What is a Smart Home?
When I moved into my apartment last February, I knew I wanted to set up a “smart home.” I did a lot of research to determine the best products out there. At first, I was honestly overwhelmed. There are hundreds of “smart” products out there, and not all of the products are compatible. The three things I really wanted in home smart home were a voice assistant, lighting, and outlets.
I’ve partnered with Samsung to share with you a suite of products that will get you started on your smart home, that you can continue to build on, starting with Connect Home – their mesh Wi-Fi system that not only gives powerful Wi-Fi throughout your home, but also acts as a SmartThings hub all in one. Each Connect Home router covers 1,500 sq. feet, so you can add on more in different rooms depending on your coverage needs. All of the products I am mentioning in this post are compatible with Samsung Connect Home and the Samsung Connect App.
What do I need to get started?
The Samsung Connect Home is a “SmartThings hub” and also gives you the ability to extend your Wi-Fi. Many of the smart home products require a separate central hub that you can connect to. Most of the time, you can’t just buy a stand alone smart product without a hub. But with Samsung Connect Home and the Connect App, you just simply download the app on your phone and add your smart home products directly within the app to connect to the hub. MUCH easier.
What Hub Do I need?
Depending on the products you want, you’ll need to decide on a hub. The Samsung Connect Home is the only whole-home Wi-Fi system that works as a SmartThings Hub, making it compatible with hundreds of “Works With SmartThings” devices. With no monthly fees, Samsung SmartThings makes it simple to manage your smart home, and gives you the flexibility to expand your smart home with lights, door locks, cameras, voice assistants, thermostats and more. The majority of the products I wanted in my home are compatible with the Samsung Connect Home, so that’s how I landed on this particular product – having everything in one is going to help me streamline control of my home even more.
How Do I Set Up The Hub?
The set up is surprisingly easy.
- Plug in the Samsung Connect Home hub (or multiple hubs depending on how much coverage you need)
- Download the Samsung Connect App from the app store.
- Add your Connect Home and smart devices within the Connect App (the app can also even provide guidance on the best locations to place your Connect Home hubs in your home)
What Products Do You Use With Your Smart Home?
Voice Assistant: The voice assistant I use is the Amazon Echo. I use the voice assistant for the following:
- Spotify: I have a Spotify account, so I connect my Spotify through the Amazon Echo. I will say things like “Alexa, play songs by Taylor Swift,” or “Alexa, play my favorite playlist on Spotify.” I also listen to white noise and sounds of nature while I sleep, so I have a loop of songs I play through the speaker over night.
- Saved Music: You can connect your phone via bluetooth and play your music through the speaker.
- Audio Books: I love listening to my audible audio books through the echo. I will say “Alexa, read my book.”
- Weather: I am constantly asking, “Alexa, what’s the weather.” I’ve gotten into the habit of doing so that when I think about checking the weather, I don’t look at my phone. I catch myself almost saying it! haha
- Timer: I use the timer mainly when I am cooking. I’ll say, “Alexa, set a timer for 10 minutes.”
- Alarm: I use think as a back up to my phone.
Smart Lighting: I have the Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance lightbulbs. Of all of the smart home products, this one is the one I didn’t know I needed. You can set the bulbs to 60 million colors and 50 thousand shades of white. I am very into lighting. It sets the tone of a room. I think having the ability to set it exactly how you want really changes the feeling in the room.
Smart Outlets: I have the Conico WiFi Smart Power Strip next to my bed. It fits 4 USB ports and 4 AC plugs. You can control which port is on or off. You can also set a schedule when the port will power on or off. I like this feature because I don’t like to overcharge things like my laptop, because it’s bad for the battery life to charge something after it’s fully charged.
And now, with the Connect App, I can control all of my smart devices through one app instead of using different ones for each device. A total game-changer for the way I control my smart home!
How about you? Do you have Wi-Fi issues in your house? How would Connect Home help you streamline your Wi-Fi and controlling any smart devices you might have?
Photography: Abbey Brandon.
Sponsorship: This post was created in partnership with Samsung.