With the onset of COVID, everyone is rethinking their home’s role in helping them live better lives.
Nowadays, we're spending more time at home. The blurring line between work and family is causing us to realize just how important it is to be in surroundings that promote comfort, wellness, and productivity. As a result, interest in having a smart home is ramping up.
The right smart home features can make our lives more comfortable and convenient, create safety and peace of mind, and increase our overall feelings of well-being.
For these reasons, it’s no surprise most people believe moving into a smart home - or making their existing home "smarter" - will lead to that better life.
People in this group may have different motivations for adopting smart home technology, but they share a common goal. They see it as a way to make their lives simpler and better.
They are the most interested in how smart homes can better their lives. And, we can learn a lot from this group about how and why smart homes are becoming standard across the world:
Households with an income of $100,000 or more are 2.5 times more likely to have smart home systems and three times more likely to own multiple devices.
This group is most likely to be buying or upgrading their home.
They care more about how they are perceived than other age groups and want to be seen as eco-conscious.
They are willing to pay more for “green” products that help them walk the walk and not just talk the talk.
People 25-44 living in urban areas and families living in suburban areas are most focused on security.
Features like connected thermostats, connected smoke detectors, smart lights, and connected locks are at the top of their wishlist.
This age group, in general, is also more budget-conscious, wanting high value for the money they are investing.
Quality of life means different things to different people. Each of us values unique aspects of our lives above others, but we share several things in common as humans.
We all want peace of mind and safety. We wish our lives to be as convenient and stress-free as possible. We seek wellness and calm, no matter how hectic daily life gets.
And it’s been undoubtedly hectic this last year with COVID affecting all of us. As a result, we are increasingly more likely and willing to spend on smart home features, especially since social interactions and everyday life away from home have been paused.
There are three unique factors to consider when understanding why people see smart home technology and its integration improving daily life:
Integrated smart homes make life more convenient
Smart home features that deliver safety, wellness, and comfort
How smart home integration helps with energy efficiency
Let's unpack each of these.
As a starting point, smart home technologies streamline how we control our homes, allowing us to change our environment to meet our needs with the tap of a button.
Some smart home systems even take convenience one step further by integrating multiple smart home products into a unified experience or learning from our patterns and automatically adjusting to us as we live our lives.
When Price Waterhouse Coopers conducted a smart home technology study, they asked several groups what matters most. Across the board, they found that people want convenience. Participants compared having smart home technology to having a “personal assistant that can do the things they forgot to do.”
Notably, convenience was critical to women. Women noted that
Smart home technology “represents another pair of hands and one less thing to remember on a long list of family responsibilities."
With the increased convenience of our homes virtually running on auto-pilot, we free up more time to do what we love - whether that’s a focus on work, family, or something in between.
As Smart Home goes mainstream, users of smart home technology mention peace of mind and comfort as their primary motivators.
Peace of mind comes from feeling like they are in control and protected while they’re at home, and when they’re away.
At work (maybe post-COVID, that is), on an extended vacation, or even on the couch, the ability to control your home from a phone or tablet, to lock doors, monitor security cameras, control lighting, and be notified in case of smoke or fire are all critical to feeling safe.
According to McKinsey, people with a safety focus are most interested in remote video feeds, connected locks, and connected smoke detectors throughout their homes and solutions that help tie them all together into a single system or app.
Interestingly, 56% of the people surveyed didn't focus on the brand of the products they purchased. They aren't as brand-focused as we might expect; they're benefit-focused.
Total wellness - including consistent, quality sleep - is vital in modern society. We all need restful nights to be productive during the day, and Human-Centric Lighting (HCL) helps us reach that goal.
HCL affects us while we sleep and while we go about our daily lives in our homes. Each of us experience a natural, biological rhythm to our daily lives that ties into how we sleep. This rhythm responds directly to the light levels we experience throughout the day, and too much bright light or too much darkness can have adverse effects.
Auto-dimming lights and motorized shading both help maintain balanced lighting.
Smart home technology and HCL help provide a consistent balance for a homeowner that changes with them as the day unfolds.
Most companies providing human-centric lighting integrations - at this point - are focused on trying to mimic natural light as much as possible to help people feel better, sleep better, and enjoy their homes more than they would without this balance.
Beyond HCL, smart home technologies also support total wellness in other ways. In recent years, several exciting developments actively elevate our health and how we behave each day to keep us healthy.
Here are a few interesting examples:
Ultraviolet disinfection lighting can sanitize surfaces in seconds to keep these surfaces as germ-free as possible.
Bedroom mirrors can measure your blood flow and respiration to see if something is wrong.
Wearables allow you to detect patterns in your behavior and program your other smart devices by these patterns.
As the focus on total wellness rises - with smart home technology playing a more central role in that experience - more of these innovations are sure to surface.
As we’ve fought through COVID, people are starting to think about a future where we can interact with our devices without having to touch them. The same is proving true for our homes.
At the 2021 Consumer Electronics Show (CES), touchless devices were everywhere. Companies are thinking about how faucets, toilets, doorbells, refrigerators, and more can operate in our homes without touch.
Touchless technologies can reduce germ transfer and help occupients stay healthy throughout the year.
In addition to the health considerations, the benefits of touchless technology also extend to comfort and utility. For example, the touchless tech can make it much easier for senior homeowners to do basic things like turning on the lights, which can require reaching up, walking extra distances, or a tough balancing act to get done.
Modern consumers increasingly exhibit a "green" mindset. This mindset influences the products they buy and how they expect energy options to integrate into their homes to help them conserve energy.
The McKinsey study highlights three common energy behaviors that homeowners are worried about:
As we scramble from one thing to the next, maybe a little distracted, some typical behaviors lead to excess energy usage.
With helpful smart home technologies integrated into their homes, people don't waste energy as often.
This change leads to better energy efficiency, lower costs for the homeowner, and reduced stress spent managing their homes.
People can turn lights off when they’re not home and when they aren’t using different rooms. Appliances and TVs can automatically turn off when not in use. And programmable thermostats can be set to keep things comfortable and cut off when it's overkill to be running.
With the increased energy efficiency delivered by smart home systems, homeowners feel more responsible and keep extra money in their pockets.
We're all searching for a better life.
The definition of that better life is different for everyone.
But if you asked ten people, most of those people would mention their homes and comfort level in those homes. Smart home technology is helping homeowners become more comfortable than ever before. Customizing their lives in a way that would have seemed impossible even 30 years ago.
Smart homes can indeed make life better.
Not only for homeowners but for builders and integrators that offer the technologies people want to customize the home of their dreams.
When you offer smart home technology as a builder, you’re giving people what they want. This helps you to stand apart from your competition. Especially if you’re the only builder in the area offering these features. Or, when your customer is considering you and a direct competitor who doesn’t offer smart home features.
When this happens often enough, the effect to your bottom line and the satisfaction of your customers is noticeable.