JOHANNESBURG – Fully automated homes might seem like something out of a science fiction movie, but smart appliances are fast becoming a fixture in homes. When life’s too short to spend it turning off light switches, a smart home is a tool, you didn’t even realise you needed.

Smart thinking

If you’ve ever stubbed your toe while trying to get a drink of water in the middle of the night, you’ve probably wished there was a way to have lights come on without you having to fumble for a switch or wake up your partner.

The LifeSmart brand, exclusively distributed by Syntech, offers exactly that. The system uses a range of triggers to give commands to your lights and appliances. It allows you to programme when appliances come on, for how long they should run, and when they should turn off. It can all be adjusted remotely using the LifeSmart app.

The system is easy enough for the average person to install themselves, and is sold in bundles which allow you to install lighting or other elements as you need them, states Syntech co-founder Ryan Martyn.

Martyn said: “The system’s triggers are small and unobtrusive, so you’re unlikely to even notice a motion sensor or clicker. Additionally, if you link in Google Assistant or Alexa, you’ll be able to issue voice commands to the LifeSmart technology.”

Lighting the way

The system uses both switches and motion sensors to activate lighting, which are available in the lighting bundle.

This means that when you get up in the middle of the night, you can set soft lighting to activate in key areas of your home, and turn off after a few minutes. There will be no more bumps in the dark, and you won’t wake your partner with bright, overhead lighting. It’s great for children who want to climb into bed with their parents at night – their way is lit, and you don’t have to get up to switch off the lights.

Using the LifeSmart app, the light bulbs can be programmed to create any mood using the 16 million colours available – with a tap of the screen you can soften the lighting for dinners, bring some vibrancy to a party or set the scene on movie night.

And when the little ones are falling asleep, the lightbulb can be set to cycle through a “good night” mode, with the colours gradually dimming and gently lulling them to sleep.

Replacing buttons

The comfort bundle focuses on lifestyle elements, aiming to replace the remote controls for on appliances like air conditioning units and TVs, and can be supplemented with environmental sensors.

Motion sensors allow you to cut down on energy usage, as lights are only activated when someone is in a room. These motion sensors can also be set up to turn on air-conditioning only when someone is in a room, which translates into electricity savings.

Air-conditioning can also be turned on remotely, using the LifeSmart app. If you switch it on when you leave your office, you can ensure a cool home on arrival. The same applies to geysers, allowing you to override your automatic timer and turn on your geyser earlier to accommodate your schedule. If you’re leaving work earlier than usual for a dinner date, you can ensure there’s hot water when you walk in the door.

The environmental sensor measures temperature and luminance, and can be set to automatically switch on the air conditioning units when the room is at a certain temperate and activate lights when the room gets dark.

Peace of mind

The security bundle combines aspects of lighting and comfort, to ensure security even when you’re not home. And if you’ve been unable to relax on holiday worrying if you home is safe, then building a smart home will ensure you have peace of mind.

The smart home system also works alongside your existing security measures. You can programme your alarm to activate after you close your front door, and you use the app to automate your curtain closing when you’re out. The system includes cameras, and these can be used to asses any and threat on your property. If you have a trigger on your front door, heavy knocking could indicate the system should turn on your lights and activate your camera. You could then use the cameras to respond to the person at your door, even if you’re not at home.

“Smart homes and appliances have seen a slow uptake in South Africa compared to other countries. This might be due to the perception that the technology is costly and complicated to install. LifeSmart is not only more accessible than other brands on the market, but has been created to be installed easily. The brand offers a quality solution for those looking to make small upgrades to their home, and an integrated approach to those looking to change the way they live,” said Martyn.

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