Smart Home on a Budget: The Essentials

Power

It’s easy to overlook the power needs of your devices. Some people only discover their power setup is deficient after buying and setting up all their devices. In today’s modern home, full of portable electronics that must be charged up, lights, televisions, routers, speakers and other gadgets, one quickly runs out of available power sockets. Visit online https://homecontrol.vn/ for more details. If you are buying energy intensive devices like heaters, ovens, large entertainment systems and the like, it’s also quite possible you will overload your home’s mains power. In traditional mains wiring, at least each room, and normally lights and power sockets in the room, will have a circuit breaker rated at a particular amperage. If you plug in too many devices you might overload the circuit breaker and find your TV suddenly cutting out in the middle of your favorite show, your blog article being lost when the PC loses juice or your bread loaf dying when the oven cuts out unexpectedly – a nightmare for anyone. If your home is poorly wired or older, overloading might also present a fire risk. Another issue is lack of space to plug things in – you will probably need mains extension “bricks” and adapters everywhere if your house is older or poorly designed with insufficient outlets.

So before you start your digital home project check your rooms’ outlets and circuit breaker rating (if you’re not sure, best to check with a professional electrician). Make sure you are at going to use at least 50% less Amps than your house mains is rated at, because some devices may pull more than their rating under certain conditions and let’s face it – not everyone using your home is going to think about the power drain when they plug something in. For extending outlets, it’s better to invest in high quality extension cords and bricks that have a wider space per outlet so you can fit in the bulky AC/DC adapters that come with many devices. It is absolutely essential that the adapter is fully certified to CE, UL, FCC or other standard as required by your country, and choosing a well known brand is one way to be confident it is. Consider buying power adapters with inbuilt USB ports so plugging in phones and tablets is convenient and separate chargers don’t take up all your space.

Network

The key ingredient for any smart home is the network. While more and more devices connect to mobile technologies like 3G, 4G and traditional cellular, the most economical and secure network for your home is still a fixed wired or wireless one. LAN (wired Ethernet) has been around for decades but is still cheap, fast and compatible. If you’re building a new house, renovating or don’t mind DIY, installing CAT6 LAN cables are ideal, and will be fast enough to power your smart home devices probably for the next decade. CAT5e is the minimum cable type that is recommended to ensure reliable data speeds of at least 1 Gigabit over long distances but to truly relax buy CAT6 knowing you can reach speeds of 10 Gigabits up to 100m distances in the future if your devices need it. If you need to route cables externally through doorways or other tight spaces, CAT5e might be better since the cable is thinner, more flexible and can be flatter (if you choose flat cables). But bear in mind your network is the critical backbone of your smart home so investing a little more money and time is best if you plan to live in your home for many years. A 100Mbit LAN can support Blu-ray 1080p content; possibly 4k video, and you can be rest assured that a 1 Gigabit LAN should support your media streaming needs for at least the next 10 years. After all, Gigabit Ethernet can transfer data at more than 100 MB/s, while 1080p Blu-ray streaming requires only around 5% of that.

Every smart home needs a wireless WIFI network too, but it’s much more difficult to reliably distribute digital content about your home using WIFI – you will save countless hours and money by choosing a wired LAN as the backbone of your digital home. If you absolutely must use WIFI, ensure you invest as much as possible in your router and choose one with fantastic antenna performance and range, as well as the latest specification of WIFI available in the market.

Since we are focusing on a budget smart home, “powerline” Ethernet adapters are not recommended due to their relatively high cost versus reliability. But if you are confident in their performance, they can be superior to WIFI.

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