Guide to smart home retrofitting

Guide to smart home retrofitting

Guide to smart home retrofitting

Smart home 19 Mar 2020

We all read about the latest advancements in home automation and state of the art IoT gadgets every day. Although these innovations are of great use, many people hesitate to employ them in their households because of prior investment in conventional home fittings and appliances. Unless you are wasteful, you won’t dump your dishwasher every time a new model is released onto the market.

But what is retrofitting?

In simple terms, retrofitting is the concept of modifying existing home decor items, gadgets, and other appliances by adding new technologies to them. Retrofitting is economically feasible and an eco-friendly approach towards adapting the latest tech because it is based on the notion of ‘reduce, reuse & recycle.’

Retrofitting solutions retain the comfort and familiarity of your existing appliances while simultaneously updating them with new technological devices that increase their efficiency. A typical example of retrofitting can be automating existing window blinds. Even though there are many devices that fall under the smart home retrofit concept, let us understand its benefits by sticking to window blinds.

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Benefits of retrofitting

Besides the monetary benefits, retrofitting appliances offer the following advantages:

  • It allows you to use the perks of the latest technology without replacing your existing appliance/decor. This is very useful when it comes to maintaining your home’s ambiance. For instance, most major household items are selected according to the overall theme of a room. If you replace even a single major item, the aesthetic is lost. Thus, you can overcome this predicament by retrofitting existing household components.

    When it comes to window blinds, a small retrofit kit is connected to your blinds. This automates your window blinds without hindering the appearance.

  • A smart home retrofit is a convenient option from the perspective of the elderly and those members who aren’t tech-savvy. Although devices can be completely automated after retrofitting, you still have the option of operating them manually in most of the cases. Since the functions of devices remain the same, even the not-so-tech-savvy members of your family can use them.

    For example, you can control your window blinds with a remote control or mobile app. However, most elderly don’t even know how to make calls on a smartphone, let alone use it to control IoT and automated devices.

    That is why it is essential to maintain conventional functionalities. Thus, retrofitting also makes it easier to adapt to the notion of a smart home without causing any difficulties for family members.

  • Another benefit associated with retrofitting is eco-friendliness. Since you don’t have to buy an entire apparatus for automation and the existing devices are reused, a lot of e-waste is reduced. Although innovations are gradually becoming more sustainable day by day, you should refrain from unnecessarily throwing away appliances and home decor items.

    Smart home retrofit solutions put a cap on electronic waste by reusing non-biodegradable components such as transistors, chips, metal components, and plastics.

  • Retrofitting also has a high return on investment, and it significantly increases the durability of an appliance. Furthermore, adding retrofit kits on a device is more feasible than purchasing and replacing it with a new gadget. The best part is, you can retrofit appliances by yourself and give personalized automation to your home most of the time.

    You just need to get a retrofit-kit from the market. If you’ve working knowledge of electronic circuits, you can proceed with embedding the kit in the devices. However, it is recommended to consult professional companies in the other case.

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Why should you implement a smart home retrofit?

Okay, now you know the benefits of retrofitting. But you might wonder why you should implement it in your house? The answer to this question is - the robustness and efficiency it has to offer you.

In addition to this, retrofitting things such as window blinds can make your life a lot easier than you can think. Automated window blinds, garage doors, and lights eliminate the need for physical movements for turning them on and off. It is a beneficial concept, especially for physically disabled people or the elderly.

Nowadays, retrofitting the appliances also permits you to control them via smartphone applications. The users can set-up a schedule for turning devices on/off. In the case of window blinds, you can schedule their opening and closing times. Moreover, through these apps, you can also access these devices remotely.

For example, if your teenager is sleeping in their bedroom and you’re out because of work commitments, you can quickly wake them up in the morning by opening the window blinds and turning on the speakers installed in your home right from your workspace. This is just one use-case of a smart home retrofit.

It would help if you implemented retrofitting in your house because it not only automates the tasks but also keeps your home secure. After going out, some people get paranoid that they’ve left the stove or water running. In such cases, remote automation can help people check their appliances’ status on mobile phones irrespective of their location and turn them off quickly.

Irrespective of the situation, you can consider a retrofit in your home for a better and convenient lifestyle. This concept falls between the intersection of the latest home automation trends and sticking to conventional appliances. Through retrofitting, you get to cherry-pick the comfort and familiarity of your home devices and automate them by using the latest plug-ins.

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Summing it up

Rapid evolution in the tech industry has resulted in a spike in the number of people incorporating smart home retrofit concepts into their lifestyles. Furthermore, IoT and automation companies are introducing efficient and affordable devices every day that can be plugged in with the existing appliances and home decor items.

As a result, many individuals are shifting towards a retrofit household. Moreover, it has many advantages that add value to the lifestyle of ordinary people. The concept of recycling and reusing existing devices also helps in reducing non-biodegradable waste. Retrofitting is an ideal approach to cope up with the continually evolving nature of technology and being environment savvy at the same time.

It would be best if you adapted retrofitting solutions for efficient, tech-savvy, and financially viable changes in your home.