What is a smart home? The beginner’s guide to the connected home

Control your home’s lighting, heating, and electronic devices all via a smartphone

What is a smart home? The beginner’s guide to the connected home
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What can a smart home do?

A smart home is a house that can automatically control lighting, heating, and other electronic devices. Using a smartphone, tablet, or computer, you can control anything from plugs to lights and even home security cameras, from in or outside the home.

What are the benefits of a smart home?

  • Smart home devices are convenient, and can help keep you connected to your home wherever you are
  • Smart home products could help you to save energy and money
  • Some products are designed to help give you peace of mind when you’re out and about, like a smart sensor which notifies you when a door or window is opened

Lots of products can work together to give you a true smart home experience

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Why should I set up a smart home?

Smart home products have a range of uses and benefits, and they’re easy to use and set up. So, whether you want more control and convenience in the home or peace of mind while you’re out, there’s a smart home product that will help.

Smart homes are easy to set up – all you need is an internet connection, a smart home device and hub, and the app. You don’t need a smart home expert, nor do you need to be one.

The only Hive product we recommend you use an expert to install is our smart thermostat.

What smart home devices do I need?

With the help of big brands like Amazon and Google, along with innovation here at Hive, the smart home market is growing fast - well over a million homes in the UK, US, Italy, Ireland Canada and France are already seeing the benefits of our products and services. New products are regularly being introduced, so here are just a few current examples of smart home devices…

Smart Heating

With a smart thermostat, you can control your heating from your smartphone. You can turn your heating on or off, change the temperature or even set up schedules - all within an app.

The Hive Active Heating thermostat is a carefully designed thermostat that works with your heating and water – and could save you money on your heating bill - by never having to heat an empty home.

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Smart Sensors

There are several types of smart sensors and they can be used for many different things.

We offer a range of sensors, from window and door to motion, so you can always be on top of things.

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Smart Lighting

Smart lights let you control your lights from your phone. Depending on the type of smart light you have, you can change the tone or colour of the bulb, dim the lights or turn lots of lights off in one go.

Our Smart Lights are available in both screw and bayonet fits, making it easy to replace any existing light bulb in your home.

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Smart Plugs

Smart plugs are probably the most versatile smart product because they let you control anything you plug into them from your phone.

Our range of smart plugs allow you to experiment with making different appliances smart and are a great way to dip your toes in the water of smart home tech.

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Smart Cameras

Smart cameras let you check in on your home when you’re out, and will notify you through the app if they detect someone within a certain distance of the house.

The Hive View indoor smart camera allows you to keep an eye on your pets and home using live-stream in HD from your smartphone.

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The true smart home experience

With Hive, all products can work together all from the same app, and even alongside home tech like Amazon Alexa - so you can really start to customise your home. 

With Hive Actions (a feature of our app) you can link your Hive products together, making life easier and more efficient. 

Check out our other guides for a more in-depth look at some popular products and features...

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Smart home facts:

  • In 2003, the UK Department of Trade and Industry defined a smart home as 'a dwelling incorporating a communications network that connects the key electrical appliances and services, and allows them to be remotely controlled, monitored or accessed.'
  • The first home appliance was invented in 1901 and was an engine powered hoover!
  • We had to wait until 1966 for the first steps on the road to full smart home automation though. In this year the ECHO IV - widely regarded as the first home computer - was created by engineer James Sutherland. Although never marketed (it consisted of four large cabinets weighing around 800lbs!), it could compute shopping lists, control in-home temperature, and turn appliances on and off - just like modern day smart home technology.
  • Bill Gates spent over $100 million building his own smart home!


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