Smart living is on the rise, especially in urban centers like Metro Manila. The technologies behind automation and remote connectivity have grown by leaps and bounds in the last few years, and what used to be the exclusive domain of a privileged few is now accessible to most people. Smart home devices allow us to make better use of our limited space, whether you live in a condo, an apartment, or a small house.
If you live in a condo, your landlord or homeowners’ association limits what you can do to your unit. Installing new pipes and wiring is often not an option, and you can’t just tear down the walls or replace the windows. However, you can turn to high-tech solutions to transform your home.
Here are a few things you can do to make your home smarter:
1. Upgrade the power outlets
One of the best ways to make your home smarter is to invest in smart sockets. They’re relatively cheap and easy to configure, all you need to do is to plug it in and connect the socket to your network. Best of all, if you want to move to a new condo, you can take the devices with you.
Unlike most smart devices, smart sockets don’t rely on a central hub to work. You can connect practically any electrical device or appliance such as chargers, lamps, or your microwave to a smart socket. Did you leave the coffee maker running? Just switch it off from your smartphone. You can even monitor your energy usage through the app.
2. Change the lighting
Adding new lighting can be a hassle, and there isn’t much you can do about the position of the switches and cables. One workaround is to replace your regular light bulbs with smart LED lighting. You can choose a regular white light or a color bulb with millions of color options.
Depending on your configuration, you can control your smart lighting through a smartphone app, voice activation, or remote control. If you use a service such as IFTTT, you can also set up your lighting to change depending on a scenario (e.g. automatically switch on at sunset).
3. Upgrade your television
Even if you don’t have room in the budget, you can turn your regular television into a smart home theater system with a few affordable upgrades. Best of all, it doesn’t involve a lot of wiring.
The first thing you need to do is to hook up your television to a media player such as Chromecast. This will allow you to stream Netflix, YouTube, Spotify, and more if you have a decent Internet connection. If your television is lacking in the audio department, a good soundbar allows you to enjoy rich sounds without the wiring or space footprint.
4. Secure your home with a wireless camera
Just because you live in a condo or an apartment doesn’t mean your security options are limited. If you want round-the-clock surveillance, you can always buy wireless security cameras for your home. Just make sure to ask for the consent of your roommates before installing cameras in shared spaces.
Even if you’re at work or doing errands, you can always check your home through a live feed on your smartphone app. You’ll also get instant alerts if someone enters your home while it’s in secure mode.
We hope these pointers will inspire you to make smart changes in your home. Smart home devices allow you to maximize your limited space and improve the functionality of everyday household appliances such as air conditioning. Enjoy energy savings as your devices will automatically shut off when not in use.