You are new to the whole home automation concept. You have heard about smart homes, and now you’ve decided you want one. You are making plans to begin adding smart devices within the next few months. Before you get things off the ground, do you know your smart home ABCs?

Vivint Smart Home created an infographic a while back highlighting what they call the ABCs of home automation. They went through all twenty-six letters of the alphabet and assigned an appropriate home automation topic to each one. This post is a bit different. It will discuss just three things you need to know about the smart home concept – before you start planning.

A = Automation

This seems like a given, but the first principle is that of automation. One of the major reasons for installing smart home devices is adding automation to your daily life. Let us start with a thermostat. A smart thermostat can be programmed and forgotten about. Most of the advanced models have artificial intelligence built in. This means the thermostat can artificially learn your routine for the purposes of self-adjusting.

You have to decide just how much automation you want. Furthermore, what types of automation are most important to you? There are some smart home devices that are smart only because they can be accessed remotely. Their automation capabilities are limited, so that may not be what you’re after.

B = Budget

Deciding what types of automation you are interested in sets the table for the next consideration: your budget. If nothing else, the smart home industry offers an endless number of choices. Those choices just keep growing. You could spend a tidy sum and still not have everything you want.

Considering your budget is important for the simple fact that it is not wise to spend money you don’t have. All the automation in the world isn’t going to be that enjoyable if you have trouble paying your bills. So ask yourself what you can reasonably afford to spend. Base that decision on your disposable income – income you don’t need to buy groceries, pay your mortgage, cover utilities, etc.

C = Control

Last but not least is control. When we talk about control in the home automation arena, we are referencing how you control the smart devices you install. Maybe you plan to start with smart lighting. You are planning to buy smart light bulbs or sockets. Either way, it’s helpful to purchase products for which there is a companion mobile app. And if not an app, the product should be usable with some sort of smart home hub.

Why is this a concern? Because having remote access is key to maximizing home automation. You being into the whole smart home thing, it’s assumed that you would want to be able to control your devices from anywhere, using your smartphone. But to do that, you either need mobile apps for each device or a single app for your hub. In the case of the latter, all your devices need to be compatible with that hub.

Building your own smart home set up is both challenging and rewarding. It represents an opportunity to learn a lot about a branch of technology that is still emerging. And in the end, you will hopefully wind up with a home that is more energy efficient, more secure, and more comfortable to live in.

If you are planning to make your home smart, be sure to consider how much automation you want, what your budget allows, and how you will control each device. These three things constitute the ABCs of smart home development.