The price of a smarthome: what does it cost to make your house smart?
A question we are regularly asked is what it actually costs to make your house smart. How Much Does a Smarthome Cost?Now there is no simple and unequivocal answer to this, since the price depends on a large number of factors. For example, it depends on the products that you want to make smart, the platform that you choose, how far you want to go in the smart makeover and what exactly you expect from the products. But, in this article we try to give you an indication, especially aimed at those who just want to start a smarthome. We do this on the basis of three scenarios.
How much does a smarthome cost?
It is a misconception that a smarthome is an expensive affair. In our view, a smart house, or part of it, is reserved for everyone. It just depends on how far you want to go in and what you want to start with. It is therefore important that you start with a plan. Which products in the house do you want to make smart, initially? And do you want to buy certain products in a new, smart variant or make them smart with an accessory? With the last option you also save money.
Please note; in the scenarios below we do not yet take specific account of products that can actually (fully) communicate with each other. After all, this depends on the platform that you choose. You can read more about this in our article with the simplest (and cheap) platforms for beginners.
A smart home also saves you money
First of all, let’s just say that a smarthome does not only have to cost you money. You can also save money with it. You can save money with the right products in particular in the areas of lighting, smart plugs and climate control. For example, smart lighting is the LED version, which already uses less power. But, if you create schedules and scenarios with which lighting is automatically switched on or off, you save on energy costs because lamps do not stay on. If you combine it with motion sensors and geofencing (not at health home, then lights off), you can save even more.
Smart thermostats also think along with the user and create your own optimal schedule based on your wishes and adjustments in the first few weeks. For example, the thermostat will not start heating before you go to bed or if you work during the day. If the thermostat keeps track of your location, no energy is wasted when you are away for a weekend or on vacation. Finally, smart plugs can turn equipment off completely when you are not using it. Consider turning off all your AV equipment when you are not at health home (based on a schedule or your location).
A simple smart home for the beginner (budget option)
If you have just entered the world of the smart house and want to try something for a small budget, you can set up a decent base for 500 euros. For this amount you can buy a number of smart lamps (for example Hue or LIFX), you can buy a smart speaker with voice control (Sonos or Google health home) and you can, for example, buy a smart doorbell (for example Ring or Arlo). As an accessory with which you can make the TV or washing machine partly smart, you can go for a cheap smart plug (for example IKEA or TP-Link).
A basic smart home for the beginner
If you have a little more to spend, you can already lay a nice foundation for a complete smarthome for 1,500 euros. In addition to the above products (from the budget option), you can extend the smart lighting for this amount so that you can operate multiple rooms and you can also make your heating system smart through a smart thermostat and / or radiator buttons (think of Nest or Tado). You can then look for a smart door lock (for example Nuki or Yale) that you can connect with the smart doorbell, and you can protect your house with a smart camera (think of Logitech, Nest, Ring or D-Link). If Google health home is the platform that you choose, you can also use a smart speaker with display for added ease of use (Google Nest Hub) purchase. Incidentally, do not forget the safety in the health home, for example with a smart smoke detector or water sensor (Nest, Devolo or Netatmo).
An extensive smarthome for the beginner
In the most extensive smarthome for the novice user you have to think of a budget from a few thousand euros, let’s take 5,000 euros as the basis. With this amount you can go pretty loose and also replace larger equipment with smart variants, plus start looking at smart products that add something to your health home. Consider replacing the washing machine for a smart variant (for example Siemens, Bosch, Samsung), replacing the fridge for a smart variant (for example Samsung, Miele or Siemens) replacing your “stupid” TV with a smart TV and purchasing a smart vacuum cleaner (Roomba, Neato or Samsung for example) who independently cleans your entire house. The garden should not be missing either, with a smart irrigation system (Gardena is a good option) and perhaps even a robotic lawnmower (such as that of Husqvarna). You can make it as crazy as you want, and the budget is actually the only limiting factor here.
Take subscriptions into account!
However, be careful with products that you purchase that require a subscription. There are enough thermostats, doorbells and cameras that initially offer all functionalities free of charge, but for which a paid subscription must be taken out after a month or a year in order to be able to use all those smart functions. Keep this in mind with the budget for your smart house. It often involves a few euros per month, per product, but if you have several products and also want to make use of each product’s full potential, this can quickly add up to a few tens per month. Before purchasing thermostats, cameras and doorbells, first read about the subscription costs. In our reviews of these products we also explain to you extensively what costs you should take into account, in addition to purchasing the hardware.
If you want to use cameras without a subscription, make sure you choose a camera system that can store its ehealth recordings locally, for example on a microSD card. The camera may be slightly more expensive to purchase, but you do not have to worry about subscriptions and extra costs. This is slightly more difficult for doorbells; the recordings thereof often depend on a subscription.
The quality of products
Now a smarthome is not a smarthome without a properly functioning network. It is very important that your wired and wireless network functions well, is fast, is stable and above all is also secure. In our article you can read what you should pay attention to with six ways you can improve your WiFi network.
Regarding the products that you purchase for your smarthome, we advise you not to go for the cheapest options. And that has a number of reasons. Products from C-brands (often Chinese brands) rarely offer good support from the manufacturer, are often less well protected with regard to privacy-sensitive information and often simply offer a lower quality, both in terms of hardware and software. Our advice is to spend the few tens of extras and go for an A-brand, such as the examples mentioned above. Then in most cases you are assured of good security, high quality and especially good support.
The next step
Now the scenarios outlined above are scenarios for beginners, consumers who want to build a smart health home with individual products. There are, however, even more options that require slightly more advanced knowledge. For a budget between 1,500 and 5,000 euros, you can also get started with a platform such as Fibaro, Zipato or Homey. These products are so-called gateways (controllers) with which you can connect products in your health home and let them communicate with each other and react to each other. This requires a little more knowledge, for example for the installation of modules for lighting and for programming scenarios or flows on the “like this, than that” principle. We will shortly elaborate on these platforms and their possibilities.
You can find more information about buying smarthome products, installing or linking products and the use of smart products in our tips and advice section.
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