Power and Networking: The Smart Home’s Foundation

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Consistent connectivity requires reliable network connections

When was the last time you rebooted your router because the internet was lagging and inconsistent? Have you ever had a hard time getting music to play through your smart speaker even though everything was connected correctly?

There’s a reason tech-literate folks first ask, “Did you turn it off and back on again?” whenever there’s a problem with a smart home device. The simple process of rebooting a system does a couple of things: it resets the network connection and restarts the software that runs the system.

Many issues with electronics are caused by either inconsistent power or poor network connectivity.

Power problems affect modern electronics because the components that run today’s smart devices are so tiny. Even a short sag in voltage or a little bit of electronic noise can cause the computer chips inside home electronics to “get confused” and need a kick in the pants. Time for a reboot!

Related: Smart Home Energy Revolution

Problems with the network, such as reduced Wi-Fi signal, poor physical connections, low quality equipment, or signal interference can wreak havoc on a home network’s reliability. Since most of the parts in a modern home connect over the network, any of those problems can transform a smart home into a hall of nightmares. Nothing works! Or, even worse, some things work, and others don’t.

The good news is that these problems can be overcome or avoided altogether. Homeowners should be able to enjoy their smart homes without needing an in-depth tutorial on what to reboot when an issue occurs.

I recommend including a high-quality power management system for every home technology project. This should consist of robust surge protection and power conditioning, and an uninterruptible power supply (UPS) should provide consistent power to at least the most important components. For larger projects that include solar power, a backup generator or whole-home batteries, careful consideration around the power system for the technology package is critical.

Related: How AI and IoT are Redefining Smart Homes

High-quality networks are built using business-class routers, network switches and Wi-Fi access points with hard-wired connections. These will provide a higher level of reliability and performance than standard consumer products. A qualified home technology pro will specify the right equipment for your specific needs and to ensure proper coverage of the entire home.

By providing a solid technology foundation of reliable power and a high-performance network, builders can provide reliable and high-performance smart home systems to their customers.

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Author

  • Andy Cochran

    Andy Cochran is a sales consultant with Aurum Home Technology in Denver. He specializes in solutions for high-end custom homes. He can be reached by phone at 720-960-1599 or by email at [email protected]. Find him on LinkedIn at www.linkedin.com/in/andy-cochran-24317868/ and Instagram at @andy_andycochran.

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