Smart home technology has advanced over the last few years and continues to find ways to add value and function to our homes. Statistics currently show that the home technology market will approach $40 billion by 2020, in the U.S. alone. Home tech tools are designed for convenience and streamlining integration of other apps and services. You may be considering some of these tools but asking yourself, is it worth it?
Most smart home products can save time and money and are easy to set up. Fifty-seven percent of Americans responding to one survey said that home tech products save them an average of 30 minutes per day, which equated to about a week and a half per year. Forty-five percent of Americans responding to a similar survey said that smart home products have saved them an average of $98.30 per month, or $1,179.60 per year.
If you remember the days when you could clap on, clap off your lights, we’ve moved back to something similar. Now you can control the brightness and lighting pattern and set timers for certain bulbs, all from your smartphone. Light-emitting diodes (LEDs) use 25 to 80 percent less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last 10,000 to 25,000 hours, according to Energy.gov. Traditional light bulbs typically only last 1,000-3,000 hours. Not only are some of these smart light bulbs efficient, but other models make sure you’ll never forget to turn off a light.
Smart thermostats are another product that can save you money. As with smart light bulbs and their control settings, you can control the temperature of your home from your smartphone and even control when you would like this temperature to go into effect. This saves you money and time and gives you the power to adjust your climate to a comfortable setting. According to the website for the popular Nest Learning Thermostat, independent studies show that people using Nest have saved an average of 10 to 12 percent on heating and 15 percent on cooling.
So what’s the catch? Depends. Most of these devices require Wi-Fi and can have hefty upfront costs. Some consumers are skeptical about using these products because of data-privacy concerns, but companies have reassured consumers that they aren’t there to snoop, but to make simple tasks even simpler.