Thursday, February 5, 2015

Consumers are weighing the benefits of 'smart' homes

There are all kinds of gadgets on store shelves now for automating your home. Using a smartphone, you can adjust the thermostat, turn up the heat and turn on the lights before you get out of bed.
With all those choices – and more – it seems we're most impressed with just one part of the “smart” home product catalogs: security systems.
That detail comes from a report by Mooresville-based Lowe’s home improvement store, which collected opinions from more than 2,000 people last year for its Smart Home Survey.
Sixty-two percent of those surveyed ranked security and home monitoring as the top benefit of smart-home technology.
Half of the respondents said their homes would be more secure with access to features such as locks that can be set remotely. Forty-six percent said they would want to monitor their property when they are away from home.
So while retailers are pushing to get technology onto their shelves to give us more conveniences and energy savings, many consumers are still deciding.
You probably can guess why there might be cautious excitement for the broader range of products. Cost is one reason.
For home monitoring, these consumers are less excited about systems that call for a monthly fee, according to the survey.
I’ve got to agree. I’ve been looking for a new security system for months to get around the bills that just keep going up. I just want a reliable, basic setup, maybe the type you install yourself.
I’ll keep trolling the aisles to find something that works. I’m sure I’ll have plenty of company as I do.

Karen’s blog:; on Twitter @sullivan_kms