How to Make a Smart Home From a Dumb One

It's summer, 85 degrees Fahrenheit outside, and you're about to leave home. As you leave your bedroom, the lights dim slowly and eventually turn off. You walk down the hall, step out the door, and lock it. Inside, you can hear the air condition sputter to a stop. As you saunter down the street, you wonder if you left the coffee pot on, but don't think twice about it, as the appliance is running an automated check right now to ensure it's off. Later that night, around 11:15, your mattress cover will cool down your side of the bed so it's just the way you like it by 11:30, when you hit the hay.

This kind of smart home system is already possible. All kinds of small appliances, light bulbs, door sensors, and other home products can automatically turn on and off when triggered by certain actions. Smart homes make life more comfortable, and they're typically designed to be power-efficient, which could save you money.

Get Organized If you're interested in taking your home from dumb to smart, how do you start? And how can you build on it to make it incrementally more intelligent all the time? One very important note about smart home components is that you must change the default user name and password when you set them up. If you don't, you're leaving your home exposed to hackers and other threats.

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