Smart homes are becoming increasingly popular by the day, and it’s just a matter of time before most of the world’s population gets in on it.
If you’re trying to convert your home into a smart home, you must have learned that there are too many brands to choose from, and it might become confusing for some people. One of those brands that can aid your smart home transformation is Google.
Since Google started their Google Home back in 2016, there have been great advancements and the introduction of even more products. There have been major software updates to Google Assistant, Google Nest devices to increase the functionality and comfort of Google Home.
Whether you own a Google Home Mini, Google Nest Hub, Nest Hub, or any other hub that has Google Assistant fitted in it, there is a lot you can get a lot of service from it.
When Google Home started, it was only compatible with four brands, but nowadays, it can work with over 1,000 brands and is compatible with thousands of smart devices.
This means when you have a Google Home hub, you do not need to worry about the compatibility of the smart devices you’re about to purchase.
You can focus more on the features and functionality of smart devices. Here is a breakdown of how you can get started with a Google-powered smart home.
Step 1: Get a Smart Speaker or a Smart Display
The best thing about building a Google-centered smart home is that you can control all the smart devices involved via your smartphone by giving voice commands to the Google Assistant.
This is because Google Assistant is in-built in most Android-powered phones, and even for iOS devices, it can be downloaded as an app in the App store. What a smart speaker or a smart display does differently from the app is that your whole family can control the smart devices via a more central hub that offers a display too.
A smart display such as the Nest Hub can control your smart devices whenever you give voice commands to Google Assistant or tapping on its touchscreen.
The display-enabled hubs are fitted with a control panel that acts as the reference of all the smart devices plugged in, making it more convenient to use for both the household members and their visitors.
By using a smart speaker or a smart display, you eradicate the inconvenience that comes with everyone wanting to access a personal phone or having lots of different apps installed.
Step 2: Introduce Google to the Household Members
After setting up the smart speakers or displays, the next part is to get Google Assistant to recognize all the household members’ voices that will be giving voice commands.
To train Google Assistant to recognize all their voices and get the appropriate responses is easier than you might think. All that is needed is to have all the members set up Google Account, or if they already have one, they can sync it with the Google Home app.
Google Assistant will recognize your voice and the family members’ voices after they have said some phrases or words several times.
Step 3: Pick a Suitable Location
It’s convenient to keep your smart display or speaker at a location where it’s accessible to everyone. However, some smart displays such as the Nest Hub are more suitable in the kitchen because they can be of great help with recipes.
Most smart homes and displays are better off in the living room because it’s within the family’s hearing range and access. If your home is very big, you might need to get more smart speakers or displays and station them in various spots or rooms.
But if you feel you don’t require several units of smart displays or speakers, you can use only one but place it on the frequently crowded part of your home.
For multiple smart speakers or displays, you do not need to worry about overlapping because whenever you give a voice command, only the closest one will respond.
The bedroom is another appropriate position; you can place a smart display or speaker whenever you need to give a more private device.
Step 4: Choose Your Smart Home Devices
After you’ve had your hub set up and voice recognized by Google Assistant, the next part is picking the smart devices that you’ll be using. For this part, it’s important to start small; you do not want to get many smart devices that you’ll rarely use.
The best start is by getting smart lights. Many smart lights are easily compatible with Google Home that will provide you with the service you need. They include; Philips Hue White and Color Ambiance and LIFX Color, among many others.
After you’ve picked the smart lights, you can proceed with other devices such as smart thermostats, smart plugs, smart security cameras, smart doorbells, and smart locks. Most of the smart devices manufactured by popular brands are compatible with Google Home.
Chances are, if you’ve spotted a given smart device, it can be incorporated into your Google-powered smart home.
Step 5: Sync Your Smart Home
For every smart device you decide to use for your Google Home, you’ll require to go through an initial setup before you can incorporate it. For example, to set up the Nest Learning Thermostat, you’ll have to create an account for it which will be saved by Google Assistant.
The next step to take will be to open the Google Home app and then tap on add button. Then click on the add device part and proceed to select ‘Works with Google’.
You’ll be able to find the brand of the device you’ve set up by following the alphabetical order, or you can search for it on the search bar. After you’ve selected the smart device you wish to add to your Google Home, synch its account with the Google Account.
Step 6: Create Rooms and Routines
Separating your devices into rooms is very effective when differentiating them. For example, suppose you have several smart lights in different rooms; you want to differentiate the one you want to turn on or off.
For this reason, Google gives you the option to add these devices to their respective rooms. You can do this by opening the Google Home app, selecting the device, and then add it to a room or shift it to another room.
For your rooms, it’s important to assign names you can easily recognize or the names that all the household members know about. When you assign several smart devices to these rooms, it enables you to control them all at once.
For example, if you tell Google Assistant ‘turn on the bedroom lights,’ every smart light in that room will respond to that.
Assigning rooms to your smart devices will help differentiate the many smart devices in your home which have specific names, but when you assign them to different rooms, it’s easier to control them. For example, you might have numerous table lamps in your home.
After you’ve assigned rooms to your smart devices, it’s even easier now to assign routines to them. When you want to create these routines, open the Google Home app and proceed to the ‘manage routines’ and add.
For the routines, use phrases that can get several smart devices responding to it. For example, you can use ‘Good morning’ to have smart devices such as the lights turned on, the smart coffee maker brewing your coffee, and the speakers playing your favorite song.
You can also assign the phrase ‘Bedtime,’ and whenever you say it to your Google Assistant, it will have your smart devices respond to it. This phase might have your smart lights turned off, the speakers turned off, and the smart locks locked.
Step 7: Develop Your Smart Home
After you’ve set up everything and your smart home is up and running, this is the best time to tell which smart device you might be missing in your home. Now that you know how everything works, you’ll be better positioned to add more complex smart devices such as air conditioning and smart security cameras.
The best thing about this phase is that you won’t need to train Google Assistant to recognize other commands as it understands your smart devices better now. Now you can give commands to the existing and new smart devices and enjoy your ever-developing smart home.
Google-powered smart home is one of the most versatile forms of automation you can get out there. With the aid of software such as IFTTT, you can add any smart device you want to perfect your smart home.
When you advance your Google-centered smart home, you add more comfort, convenience, and security to it. However, it’s very important to know what smart devices you need and the ones you don’t to avoid spending a lot on devices you won’t use.
Always give focus to the essential smart devices and once you get a grip on everything, add more advanced ones.
If you are still feeling a little muddled up and looking for some help, then check out my Smart Home in 8 Weeks course designed to take you from zero to a fully integrated smart home!