It is estimated that by 2021, 73 million homes — or 55 percent of all homes in the United States — will be smart-homes due to technology innovations that increase the efficiency and comfort of consumers’ homes, according to market research firm Berg Insight. Some of today’s most popular devices that homeowners and homebuyers alike are seeking include:
Smart thermostats – Among the most popular and arguably the most effective at improving energy efficiency, smart thermostats can learn the temperature preferences of the homeowner and auto-adjust to his or her schedule.
Smart security systems – The price points and options are seemingly endless, but highlights typically include remote/mobile access and control, to security camera footage and auto-locking doors.
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Smart light bulbs – Certain energy-efficient light bulbs can keep shining when the power goes out, illuminate or dim at desired times or at the sound of a doorbell, and sync with smartphones so the lights can turn on when the homeowner is not home.
Smart doorbells – These come in various designs and colors, but most offer high-definition footage of live and/or recorded video whenever someone presses the bell, or on demand if the owner wants to see if someone is at the door.
Smart window shades – Control them from a phone, schedule them to open and close at specific times and/or simply tell them what to do using the voice activation feature that many models offer.
All in One
Smart hubs allow users to control multiple smart-home devices that are interconnected through a central hub. Most of the big manufacturers offer hubs for their various products, but products from different makers do not always integrate easily with each other, if at all. It is important to determine what your home automation needs are first and then identify which products offer the most compatibility.
“I always suggest that consumers start small with just a Hub and a Multipurpose Sensor,” said Jayson Howell, home appliance builder division account manager at Samsung and HBA member. “With those in place, you can do so many things -- get notifications if a door is opened, trigger a light to go on if movement is detected in the garage, or know when your elderly parent opens the medicine cabinet.”
There are many applications for using smart-home technology depending on the needs and desires of a homeowner. “Via just a single app, users can turn on the lights, turn up the music and manage everything in between, whether they’re at home or away from the house,” said Howell. “The possibilities are endless.”
Given the convenience, efficiency and ease of use of smart-home technology, expect to see several of these features in future Parade homes.
The fall Parade of Homes runs September 23 through October 8 with 286 homes open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. with free admission.
New this fall is an improved Parade of Homes app, which you can download for free to your devices from the Apple Store or Google Play store by searching “KC Parade of Homes.” The new app offers updated functionality and improved directions to homes.
Also new is this fall is the HBA’s Hammer out Hunger challenge. The goal is to see which state can donate the most food/money: Kansas or Missouri. Patrick Willis of Willis Custom Homes is the team captain for Missouri and Tommy Bickimer of Bickimer Construction is leading the Kansas team.
If you would like to donate to one of the teams, click the “donate” button at kcparadeofhomes.com and choose your side.
2017 Fall Parade of Homes
When: September 23 through October 8 from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Admission is free.
Where: 286 homes throughout the metro. Free Parade Guides listing addresses and information for every home on the Parade are available at the HBA office at 600 E. 103rd St., near Interstate 435 and Holmes Road, and at all Parade homes. Drop off a non-perishable food item to donate to Harvesters when you pick up your guide at the HBA!
Prices: Home prices range from $249,950 to $1.58 million.
More Information: Event information and a digital Parade of Homes Guide can be found at KCParadeofHomes.com using an online Home Search tool for locating homes by builder, price, location, school district or amenities, plus a Mobile Search and Maps tool available from the Apple Store or Google Play store for searching from your smart phone or tablet.