SarahBeenySpringIssue2017 - 205
check your home's temperature to
make sure you aren't wasting energy
- and money - on heating.
There's a growing demand for smart
thermostats, which give you greater
control over your central heating
via a computer, tablet or phone. Far
beyond basic settings, such as turning
on the heating at 6pm, you can react
to colder or milder days in real time.
In terms of saving money, they
work best as a monitoring tool. You
can amend your settings to better
suit your requirements, for example
by turning oﬀ the heating when the
house is empty, or ﬁring up the boiler
just before you get home from work.
Integrated systems, such as Nest
by Google, which monitors when
and where you are in the home, can
'learn' to make these changes for
Basic thermostats adjust settings
for the entire house, while the more
sophisticated ones can adjust the
temperature on a room-by-room basis.
This means you can cool down the
kitchen while cooking, without aﬀecting
the rest of the house. Hive Active
Heating by British Gas oﬀers this.
It's easy to confuse smart
thermostats with smart
meters, which the
aiming to have
or third parties. And Amazon's Alexa
digital assistant has been criticised for
ordering a number of dolls houses
for people in Texas after a news
anchor said: 'Alexa ordered me a dolls
house'. When this was broadcast into
people's homes, their devices got busy.
However, fears of a dystopian
future, in which 'intelligent' machines
join forces against humanity, are far
from becoming a reality - the IoT is
still in its infancy. In today's world of
competing brands, simply persuading
your gadget to 'talk' to one from a rival
manufacturer is diﬃcult enough.
The key to setting up a smart home
is a smartphone, which can act like a
product remote control through a host
of specialised tie-in apps - they oﬀer
control from a distance. For example,
at the stroke of a screen, you can
in every home by 2020. Meters are
installed by energy providers to collect
data about when and how much
power is consumed, which can be
used to set customer tariﬀs.
They have useful display screens,
so you can track your own usage.
Setting the mood with lamps and task
lighting is an interior design staple,
but technology has come a long way
since the dimmer switch.
Light-emitting diodes, or LEDs,
use less energy than traditional bulbs
- however, they cost more to buy. They
work in conjunction with smart hubs
to customise your home's illumination.
Like heating, systems can be
programmed to turn lights on and oﬀ
at diﬀerent times or at the touch of a
phone screen - but things start to
get fun with the option of colourchanging bulbs. There is also a setting
that can gently wake you up in the
mornings - your lights come on
gradually, imitating night turning to
day. And the Sengled Snap bulb with
its integral HD camera allows you to
monitor your home when you are away.
Designer at global lighting
experts Osram, Timo Dilger, says:
'The transition towards LED is a
technological revolution - and the
long life of LEDs means they can
be integrated into the architecture
without a lot of thought about
ongoing maintenance.' >
WON'T JUST SAVE
TIME AND MONEY, IT
COULD SAVE LIVES
TOO - BY DETECTING
SMOKE AND CARBON
www.athomemagazine.co.uk MAY 2017 | 205