Smart Home, Sweet Home

Smart Home as in connected home, but above all as in Home Sweet Home. Whether you live in a student flat in the heart of the city, or in a spacious villa in the countryside, at Netatmo, home sweet home always rhymes with Home Comfort, Home Sustainability and Home Security. The three essentials for peace of mind, better health, and thus more joy of living and well-being in the family.

The past two years living through a pandemic have allowed us to get to know our homes better… to say the least.  Similarly, our new lifestyles are keeping us away from the exit door at all costs: e-commerce and home deliveries, work from home, video conferencing… We live 90% of our time indoors! But between you and me, don’t we feel good in our homes?

Our home is the apple of our eye, where we can connect with family and friends, work, play, relax and communicate with the whole world. Therefore, we like to take care of our cocoon, to decorate it, to make it beautiful, to make it more us, and to feel better in it. The quality of your home environment determines everything else. It is therefore essential for our peace of mind and our well-being to know that we are protected from possible dangers, both inside and outside, and to make it a healthy environment, with reasonable consumption. Yes, what could be more reassuring and beneficial than daily life in a temperate, safe house with healthy air, suitable light and controlled energy? All these influences have a direct impact on our body and mind:  “A healthy mind in a healthy body”!  And if we extend the benefit, feeling good at home is also a guarantee of productivity, good health and therefore of well-being in society, everyone benefits!

And this is in fact all that the Smart Home, your connected home, can provide. A home that serves you, that thinks with you from near and far.  Through speakers or connected boxes (Google Home, Amazon Echo, etc.), but also through your smartphone, tablet or computer, by text message or voice command (Apple HomeKit, Amazon Alexa and Google Assistant).  A home you can communicate with, a home that becomes a member of your family and ensures comfort, durability and security.

So as not to lose anyone, because I’m already hearing “What about home automation in all this?”… don’t panic, it’s still there. It has just been sublimated by the connected house. Home automation allowed you to act on your home and its environment with a simple click:   a remote control, for example, that opens a gate or a shutter.  Now, the connected house adds to home automation the possibility of being programmable via an application and also adds artificial intelligence.  The latter, allowing your home to act on its own, hence the name “smart home”.

The comfort house for your well-being

As you will have understood, the ambition of the connected home is first and foremost your comfort. There’s nothing like a little reality check to get a good grasp of this grail.  So close your eyes and imagine yourself in your living room one evening with the person you love. No more noise, the light is slowly fading, the machines are at rest, the children are fast asleep, you are warm but not too hot, the smell of dinner is an old memory, the air is clean, your favourite aperitif is in front of you on the table… Welcome, you have taken your place in the connected house. As you will have understood, for the comfort of this moment and of so many others, three essential components act on your indoor well-being: air quality, temperature and lighting. To immerse yourself continuously in this cocoon feeling, the connected house measures in real time the key data of your environment.  Depending on the data it stores, it alerts you, suggests resolution scenarios or even acts on its own to alleviate discomfort.

For example, we know that sleep, which takes up a third of our time, is crucial for our health and for many biological functions such as memory, learning, metabolism and immunity!  Between a day of latent fatigue and an energetic and efficient day after a night of deep sleep, it’s night and day.  However, today one in three people suffer from a sleep disorder. It is therefore important and beneficial to create the best possible environment for sleep. This is the role of the connected home, which helps you by acting on three axes: air quality, temperature and lighting. Of course, this also applies to your day, because these three aspects have a clear impact on your productivity and ability to concentrate. When you work from home, for example. And not to mention your children when they are doing their homework. Children who work in a healthy environment concentrate better…and hopefully the results at school will follow.

Optimised air quality for your health

Let’s take a closer look at air quality. Air is what we breathe, sixteen breaths per minute for an adult.  That’s sixteen opportunities to fill our bodies with beneficial air.  But this air has to be healthy.  Given the amount of time we spend in our homes, the air pollution can be even greater than outside. This can lead to headaches, lack of energy, a cough, allergies or asthma, etc. In other words, the consequences of an uncontrolled environment.

But air is also the level of sound it contains, whether it is conducive to the activity we are doing or not. The perception of sound is increasingly poor today. This is due to the ever-increasing noise in urban areas, which damages our hearing. Today we even talk about noise pollution. This pollution not only concerns outside, it is also in your homes: domestic appliances, air conditioning, pipes, heating, neighbours, etc. At night, hearing is the only sense that is awake, so why not make our home a healthy sound space that adapts to situations?

For all these good reasons and many more, the connected home now offers intelligent sensors to alert of air quality, noise level or temperature so that they are adapted to different situations and preferences of each person.  Yes, as each person reacts differently to his or her environment, a room-by-room control can be implemented.  These connected sensors measure these parameters, analyse them in real time, identify possible problems and tell you how to solve them: noise level alerts in the baby’s room, it’s time to tell the kids to go play elsewhere.

The great advantage of these intelligent sensors is that they can also compile data over a given period of time (days, weeks, months, years) in order to draw conclusions over the medium or long term. The more information you have, the more accurate the system becomes, and the more you can reduce indoor pollution.  Thanks to your smartphone connected to the sensors via the internet, you can review the history of the evolution of these parameters and their analysis, which is the time for you to consider sustainable solutions, for example: decide to change the baby’s room, or put a green plant in a particular room.

But that’s not all, these same sensors can even act alone.  This is why they are called “intelligent”.  They monitor temperature, humidity and CO2 levels, and control your windows according to this data to ensure a healthy indoor climate.  This intelligent system can also detect rain and automatically delay the opening of roof windows to protect your home.

The right temperature for every moment of the day

The temperature also plays a central role in your domestic comfort, ideally it should not exceed 23 degrees and remain above 16 degrees[1]. At night, the bedrooms are the places where the temperature should be the lowest.

With the connected home, and more precisely with connected thermostats, radiators, contactors or panels, you can manage your heating at home or remotely on your smartphone.  So controlling and managing your heating has never been easier.  From personalised planning by room to the remote activation of your heating in boosted mode, via automatic watering according to the weather, the benefits are numerous.    You’re going away for a few months, tell the app, and the house will go into Frost Protection mode, for example.  It’s time to come back, you haven’t anticipated, and you want to find a perfectly tempered house, a nice warm bath and fresh air, you just have to activate your heating in “boost mode”, as well as your water heater and your ventilation system, in your car and remotely.

In addition to having happier and more efficient days, thanks to these connected objects you can have peace of mind, free of these material concerns.

Light as a source of well-being

On earth, we have two sources of light, one natural, the sun, the other artificial, our light bulbs. The first is essential to our organism: it regulates our mood, memory, sleep and also provides us with vitamin D. The Comfort House does everything possible to ensure that these two types of light complement each other and occupy your space for your well-being. To manage these lights, The Comfort House helps you to set up scenarios for switching on or off your various lights and allows you to create atmospheres with varying intensity or colours according to your wishes. In the same way, for a better sleep, it is also important to respect as much as possible the curve of the natural light cycle. These scenarios will help you, for example, to vary the light intensity in your home by accentuating it gently in the morning and gradually dissipating it in the evening.

As light is also a source of heat, the connected house will, depending on the sunshine data and in real time, ensure that the coolness is maintained or that the heating light is allowed to pass.  Thus, the connected house will autonomously close or open your blinds, so that your rooms remain cool in summer and warm in winter.  Without you even having to think about it!

Light is also an opportunity to make big savings on the energy used for lighting.  Who hasn’t already said to their nice children,  “The light in your room is still on”?  With the connected home, you can turn off all your lights directly on your smartphone.

The sustainable home for your positive impact

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The ambition of the connected house is also to participate in the collective effort to reduce carbon emissions. Your well-insulated and well-tempered house is of course a considerable gain in terms of well-being and health, but it also means big energy savings. The difference between two houses classified G and A in the energy diagnostics is a ratio of 1 to 10 on your bills[2].

Insert or NB:  Domestic energy loss

In a poorly insulated house, 25-30% of heating losses are due to energy wasted through the roof, 20-25% through the walls, 20-25% through excessive ventilation that heats up the birds, 10-15% through the windows, 7-10% through the floors and 5-10% through thermal bridges[3].

A connected house is therefore a house that helps you to better understand your consumption in real time or cumulatively. It can tell you what you consume, when and how, and above all help you to regulate this consumption while preserving your comfort. This regulation intervenes on several levels.  Directly from the connected panel, but also thanks to the intelligent heating, the detection of open windows, the intelligent thermostatic heads or the connected switches that continuously optimise your heating system.

Just to give you an idea of what a connected home panel can contain, you have for example:

  • Connected energy meters that give you the on/off status of every machine in your home
  • Connected load shedders that allow you to put certain unused consumption items on standby so that you don’t blow a fuse when your installation is overloaded
  • Connected contactors that simply give you the consumption of the machines and allow you to set up automatic scenarios for opening and closing the circuit
  • Connected remote switches that allow you to turn your lights on or off from your smartphone or to create opening and closing scenarios

With all these connected objects, added to predictive energy management, not only do you eliminate the stress of unexpected amounts on your energy bills, but above all, you act positively for the planet!

The security house dedicated to your peace of mind

Since the beginning of time, man has built shelters to keep away from danger.  Security is a fundamental need because it gives us a state of serenity that allows us to act in free will. This is why we feel good at home, because we are free of all external constraints, all worries, all dangers.  Well, almost…

Indeed, a house can also quickly become a source of anxiety for you. Anxiety at home because you know that an installation is defective, or outside when you don’t know if you have turned off the oven or closed a door when you leave.  These small anxieties added together can quickly alter our well-being and serenity.

The people who design connected houses live in the same houses as you do, so they know these same fears.  They are therefore working to reduce them one by one with connected objects to protect you, your loved ones and your property. But also with systems to ensure the proper functioning of domestic installations.  Some examples of solutions proposed by these connected objects for home surveillance and security on one hand:

An intelligent video alarm system alerts you even before an intrusion. It differentiates between a stranger and a relative and scares off intruders with its siren. It illuminates and alerts you as soon as a person, animal or vehicle enters your property.

  •  A smart indoor camera can alert you when a stranger enters your home
  •  A smart indoor siren automatically goes off to scare off intruders
  • A smart video doorbell allows you to see who is at your door and respond wherever you are. Essential for receiving deliveries when you’re not there!
  • Intelligent opening detectors on doors and windows alert you to an intruder attempt
  • A lock and smart keys protect your front door. This device also allows you to deactivate a lost key, or even send a remote invitation

And for personal protection on the other hand:

  • Intelligent smoke detectors alert you if ever in the case of a fire. If you are anxious, a test of the installation is available on the app (checking the battery, the smoke sensor and the Wi-Fi connection)
  • A smart carbon monoxide detector alerts you, in real time, in case of leakage or detection
  • The more we are warned, the more we can take corrective action, and therefore the more we are protected.

As you will have understood, the connected home is a daily aid to make your life easier, to live better and in good health, to save you from financial worries and to protect you from domestic dangers.  And all this while protecting the environment.  For many products, Netatmo, a brand of the Legrand group, collaborates with the parent company and other companies to provide you with a complete and effective solution for your connected home.  Several people working together are always stronger!