How to Make Your Family Love Your Smarthome

  • August 25, 2019

A happy family carrying boxes into a home.
Monkey Business Images/Shutterstock

You might think a smarthome sounds terrific. But what about your family? They’ll have to live with the gadgets, too. And it’s a lot easier to set up a smarthome if everyone loves the tech as much as you do.

Gauge Your Family’s Feelings

If you haven’t set up a smarthome yet, or if you have, but you’re considering adding more tech, you should start by checking in with your family. You might be gung-ho, but if your family is wary or intimidated, consider pausing your plans and finding out why. They may have legitimate concerns you haven’t considered and will want to address. Remember, if you want your family to take your smarthome plans seriously, you need to take their concerns just as seriously and work to address them.

While you have your family’s ear, it’s time to start talking about what type of smarthome devices you are considering adding to the home. Explain what the different gadgets are, what they do, and what the potential benefits are. Gauge their interest in each device to help you decide where to start.

And remember, the best benefits aren’t always the most obvious, so walk through those. Smart bulbs may not sound that interesting until you point out the “what else” they can do beyond easy on and off control.

This makes all the difference. Here at How-To Geek, one of us convinced a family member to love smarthome tech by showing them that a smart bulb in the bathroom could automatically switch to 15% brightness and a red color at night. The idea of not being blinded late at night should be appealing to nearly anyone.

I also convinced my mother-in-law on the benefits of smarthome gadgets by adding a smart lock before any other device. The smart lock meant we could give her an easy code to remember (which made her happy) but one we could monitor, or even block (which made us happy). It’s easier to revoke a digital code than a physical key. Most importantly, it started the normalization process of a home powered by smart gadgets.

If a particular smarthome promise excites a family member, add that to the shortlist of gadgets to implement first.

Start With Unobtrusive Devices

An Echo, Wink Hub, Google Nest, Smarthings Hub, Nest Hub, Schalge Lock, and Nest protect.
Just because you can install everything you see here doesn’t mean you should right away.

We think video doorbells are one of the best smarthome devices you can own, and we’ve discussed at length the various Wi-Fi cameras you can sprinkle throughout the home. But just because a smarthome gadget is great doesn’t necessarily mean it’s the first thing you should install. Cameras can be offputting to say the least, as can presence sensors and other tools for automation.

Your goal is to ease your family into the smarthome, so you should start with devices that they choose to use and control. Smart locks, smart plugs, smart lights, and a well-placed voice assistant are an excellent place to start.

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