The smart home promise is generally about what you can do while you’re at it. You can set the lights to come on when you walk through the door or program the thermostat to start cooling things down when it knows you’re leaving work. But you might not be thinking about how all your smart devices can be set up to work for you while you’re away. Taking a vacation for a week or two doesn’t mean you have to leave your smart home as it is. Here are some things you should do to adjust it before you go.
Disable smart alarm clocks
I am guilty of this one. Many of us use our smartphones for our daily wake-up calls, and they travel with us on our trips and vacations. However, smart speakers and smart alarm clocks, including those with special features like artificial light to trick your sleeping brain into thinking it’s a sunny day, are becoming more common.
It’s all too easy to forget to turn off those alarms when you leave your house, especially if you’re new to “dedicated alarm clocks.” I’ve used an iPhone as an alarm for over a decade, and less than two months after receiving a Hatch smart alarm clock, I forgot to turn it off before the holidays. Luckily, it’s Wi-Fi enabled, which meant I could turn it off from my phone I remembered (more on that later), but avoid trouble ahead of time and turn off the alarm on the phone. ‘application.
Keep thermostats set at appropriate temperatures
If you’re traveling during periods of extreme temperatures, like hot summers or cold winters, be sure to keep your thermostat on (smart or not). Of course, it’s not necessary to keep things the same temperature as if you were at home, it’s a waste of money and resources. Instead, worry only about keeping your home from getting too cold or too hot.
You’ll find a variety of recommendations for target temperatures online, but the general advice is that you don’t want your home dipping below 60 degrees or cooking above 80 for too long.
Configure smart lights to turn on at night
You probably don’t want to keep your lights on 24 hours a day while on vacation. However, it can be a useful security measure to keep a light or two on at night when you’re away – no one wants to knock on the house where “someone” is still awake at 1am.
Different smart lights use different smart home apps, but most let you create automations that turn lights on and off at specific intervals. You can set your lights to turn on and off in different rooms between 11 p.m. and 5 a.m., for example, if you want to make sure no one notices a lack of lighting for the duration of your vacation.
Smart lights aren’t the only effective tool here, either. You can set timers on your smart TVs to make it look like you’re watching a late night show.
Configure your smart locks and share keys with house keepers
While you can usually lock things with your voice or the app, many smart locks can lock automatically when you close the door. Check if your smart lock has this feature and activate it before closing your home.
If you’ve trusted family or friends who stop by to water plants, walk pets, or watch over it at night, consider sharing your smart keys with them for easier unlocking. your house.
Forget something? Just fix it on your phone
The best thing about having a smart home while on vacation is that you don’t have to worry about forgetting all of the above. In the past, you wondered “Did I remember to turn off the lights?” or “Does the stove really off?” or “Did I close the garage door?” or “No, seriously, is the stove off? I’ve never left it on before, but maybe this time it’s really on.
There aren’t many smart stoves on the market yet, but many other technologies are fully controllable from your phone, wherever you are. If turning off your smart air conditioning escaped you, you can operate the switch remotely; if you’re not sure if you’ve locked it, a push of a button locks your doors. Any smart device that connects to your phone with an app can be controlled from anywhere, so you don’t have to worry so a lot about preparing your home before you leave.
Of course, these devices need to stay connected to the internet to work, which means you’ll need to:
Keep your wifi on
Depending on how long you’re traveling, it may be tempting to turn off your router and modem, as these devices suck up seemingly useless electricity while you’re away. However, this electricity is not unnecessary when you have a smart home, since wifi allows these devices to stay close at hand, wherever you are.
If you turn off your wifi while you’re away, like I did before, you’ll be disconnected from your smart home and all of its devices. It’s okay if you’re 100% sure you’ve done everything you needed beforehand, but if you forgot something, you won’t have a way to communicate with those devices while you’re away. This smart alarm will keep going off, these security lights will never come on, and these locks will never lock.