The adoption of smart technology in the home is increasing but it doesn’t have to be overly complex. Simple, easy-to-use systems are the way forward and therein lies the opportunity for the wholesaler, says Scott Brewer, Head of Technical at Knightsbridge.
The SMART home has long been talked about, but the current offerings rely on expensive hubs and gateways that take considerable setting up, have overcomplicated user interfaces, and require an excessive amount of personal information to get started. Certainly, there’s an appetite from consumers to get into a smart way of controlling appliances and lighting, but the barriers to entry have been prohibitive on the cost front and overly complex.
Where the consumer is embracing smart technology is with smart speakers. According to recent research by techUK, an organisation that promotes technology advancement and adoption, ownership of these items has grown significantly in the past few years – 7% ownership in 2017, to 29% in 2020. However, homeowners are more likely to ask Alexa or Google Assistant to play music, give them the news, ask about the weather, or tell a joke, than to switch on the lights or turn down the thermostat.
What the market really needs is a simple-to-use smart system that offers convenience, flexibility, and scalability, where devices can be controlled by an app via an existing home router. For the homeowner, this would negate the need for costly outlay on proprietary systems and allow the wholesaler to stock electrical accessories and lighting products that can be built into a tailor-made smart system for the home.
Another driver for smart usage has been the trend towards home improvements driven by the Covid-19 pandemic and lockdowns 1.0 and 2.0. As more people have worked from home, saving money in the process, the emphasis on home improvements has grown (as is evident by Kingfisher’s share price). This ‘living space’ upgrade is driving refurbishments and rewiring upgrades, providing an opportunity to install smart devices. As a survey of householders by the HomeServe Foundation reveals, electrical work is taking over a quarter of the budget (27%) allocated to home improvements by the British public, suggesting that there is a great opportunity for sales of smart devices to flourish.
That’s where our latest range of Knightsbridge smart products come into their own. Designed to be easily installed and quickly configured into the SmartKnight app, the wiring accessories and lighting products can be controlled via a smartphone. All the homeowner has to do is download the app onto their smartphone from either Google Play or the Apple App Store and follow the instructions. What’s worth noting is that all of the Knightsbridge smart product range has been sent to Google and Amazon for independent testing and approval. That’s why you’ll see the official ‘works with’ logo, rather than ‘compatible with’, which some systems use.
Once downloaded, the user can take advantage of all the useful features on the app, like timers, schedules, scenes, and geo-fencing (so devices can activate when the customer gets home). And what could be more convenient than simply issuing instructions to either Alexa or Google Assistant to turn down the lights or turn off connected appliances!
So, what forms the basis of the Knightsbridge smart home portfolio? At the heart of the range are the two 13A 2-Gang, smart switched sockets, manufactured to match the designs of its existing Square and Curved Edge ranges of moulded switches and sockets. They feature a power monitoring function so the homeowner can see live power usage on the socket in kWh and a green indicator on the socket shows if the relevant Gang is on. Appliances attached to the socket will be controllable remotely or by voice. For outdoor use there is an IP66 2-Gang switched socket that works up to 40m from the house depending on Wi-Fi signal coverage.
Lighting the way
Where homeowners will have most fun is with the range of smart LED downlights which can be controlled via the SmartKnight app to provide a raft of lighting scenarios. Depending on the model installed, they can vary not only the colour temperature from warm white to daylight and everything in-between, but also the RGB colour with over 16 million options available.
The range also features several useful ancillaries to extend the smart capability of the home such as a 16A smart plug, a 10A 3-Gang smart extension lead with quad USB charger, and smart motion and entry sensors.
This variety of products on offer also maximises the opportunity for repeat business – some buyers will purchase one smart item to test the benefits, paving the way for future smart purchases, expanding their SmartKnight portfolio.
Whatever the homeowner’s appetite for ‘smart’ is, the Knightsbridge range can help satisfy it; so remember – don’t just sell products, sell smart – it’ll pay dividends!
FOR FURTHER INFORMATION
More information on the smart home range including a video on how the products work, visit https://www.knightsbridgesecuritysystems.co.uk/smart-home-systems