6 Mistakes to Avoid When Setting up Your Smart Home

Do your homework beforehand and determine if the gadgets meet your expectations and needs.

Kayla Matthews
Smart Home with Controls

Deciding to transition your abode into a smart home is an exciting choice that can make your life more convenient.

However, everyone can make mistakes when doing things for the first time. Here’s what not to do when setting up your smart home.

1. Choosing Cost Over Quality

It’s understandable if you need to stick to a budget while getting your home equipped with the latest technology. However, some people get so concerned with the prices of individual items that they end up sacrificing quality in favor of initial savings.

What to Do Instead: Rather than making the common error of focusing solely on price, read reviews about smart home products of interest. Pay attention to what people say about the overall longevity of those items and whether particular parts failed.

Cheaper products often need replacing sooner than more expensive products, making the upfront reduced cost less economical than it first seems.

2. Not Looking for Products That Complement Each Other

Smart home manufacturers want consumers to get the maximum enjoyment from their products. So, they frequently focus on making user experiences convenient by engineering items to work with other smart home brands.

For example, you can control Nest products with Amazon or Google’s smart speakers. Then, the steps you go through to tweak aspects of your smart home are more streamlined than you might expect.

Unfortunately, some buyers don’t find out whether the products they want to buy offer compatibility with additional brands. Failing to take that step often causes disappointment.

What to Do Instead: Look carefully through the specifications for each smart home item before buying it. You’ll often find a bullet point or section devoted to compatibility. It should list each of the other brands a product works with, when applicable.

3. Failing to Think About the Constraints of Your Housing Situation

Some people don’t think about the characteristics and possible limitations of their houses before installing smart products. For example, if you rent your home instead of owning it, your rental agreement may not allow adding gadgets that require drilling into walls.

If you’re a homeowner, is there a chance you might sell your residence within a year or two?

What to Do Instead: As a renter, review your contract to find out the specifics for modifications. If they’re allowed in some cases, be honest with your landlord about what you’d like to do.

If you own a home, think seriously about whether you’ll likely stay there for the foreseeable future and what factors may arise that could make you consider moving.

You may want to focus on smart home equipment that’s easy to pack up and take along if relocation becomes necessary.

4. Not Buying All the Components That Make a Product Function

It’s easy to assume smart products work as they are and don’t need accessories for full functionality. However, that’s not always the case.

For example, when you buy Philips Hue lightbulbs, you also have to get something called the Philips Bridge. It’s the component that allows controlling lighting with your voice or an app. Philips does not sell the Bridge by itself, but only in a starter kit.

What to Do Instead: Read the item documentation to learn about potential accessories. You may find the information you need in an “also required” section.

If buying smart home products at a physical store, talk to the sales representative and emphasize how you want to purchase everything required so the products work as you expect.

5. Overlooking the Capabilities of Your WiFi Network

Smart devices typically work with your home’s Wi-Fi network. Some people forget that all-important fact and start buying things without considering how those new devices may compromise connectivity and internet usage.

What to Do Instead: When evaluating products for your smart home, remember that they’ll connect to your Wi-Fi network and potentially cause noticeable slowdowns in the overall speed. The range is also something to keep in mind, especially if your router doesn’t give sufficiently strong signals in particular parts of the home.

If you’re concerned your current system isn’t suitable, get in touch with your network provider before investing in smart home products.

6. Becoming Enamoured With Unnecessary Features

The smart home industry is growing rapidly, and it’s possible to find almost any kind of gadget imaginable, as well as those you hadn’t thought about before. Sometimes, that means people focus on features they won’t actually use because they’re extremely fascinated by the futuristic nature of the products.

What to Do Instead: Before looking at smart home features, make a list of the things you’d like to do that aren’t possible with your current home setup. Then, look for gadgets with relevant features. For example, if becoming more aware of energy usage is a priority, a smart thermostat that gives periodic metrics is an appropriate choice.

Proper Research Leads to Hassle-Free Installations

It’s tempting to fill your shopping cart with an assortment of smart home products and start setting them up. If you do your homework beforehand and determine if the gadgets meet your expectations and needs, you’ll avoid problems and can fully enjoy your teched-out home.

Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews
Kayla Matthews is an IoT enthusiast and senior writer at MakeUseOf. You can also find her writing on VentureBeat, The Next Web and ProductivityBytes.com.
Kayla Matthews is an IoT enthusiast and senior writer at MakeUseOf. You can also find her writing on VentureBeat, The Next Web and ProductivityBytes.com.