A reliable smart home needs to have some core ideas implemented

Don’t require a mobile device or voice assistant

One of the fun things about home automation is being able to control your lights from your phone or your voice assistant (Google Home, Alexa, etc.). And while a good setup will allow those as options, the best setup is one that doesn’t need it.

  • Use motion sensors to automate lighting where possible.
    • Additionally, can adjust lighting conditions based on the time of day.
  • Use door sensors, lock status and presence detection to automate lighting.
    • If certain doors are normally shut (closets for instance), can automate lighting when they are opened.
    • Can turn on interior lighting when the front door is unlocked from the outside.
    • Set the home to automate lighting using presence detection so that when everyone has left, the lights all turn off, and when people return home, certain ones turn back on.


  • Whenever possible, smart devices need to have a way to be manually controlled.
    • For lighting, avoid smart bulbs when possible, and instead use smart switches. This allows the lights to still be controlled using physical switches.
    • For smart outlets and places where smart bulbs are used, attempt to add a smart button control to allow those devices to still be manually operated.

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