A Smart Home On The Budget: The Fundamentals

It is easy to overlook the energy needs of equipment. Some people only discover that their power configuration is faulty after they have purchased and configured all their devices. In today’s modern home, full of portable electronic devices that need to be charged, lights, televisions, routers, speakers and other gadgets, one will quickly run out of available electrical outlets. If you buy energy-intensive devices such as radiators, ovens, large entertainment systems and the like, it is also quite possible, you will be overloaded with mains power home. With traditional mains cabling, at least in every room, and usually the lights and electrical sockets in the room, will have a circuit breaker with a certain power. If you connect too many devices you can overload the circuit breaker and find your TV suddenly cutting out in the middle of your favorite program, an article on your blog is lost when your computer loses juice or a loaf of bread dies when you bake it unexpectedly – a nightmare for everyone. If your home is poorly connected or older, overloading can also pose a fire hazard. Another problem is the lack of space to connect things – you’ll probably need an AC adapter and adapters wherever your home is older or poorly designed with insufficient sockets.

So before starting your digital home project, check the sockets in your rooms and evaluate the switch (if you are not sure, it is best to check with a professional electrician). Make sure you are going to use at least 50% less power than in your home, because some devices can pull more than their rated value under certain conditions – not everyone who uses your home will think about the power consumption when they plug something into the network. To extend the outlet, it is better to invest in high quality extension cords and bricks that have wider space for the outlet, so you can fit into the bulky AC/DC power supplies that come with many devices. It is absolutely essential that the adapter is fully certified to CE, UL, FCC or other standards required by the country, and the choice of a well-known brand is one way to make sure this is the case. Consider purchasing power supplies with built-in USB ports, so connecting phones and tablets is convenient, and separate chargers don’t take up all the space.

Network

A key component of any smart home is the network. While more and more devices connect to mobile technologies such as 3G, 4G and traditional mobile technologies, the most economical and secure network for your home is still a wired or wireless network. LAN (wired Ethernet) has existed for decades, but it is still cheap, fast and compatible. If you’re building a new home, renovate or don’t mind DIY, installing CAT6 LAN cables is ideal and will be fast enough to power your smart home devices probably for the next decade. CAT5e is the minimum type of cable that is recommended to provide a reliable data rate of at least 1 Gigabit over long distances, but to really relax to buy CAT6 knowing that you can reach a speed of 10 Gigabits up to 100m distance in the future if your devices need it. If you need to route cables externally through doors or other tight spaces, CAT5e can be better because the cable is thinner, more flexible and can be flatter (if you choose flat cables). But remember that your network is the critical backbone of your smart home, so investing a little more money and time is best if you plan to live in your home for many years. 100Mbit LAN can support Blu-ray 1080p content; possibly 4k video, and you can be sure that 1 Gigabit LAN should support your media streaming needs for at least the next 10 years. After all, Gigabit Ethernet can transfer data at over 100 MB/s, while Blu-ray 1080p streaming requires only about 5% of this speed.

Every smart home also needs a wireless WIFI network, but it’s much harder to reliably distribute digital content about your home using WIFI – you’ll save countless hours and money by choosing a wired LAN as the backbone of your digital home. If you absolutely need to use WIFI, make sure you invest as much as possible in your router and choose one with fantastic antenna performance and range, as well as the latest WIFI specification available on the market.

Because we focus on a cost-effective home, Ethernet powerline adapters are not recommended due to their relatively high cost compared to reliability. But if you are sure of their performance, they can be better than WIFI.

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