Smart Home: The Pitfalls of Doing It Yourself

Michael Wolf, a consumer-technology researcher, said in a Forbes piece, “DIY is the smart home industry’s big lie.” That’s a bold statement, but given the evidence, he might just be right.

While smart technology has been available to the rich and indulgent for decades in the form of extravagantly expensive integrated systems that control the entire house from one control center, only in the past few years, have these conveniences begun to become available to the average Joe. Indeed, prices are falling, and devices are coming out of the woodwork – but it’s not quite a plug-n-play wonderland … not yet anyway.

Accessible smart technology as it stands is a mishmash of different brands (Nest, Kwikset, Insteon, and Honeywell to name just a few), and different types of products (door locks, security systems, appliances, audio, and more). In the first few years of consumer-available home automation, these products ran on their apps, and there were few options besides simply entering individual commands through each app.

What’s Wrong With DIY?

Sure, you might get your individual plug-n-play cameras, outlets, and light timers installed and hooked to your phone. But what if you want to make sure the thermostat sets itself to 64° the minute the entry door locks from the outside? Without something to pull all these devices together, it’s not going to happen.

Another problem is that home automation doesn’t just work on WiFi – some technology utilizes Bluetooth, and then there are those channels designed specifically for use with smart technology, such as ZigBee and Z-Wave. These systems can be complex to configure, particularly if you have multiple devices using different types of wireless.

The Big Two Loom Large

It’s no surprise that Apple got in on these problems looking for solutions in very short order. HomeKitiPeople, but it’s an after-market solution rather than making initial DIY smart home installation easier.

Earlier this year Google unveiled Brillo, its version of total connected device integration. The Android platform will utilize Google’s new smart home communication language called Weave. Brillo and Weave will, in theory, work together to make operating your IoT simple and seamless.

Whole-Home Technology

For those who can afford the installation, equipment, and monthly service charges, there are still the whole-house automation companies that have been serving the wealthy and privileged for years. Systems like Control4, Crestron, and Home Seer have been joined by new kids on the block like Staples Connect and Samsung’s SmartThings.

Installation Solutions

For those who aren’t excited at the thought of DIY smart home installation, ServiceLive from Sears is the perfect solution. We connect you with the right contractors who have years of experience installing smart home devices and making them run smoothly. ServiceLive screens our authorized providers with comprehensive criminal and background checks and has a network of thousands of insured installers encompassing the entire United States.

You can obtain your equipment from one of the many retailers who sell smart home devices, or you can choose from the wide variety of products, including top brand names in the industry, available at our Sears Connected Solutions Store.

Save yourself the headaches and frustration of trying to bring the whole high-tech system together on your own; instead let our experienced professionals show you how simple and convenient your smart home can be.


  • Was this helpful ?
  • (0)   (0)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *