What is a Smart Home and How Do Smart Automation Gadgets Work?

It’s sometimes hard to think back to a time when we didn’t have technology to help us perform our daily tasks. From virtual assistants to app-controlled devices, we’ve become accustomed to a life that is always connected. It’s no wonder, then, that “smart homes” are on the rise, as automation features are becoming more and more popular.

But what exactly is a smart home? A smart home can be any residence that incorporates technology to perform normal human actions, such as being able to check the weather hands-free, or turn off the lights from your phone. And the process of getting started with a smart home isn’t complicated—as long as you have a stable internet connection, New York Times says it’s as simple as setting up your virtual assistant, then selecting the best home automation devices for your personal lifestyle. Learn more about how smart homes have modernized the way we live, and how Shea Homes® is innovating with those needs. 

Why Choose a Smart Home?

The obvious perk of living in a smart home is the convenience factor, as being able to control functions in your home from a simple voice command or tap of a button can certainly makes life easier. But did you know that in addition to saving time throughout your day, smart homes can also help you save on energy costs? Smarter technology typically means more efficient practices, and with automation devices set up in your home, such as a smart thermostat, you can better control and optimize your energy use. Another reason why more and more people are looking into smart homes is for increased security. By giving you the ability to check in on your house while you’re away, smart devices can help you keep things safe.
Convenience, savings, and security are just three overarching reasons why you should consider a smart home—check out other ways that home automation makes life easier, according to Zillow.

woman and child reading in the living room. Smart thermostat on the wall in front of them

How Does a Smart Home Help with Security?

Security is such a crucial yet often intangible part of the idea of home, because it’s not just about having locked doors at night—it’s about peace of mind, and the feeling of safety. When you can see who’s at your front door via a live video on your phone, or program a time for your garage door to automatically close in case you’ve accidentally left in open, you can feel more at ease. In fact, with features like “drop in” with Amazon Echo Show, you can call family members with the same device at the drop of a hat in case of emergency.

7 Essential Home Automation Devices That Make You Wonder How You Ever Lived Without Them

It’s clear that smart homes may help improve your way of living—but with a variety of smart device options out there, the task of even putting together the right mix of technologies can be daunting. That’s why at Shea Homes, in order to support our homeowners in all their changing lifestyle needs, we now offer a suite of smart home features called SheaConnect™ that comes standard in most of our new homes. Want to take a peek at what’s inside? Here is our list of 7 essential smart home devices, many of which are included in our SheaConnect homes:
1. Ring Video Doorbell Elite
Always know who’s on your doorstep with Ring. Get an alert on your phone when motion is detected, check up on your house through live video, use the two-way mic to let a delivery person know where to put your package—the Ring Video Doorbell Elite helps you feel more secure about your home, especially when you’re out.
2. Kwikset or Kevo electronic lock
Never worry about whether you’ve locked up the house when you have smart locking doors. Plus, with a coded entry, you can easily give a dog walker, house cleaning serviceperson, or out of town guest entry to your home, without having to hide a key where someone else can find it.
3. eero Wi-Fi
Gone are the days of moving around the room to find the strongest router signal—once you set up Internet service in your home, eero makes sure you get a fast, consistent Wi-Fi connection throughout.
4. Honeywell Pro Smart Thermostat
Managing your utility costs becomes a breeze with a smart thermostat. Control temperatures by room, or program your device based on whether you’re in or out, so you can save on energy costs while maintaining a comfortable at-home environment.
5. Genie® or LiftMaster garage solution
Kids just came in from playing in the front yard and left the garage door open? Remotely close the garage door from your smart device, without having to step away from cooking dinner. With a smart garage solution, you can also set a time for the door to automatically close every day, or control it even when you’re not at home, to help you feel more secure.
6. iDevices® Wall Switch
When you enter or leave a room, control the lights via a simple voice command, without having to interrupt what you’re doing. With Wi-Fi-enabled switches, you can also turn on the lights from your phone for your pup when it’s dark, or turn them off remotely when you’ve accidentally left them on.
7. Amazon Echo Show
When your hands are messy in the kitchen but you need to reference the recipe you’re trying to follow, the Amazon Echo Show is here to help. Through Alexa, you not only can look up information by voice commands, but can even watch movies or operate most of the smart devices in your home.


Other Smart Home Devices to Consider

Beyond these must-have smart home features, there are other devices and appliances you can include in your new home, depending on your lifestyle needs. For instance, if you spend a lot of time in the kitchen, consider a GE Profile Oven that you can start preheating remotely while you’re on your way home, or a GE Profile Connected Dishwasher that helps you monitor the status of your wash cycle. Or, if you’re always working hard to maintain your lawn, a Rachio Smart Sprinkler Controller allows you to time your watering to a customizable schedule, and even automatically adjusts for weather changes.
Additional smart features such as these may be available at select SheaConnect communities. Contact us to learn more.


Ready to Move into a Smart Home?

While some design trends may come and go, it seems that smart homes and their automation systems will only continue to evolve. And at Shea Homes, because we believe the right technology can help us live more efficiently and responsibly, we’re excited to include our SheaConnect smart features in most of our new homes, so you can start living your connected lifestyle. It’s just one of many benefits of buying new with Shea.
Ready to find the smart home of your dreams? Look for the SheaConnect icon as you explore new homes near you, or learn more about our SheaConnect innovation and how these smart home essentials can help you live the Shea Difference.


Amazon, Echo, Alexa and all related logos are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc. or its affiliates. 

While SheaConnect is available at most locations, it may not be available on all homes in all communities. Product availability subject to change.


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