July 7, 2020 Rodney Cowled

The Ultimate Smart Home Guide for Australia

Is Smart Home Technology the realm of overly enthusiastic techies?

Not anymore…

Smart home tech is taking over Australian homes.

One room at a time.

Across Australia, the technology behind smart home products is getting cheaper & cheaper. There’s never been a better time to make your home smart.

What’s in the Smart Home Guide

This guide to smart home tech takes you through each of the aspects of setting up a great smart home. It will explore the categories of smart home technology available in Australia.

Plus it’ll go through how-to go about integrating all of your smart home products into a cohesive smart home.


The Complete Guide to Smart Home Tech in Australia

How to read this guide?

The guide covers a range of smart home topics, & it may be read from top to bottom, as you would any other blog – if you’re just starting out this is what I’d recommend for you.

Alternatively, if you know what you’re looking for, you may jump straight to the relevant sections using the table of contents below.

If you have any questions throughout your journey, hit me up on social media.

Table of Contents:

An Introduction to Smart Home Technology:

What is Smart Home Technology?

Sometimes called Home Automation, smart home technology is a grouping of connected technology for your home.

Products & appliances which have been connected via a network to each other, often the internet.

This smart technology includes appliances & sensors; like lights, fans, thermostats, & motion sensors, which have been connected to a network.

These connections allow them to be remotely monitored, controlled or accessed. Additionally, & this is where smart homes really shine, they may be configured to respond, automatically, to our needs.

A few examples:

  • A light, or group of exterior garden lights, which can be turned on/off from your phone.
  • A Roller blinds which lowers automatically when the interior temperature is greater than 30C.
  • Using your voice to control to turn the TV on, or adjust the volume of the music.

Where to Start with Smart Home?

Getting started with smart home tech can be easy, simple & straight forward. You don’t need to make your whole home smart in one go. You don’t need to make it complicated & you don’t need any professionals or tradies to get started. (But if you do HiPages, can help)

If you’re brand new to smart home tech, start here:

Types of Smart Home Technology in Australia

In Australia, there is now a wide range of commercially available smart home products. This range is growing every single day.

So much so, that for many, it can be overwhelming at first. It is because of this, that I’ve split this guide into sections, based on similar categories of smart home tech. For example, smart lamps & light bulbs are grouped together under Smart Lighting. Same too, for smart microwaves & smart thermometers; which, are grouped together under Smart Kitchen Technology.


Smart Home Lighting

Smart Home Lighting

Smart home lighting control is one of the best places to start.

It’s the simplest, most affordable and impactful ways to start adding smart home tech to you home.

Recently, for my father-in-law’s last birthday, my wife & I gave him a “smart home starter kit”. The gift itself was a selection of smart light bulbs, a smart speaker & assistance in getting it all set up.

My in-laws have loved the gift. We’ve also inadvertently created another smart-home fanatic. Since the initial gift, my father-in-law has added many more lights & smart curtains – all without any technical help from me.

What makes lighting, smart home lighting?

Traditionally, home lighting is manually controlled by the home’s occupants who manually turn on and off lights. Smart home lighting involves connecting your lighting to a network to some form of “smarts”. This can mean,

  • An App to control your lights
  • Voice control – Hey Siri, dim the lights.
  • Automation & event-based scheduling, OR
  • All. Of. The. Above.

More on Smart Lighting Here:


Smart Heating & Cooling

Smart Heating & Cooling

Smart home heating & cooling is all about managing the temperature, humidity & airflow within your home. In Australia, a land of extremes, we both swelter & freeze. Smart home heating & cooling takes the hassle out of managing your homes environment.

What makes smart heating & cooling, smart?

Adding smart control to your homes heating & cooling, takes our traditional air conditioners, heaters & fans, & makes them smart.

What does this mean?

This means you can turn on your AC before you get home. This means you can turn off your ceiling fan using your voice. All this and so much more.

More on Smart Heating & Cooling here.


Smart Kitchen Technology

Smart kitchen technology ranges for the smallest gadgets to the heaviest smart home appliance of them all: the smart fridge.

While the smart fridge likely won’t be most people’s first step into the world of the smart home, the smart kitchen is a great place to start, for both those who live to cook & those who cook to live.

You can jump into the smart kitchen with just one gadget, or deck out a kitchen with a full suite of smart appliances.

More on Smart Kitchens here.


Smart Home Music & Audio

Smart home audio takes home audio & adds smart features – voice & app-based control, automation, scheduling & integration with other smart home devices.

There is a spectrum of smart audio options, from full home, multi-room smart audio solutions to the stand-alone smart speakers.

Smart Home Audio Posts:


Smart Office Desk

Smart Office Technology

Smart office technology is a category of smart home technology which is strictly limited to your home. There’s some cross over between smart home tech & smart home office tech, but there are also some unique products. Such as smart desks – I even custom built my own.

Smart Office Technology Posts:


Smart Home Security Technology

You no longer have to commit to a contract with a home security company. As smart home technology gets cheaper & smarter in Australia, it can be used to improve your home security.

Want to increase the security of your home? This is the section for you.

Smart Security System Posts:


Smart Garden Tech

Outdoor & Gardening Smart Technology

Do you prefer spending time in the garden, over time in a lounge chair?

Do you love a good outdoor party, a BBQ with friends or just spending time alone in your garden?

Well, the smart home isn’t just for inside the home, it extends to your outdoors.

These ideas are for you – Turn your garden into a smart garden with these smart gardening tech tips.

Outdoor & Gardening Smart Technology:


Smart Technology for Your Pets

Do you feel that? You’re about to leave for work & you look down to see your pet staring back you. It’s a wave of guilt.

They don’t want you to go. You don’t want to leave. But, you must.

Luckily, there’s a whole world of smart pet tech to ease your guilt help entertain your pets.

Smart Pet Technology Posts:


Other Smart Home Technology

In addition these categories & the main key to a great smart home (below) there are a number of other smaller categories or specific scenarios for smart home tech. For example, smart home tech for renters

Other Smart Home Tech Posts:


Integrating Your Smart Home Tech

In my opinion, this is THE most important part of creating a great smart home. Without this step, you’ve merely got a home filled with smart products NOT a smart home.

At the centre of the web of smart home products sits a central controller. In residential smart homes, this role is usually filled by a smart speaker. You’ve likely heard of them. Available in Australia, are the Amazon Echo/Alexa Speaker, Google Home & the Apple home pod.

On first inspection they appear to be a stand-alone product, a voice-controlled speaker to go on your counter top.

But…

Dig deeper and they are the glue that pulls together your smart home. The central system to which all others connect.

These smart speakers allow you to control several brands of products together at once. They allow you to schedule blinds to open at specific temperatures, lights to turn on when door bells ring & more.

They are the essential part of your smart home.

smart home speaker

Smart Speakers & Smart Controllers

The secret to a cohesive smart home? A central controlling unit, a brain, which brings all of the different parts together.

Smart speakers without other smart tech (e.g smart light bulbs, heaters, fans etc) are meh. Equally so, lots of smart tech without a smart speaker is clumsy.

How to make your home a REAL Smart home.

Bringing together smart speakers & smart home technology, this is where your smart home is born.

Most smart home technology is compatible with at least one of the major smart home spears, if not several of them. Which ones is usually indicated on the side of the box of each new smart product.

Here’s how to get started:

Smart Home Routines
Smart Home Routines

Smart Home Routines

The secret that makes smart speakers the powerhouse of the smart home: Smart home routines.

They are a list of actions to be completed together. Usually executed by a smart speaker or smart home hub.

Instead of barking these commands one at a time, a smart home routine will take care of the lot, with one command.

Here’s how to set one up:

Got questions?

Smart home tech Australia Questions Ask me