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Smart IOT devices that can save you time and money

Smart devices are here, smart devices are there, smart devices are everywhere. But as well as the incredibly smart things that they can do, like security systems that not only detect intrusions but also protect against carbon monoxide, fire, and flooding, and call for help during personal or medical emergencies, did you know they can also save you money? 

It’s these cost-saving benefits that are one of the main drivers for smart technology adoption particularly for governments, healthcare, infrastructure, and businesses. The savings taken as a whole can be substantial and at a civic and business level can also contribute to carbon reductions within the wider context of climate change.
However, we don’t often hear about the cost saving benefits of smart connected devices in the home, rather the focus tends to be on what these technologies enable. But the reduction in energy consumption can be significant. With this in mind, here are some of the cost saving benefits for the main smart technologies designed for the home.  

Thermostats

Heating and cooling (if you live in a warm climate) your home can consume over 50 percent of your monthly energy bill according to most estimates. And that might be conservative.  
A smart thermostat can shave up to 15 percent off of your power bill. If your monthly bill comes in at £150 this means your bill would drop to about £127. In the grand scheme of things it may not seem much but it could lead to savings of about £200 a year. If used in tandem with other smart devices the savings can be a lot higher, but we’ll get to that in a minute.
Smart thermostats let you create heating schedules around your routines, so when you’re at work the temperature drops and rises just in time for you getting home. You can even adjust the temperatures for individual rooms.

Lighting

With smart lighting rather than leaving a light on all day, you can set a schedule for the lights to turn on just before your arrival at the end of a workday. You can also set up your lights to periodically turn on and off while you are on holiday to make it look like someone is home.
A single slight bulb can last up to 20 times longer when dimmed by 50 percent and according to some sources lighting accounts for 19 percent of the power used worldwide. You’re probably not thinking of this when you’re flipping your lights on and off but automating your lights through scheduling will clearly save you energy and money. And given that smart lighting systems can detect when someone comes into or leaves a room, you can automate your lighting so it’s only on when you need it.
Most estimates reckon that 12 percent of an overall electric bill can be saved by using smart lighting technology which can equate to something like £180 savings a year. And of course the value of your home will increase with a smart lighting system.

Security systems

On the surface you might not think you can make savings from a smart security system. But think again. Traditional security systems require sophisticated wiring to set your house on the devices and most often professional help to wire up households with monitoring sensors.
Smart security is an entirely different ballgame. You can buy them off-the-shelf and installation is as simple as placing the devices in the areas of your home that you want monitoring, and programming and controlling it via a smart phone app. You can have siren alerts and some even offer night vision and of course you can see what is going on even if you’re 500 miles away.
Compared to the cost of a traditional security system the savings can be significant. And one other thing, insurers are catching on to the benefits of smart security systems and some are offering discounts on household insurance for homes protected with smart technology.

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Smart appliances

There is a raft of smart appliances that as well as being time-saving can also save money. For instance the temperature of refrigerators can be regulated so food is stored at the ideal temperatures rather than setting for maximum cold. The internal thermostat can also be set to decrease the usage of energy during peak times of the day.
Even pressure cookers can make a difference to energy consumption. You can select the cooking time, pressure and the temperature at the start of the cooking process. Ditto with coffee makers. You can set the strength of your beverage and the desirable temperature. Clearly few people are going to buy a smart coffee maker to save power, but when used in conjunction with other smart technologies, significant energy savings can be made over the course of a year.

Overall savings from smart devices

It’s difficult to put a precise figure on energy savings but an approximate is about 60 percent when a number of smart devices are in the home such as thermostats and lighting. Given the ever increasing rise in energy costs this is a substantial figure. Of course the figure will vary according to individual usage.  One of the further compelling things about smart devices is that they also add value to your home.

Security for smart devices and the home

We’ve mentioned the security of smart devices on many occasions but because it’s so hit and miss among many smart devices, it can’t be overstated. Smart devices that aren’t secured properly essentially provide a wide open door into your home for all manner of miscreants and blow the concept of privacy out of the water.
Dojo by BullGuard is the best way to protect your smart connected home and family against cyber threats and privacy risks. From baby monitors and alarm systems to thermostats and more, Dojo provides peace of mind by keeping the threats out, and ensuring your family and your most personal things are secure.
It is intelligent enough to secure all of your connected devices, and continuously learns to stay ahead of hackers and cyber-attacks and is constantly updated to ensure you always have the most up-to-date security.
Importantly, it’s incredibly simple to use and protects all smart devices irrespective of the manufacturer. It essentially throws a robust, advanced and comprehensive security net around your home.
Watch this space for information on release dates.
Filed under: IoT

Written by Steve Bell

Steve has a background in IT and business journalism and has written extensively for both the UK national and trade press including The Guardian, Independent-on-Sunday, The Times, The Register, MicroScope and Computer Weekly. He's also worked for most of the world's largest IT companies producing content producing. He has a particular focus on IT security and has produced several magazines in this area.

More articles by Steve Bell

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