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What Should You Know About the Recent Smart Homes Trend in Singapore?

Smart homes seem to be the rage nowadays. Both private property developers and the HDB have been touting smart homes when launching their new projects.

Smart homes aren’t exactly a new thing, in 2016, the HDB launched a trial project called “My Smart HDB Home @ Yuhua” in which residents could purchase smart home applications and services.

Then, some 9,000 residents in the project were the first HDB flat owners to experience living in a smart home.

Since then, other HDB smart developments were launched, including projects in Teck Ghee, Punggol and Tengah. Smart private developments include Le Quest in Bukit Batok, The Tapestry in Tampines and One Bernam in Tanjong Pajar.

According to Statista, a leading provider of market and consumer data, the number of active smart home households is expected to reach 1.1m by 2026.

Currently, the smart household penetration in Singapore is approximately 33.4% and Statista expects the number to hit 68% by 2026.

So, what is a smart home?

A smart home is equipped with smart devices that control lighting, heating, electronic devices remotely using a networked device. These smart devices can be installed all at once when you are renovating your home (which can be quite costly), or you can install them in stages, according to your needs and budget.

Outfitting a smart home comes with additional costs but the benefits will be worth it in the long term.

1. Energy saving

For many of us, the main aim of creating a smart home is to save energy and in the process, save money.

Smart products include appliances such as refrigerators, air-cons and lighting. Smart air-cons are programmed to optimize cooling efficiency for greater comfort and save you money too.

Smart lighting can be controlled remotely and if any member of your household has a habit of leaving lights on, you can do it remotely using your mobile phone.

Another option is using motion sensor lights that come on when you enter a room and turn off automatically when you leave.

2. Security

A smart security system consists of several devices such as a security camera, motion and entry sensor, digital locks, smoke detector and locks, working together to ensure that your home is well-protected at all times.

Most smart security systems allow homeowners to view live footage via a computer or app, making it easy for parents to keep a lookout if the house is vacant or to keep an eye on their children to ensure their well-being.

Most systems also provide alerts and notifications whenever there are safety or security issues.

No more worrying about whether your child or domestic helper left the door ajar or forgotten to lock.

3. Comfort

In Singapore's hot and humid weather, you would normally come back to a hot and stuffy home. Wouldn't it be great to come home after a hard day in the office, to a cool and comfortable home?

With a smart home, it is possible.

Switch on the air-conditioning, adjust the temperature while you are parking the vehicle in the basement car park and your home will no longer be hot and uncomfortable.

On sunny days, you can draw the curtains remotely and open them when the sun sets, all by using your mobile phone. If your home is hot, your air-con uses more energy to cool it down.

4. Convenience

By installing a smart lock, you can easily unlock your doors with a one-touch fingerprint identification or by keying in a PIN (personal identification number).

No more fumbling for keys or worse, walking back to the car cos you left the house keys there.

For busy working professionals, robot vacuums will ease your housework by doing vacuuming and mopping. Some hi-tech models have a wet-mopping function and can be controlled remotely even when you are not at home. Is that great, coming home to a clean and freshly mopped floor?

Few challenges to face with

Whilst there are many benefits of a smart home, there are also challenges, the main one being the cost.

Smart devices can be quite costly, especially the more technologically advanced ones. The solution is of course to install your HDB flat or condo with smart devices in stages.

Start with the basics such as motion sensor lights, digital locks etc. They do not cost an arm and a leg and yet are important additions in transforming into a smart home.

Next is battery life. Many first time users of smart devices often forget that these devices need to be recharged after use. Nothing can be more frustrating than activating smart devices only to find that the battery is drained.

Then, of course, there is the internet. Smart devices can only work when there is connectivity and we all pray that there is no major breakdown of internet services by the service providers.


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