on the one hand, the implementation of the system is an important moment of the planning process, perhaps, the designing of the system itself, is even more important; it is as important as it is complex. As a matter of fact, different skills are required to design a smart home, from the most traditional to the most modern ones. In addition to having to connect cables and wires, it is also necessary to design a system capable to coordinate all the smart devices in a house. To do this, you need a device called a HUB.
What’s the purpose of having a HUB in a smart home?
The most common mistake you make when designing and choosing a hub is to underestimate its possible vulnerability. However, before going into more details, let’s get a better idea of what a hub is and how it works.
A hub, or a smart hub, looks like a box that, to make it easier, we could define as the brain of a smart house. Through a specific procedure, it communicates with all the digital devices of a house, coordinating their functions in the best possible way. Let’s make a practical example: one of the main targets of a smart home is to optimize its energy consumption. Therefore, it could be a good idea to design electronic shutters that close when the heaters are turned on, so as to avoid heat loss. The hub is the device that coordinates these two different movements, aiming at the same need.
Therefore, it is pretty clear how important the choice of a technologically advanced hub is. The most important thing is to get a hub that is suited to the specific needs of the designed system. Sometimes, however, we pay more attention to the choice of the individual components of the system rather than to the hub which, being its brain, is definitely the most important element.
Which mistakes should be avoided?
- The first thing to check, of course, is that its compatibility, in terms of connectivity, with all the other devices in the smart home. However, it is essential you check the security protocols! In fact, very often manufacturers tend to underestimate the ease with which hackers can violate these protocols. In a smart home that perhaps has its entrance door controlled by the hub, it is clear that you need to avoid that a criminal can enter the house with excessive ease. So, programming the hub is certainly the first concern that you must have when you think of a system for a smart home.
- Another common mistake is the energy consumption and the fact that this needs to be studied in more details. As we have already mentioned, the first aim of a smart house is to optimise costs and consumption (in addition to making life easier for its inhabitants). When making calculations to coordinate the different equipment, it may happen that some fundamental factors are neglected, such as the cost of energy depending on the time slots, or the specific absorption of a single appliance. This is why it is necessary that the work must be carried out by a staff of technicians with different, yet very specific skills.
- Finally, we must not underestimate the engineering part. Digital design is certainly very important and is a priority; however, this must not lead to the purchase of poor or low quality interconnect products. As a matter of fact, even the best design in the world would lose its effectiveness if it is not implemented with a system of equal level. For this reason, it is a good idea to choose only cables, switches and other electrical components that are certified and specifically made according to the regulations in force.
Having a smart home can really represent the solution to live the home environment in a completely psycho-physically, emotionally and economically comfortable way! The devices listed above can make the difference between designing a smart home, where you can live comfortably, from living in a continuous nightmare due to malfunctions and unpleasant consequences.