Connecting Smart Devices Together
Smart devices in the home take many forms nowadays. You may have already bought an appliance which is already geared up to work in a connected way, such as a smart TV, for example.
There again, you might have a conventional appliance with no high-tech capabilities which you have upgraded to work in your smart home by plugging it into a smart plug or have wired it into a smart switch. Both techniques mean that you can operate them from anywhere you like without needing to be physically present.
However, an important question often arises about the smart home – how do you connect your smart devices so that they can all be controlled by one device? Indeed, you may also want to know how one smart device in your home can be used to control another.
If you have automated your home’s curtains, for example, then it might be that you want a light sensor outside to inform the system when it has got dark enough to draw them for you. In turn, you might also want your smart lighting system to come on as it darkens and gradually brings lighting levels up inside when the curtains have been drawn.
There are numerous ways that smart devices can communicate with one another, often referred to as protocols. You don’t need to worry about the technicalities of these, however.
High-tech smart devices should operate with multiple protocols seamlessly to offer you a myriad of ways of connecting smart devices. The point is to know about the various possibilities these different approaches offer you and that each can take the hassle out of daily life. That is what the idea of the smart home is all about, after all!
Connect Through Your Home’s Wi-Fi
Wi-Fi connectivity is probably the most widely-used means of connecting individual smart devices in the home. Most homes have Wi-Fi nowadays and multiple devices can simultaneously connect to it without the need for wiring.
Yes, Wi-Fi is limited by its bandwidth but unless you intend on using very high-demand appliances at the same time as one another, this is not often the cause of a major headache.
Connecting through your Wi-Fi also means all of the connectivity goes on within your own network, thereby helping to maintain your data privacy.
Connect Smart Devices From Outside Your Home
When you want to connect a smart device, such as a tablet, to your home’s smart appliances from outside of your Wi-Fi’s reach you will need to do so via the internet.
The mobile data network is becoming ever faster for this sort of connectivity and as G5 technology rolls out, it will only get better. That said, you can plug your smart device in anywhere in the world today and connect to your home’s smart appliances via your home’s broadband connection just as easily as if you were controlling them at home.
Use An App to Connect Smart Devices Together
Many apps exist which allow smart devices to ‘talk’ to the devices they are controlling. Remember, you don’t just want to connect smart devices together but to allow them to interact with one another.
This is where an app like eWeLink will come into its own. Effectively, this sort of app provides a convenient user interface for controlling your connected smart devices. Want to adjust your lights or program your washing machine to come on a certain time? With eWeLink, you can.
Using Bluetooth to Connect Smart Devices
As well as internet and Wi-Fi protocols, many smart devices will also have Bluetooth functionality. Bluetooth was developed for wireless communication between devices that are in close proximity to one another.
The main advantage of this is that devices will pair, thereby bypassing your home’s main network. Bluetooth can also help to connect devices where your Wi-Fi signal may be weak.
So, if you have a smart security camera fitted outside of your home, you might be able to pair it with a nearby Bluetooth-enabled Wi-Fi relay module so it can stay connected to the rest of your smart home.
Get Smart Device Interactivity With ZigBee
If you want to connect individual smart devices to one another directly using your Wi-Fi, a cabled Ethernet connection, a USB connection or even Bluetooth, then you can. Making multiple smart devices interact with one another will often mean sharing lots of information between them as they go about their business. A system like ZigBee can provide this in the home.
It might detect when you have used your electric toothbrush at night, for instance, and automatically lower your home’s thermostat for you because it knows you are getting ready for bed. Alternatively, you might set it to heat your bedroom as you begin to wake up.
ZigBee is a wireless system that uses radio frequencies over what is known as a mesh network, the ideal platform for establishing a truly smart home.