You Should Adjust Your Smart Home Before You Travel – Lifehacker
Photo: RossHelen (Shutterstock)
The promise of the smart home is usually about what you can do while you’re there. You can set the lights to turn on as you walk in the door, or program the thermostat to begin to cool things down when it knows you’re leaving work. But you might not think about how all your smart devices can be configured to work for you while you’re away. Taking a vacation for a week or two doesn’t mean you need to leave your smart home as is. Here are some things you should do to adjust it before you leave.
Disable smart alarm clocks
I am guilty of this one. Many of us use our smartphones for our daily wake up calls, and they travel with us on our trips and vacations. However, smart speakers and smart alarm clocks, including ones with special features like artificial light to trick your sleeping brain into thinking it’s a bright sunny day, are becoming more common.
It’s too easy to forget to disable these alarms when you leave your house, especially if you’re new to the whole “dedicated alarm clock” thing. I used an iPhone as my alarm for more than a decade, and less than two months after getting a Hatch smart alarm clock, I forgot to turn it off before vacation. Luckily, it’s wifi-enabled, which meant I could disable it from my phone one I remembered (more on that later), but save yourself the trouble ahead of time and turn off the alarm from the app.
Keep thermostats set to appropriate temperatures
If you’re traveling during periods of extreme temperatures, like hot summers or cold winters, make sure you keep your thermostat turned on (smart or not). Of course, there’s no need to keep things at the temps you would if you were home—that’s a waste of money and resources. Instead, worry only about keeping your home from getting too cold or too hot.
You’ll find a variety of recommendations for target temperatures online, but the general advice is that you don’t want your home dipping below 60 degrees or baking above the 80s for too long.
Set some smart lights to turn on at night
You probably don’t want to keep your lights on around the clock while you’re on vacation. However, it can be a useful security measure to keep a light or two on at night when you’re gone—no one wants to hit the house where “someone” is still awake at 1 a.m.
Different smart lights use different smart home apps, but most let you create automations that turn lights on and off at specific intervals. You can set your lights to turn on and off in various …….