Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience


I saw several messages on Twitter by Kolya Belousov from Madrobots, in which he describes his smart home, although he also includes ordinary household appliances, for example, a vacuum cleaner. I thought it would be interesting to formulate these thoughts in the form of a small material here, but Kolya had already made a column on this topic on another resource, he did not want to repeat it. But the topic is rich, and you can even take this issue with broad strokes to capture not only what is commonly called a smart home, but the whole range of devices and accessories that make everyday life easier, make it much easier. Below you will see a description of my experience and what ultimately took root in my home, which I use constantly, although sometimes I do not even pay attention to it. But the story of comfortable accessories begins, like most people, with a gift that seemed meaningless and unnecessary. But having tried it once, he fell in love and after that he often gave such an accessory to different people.


  1. Night light with motion sensor
  2. A few words about home light – overhead light, floor lamps and table lamps
  3. Smart call, intercom with network access
  4. Water leakage sensors, shut-off valves
  5. House cleaning, air purification from dust
  6. Water purification – reverse osmosis system
  7. Various smart home sensors and other items

Night light with motion sensor

We presented a lamp with a motion sensor a few years ago, power supply – three AA-batteries, operating time with minimal backlighting – up to a year. For a long time I did not open the lamp, because I could not think of where to attach it, the cabinets have built-in lighting, I don’t jump around the house in complete darkness, it’s always clear where you are going. Conservatism can be healthy, in my case I need to get used to things and changes in the routine.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

My daughter persuaded me to put the lamp, he settled in the bedroom on one of the side shelves of the closet. When you jump up at night to drink water in the kitchen, the lamp turns on almost instantly, does not dazzle. But the main thing is that it gives a little illumination of the surrounding world. Exactly the same story, when you come to sleep at night, diffused light does not bother you, plus you can find something without turning on a chandelier or a bright flashlight in your phone.

The little thing seems to be fun, but after a few years I can say that it perfectly complements those things that make life easier. It costs from 500 to 1 rubles, depending on the place where you find such a lamp. It does not contain any smart functions, it is a thing in itself.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

For those who do not have lighting in their cabinets, such a lamp can be a good help (with light it is more pleasant to delve into things, believe me). You can install it on a Velcro, or on a hook. On the other hand, if there is a socket for a regular lamp, then find an LED lamp with a built-in motion sensor. A thing no less useful, in the closet, in the toilet can come in handy. They opened the door – the light came on, closed it – and it turned off.

A few words about home light – overhead light, floor lamps and table lamps

We have become so accustomed to our world that we do not understand how our ancestors lived. Some hundred years ago, the presence of electric light was a miracle. This idea struck me for the first time in the Skansen Ethnographic Park in Stockholm, when the guide was describing the attachment of local peasants to daylight hours. Someone in the group asked why they didn’t use electric lamps. The answer was devastatingly accurate – there was no electricity in the villages, or it was very expensive, few could afford such a luxury. And imagine how these bulbs shone, dimly and badly.

We have complete freedom with you, we can choose the brightness of the lamp, what kind of light it will illuminate the room with. Advanced lamps allow you to change the brightness of the backlight, color temperature and control it all from your smartphone, a smart home has never been so real.

Few people think about the quality of light, and in vain! People write dozens of pages and are outraged by the PWM in smartphone screens, while they also go to the store and buy the most inexpensive LED lamps with pulsation. The reason is trivial – few people know about it and think about it, although the effect of lighting on our body is much stronger than any effect from a smartphone screen. I always choose LED lamps from companies I trust (I will do without their advertising here in order to avoid), often no ripple is indicated on the box.

Since I have a wide variety of lighting systems (spotlights, chandeliers), it’s impossible to come up with the same formats in every room. In the office, in the chandelier, I installed “smart” lamps, which are controlled via an application on a smartphone, and selected them by the parameter of temperature change. In the office, this is important, since it is much easier to get into working mode due to lighting, rather than invigorating tea or coffee. It seems that these are fictions, but a couple of minutes with a cold light, and the body itself mobilizes, begins to come into focus.

The side light of a desk lamp is equally important when working at a computer, I have a laptop. It stands on the side, the color temperature is also regulated (one of the first such systems, I bought it in South Korea and still am not overjoyed).

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

I love the side light so that it is diffused, so I always have floor lamps in my habitats, I put them so that they work when I watch TV. I don’t like looking at the screen in complete darkness.

The same story with table lamps, and made them “smart”. In some cases, these lamps are associated with a motion sensor (separate accessory). When you pass such a lamp on the stairs, it turns on and then turns off by itself. In terms of price / quality ratio, I think that the best smart home option is Aqara, although I use not only their solutions.

In short, if you are thinking about how to improve the quality of your life, be sure to start with light and how it should be. The beauty of the modern marketplace is that you don’t have to do expensive renovations to change this aspect of being. My words are an invitation to think about how everything works with you, and, possibly, to change something.

Smart call, intercom with network access

A doorbell is the simplest and most uncomplicated thing in the world, the simpler the better. But here it is worth thinking about the fact that you can put something interesting, for example, an intercom with a camera and access to the network. You are lounging in bed somewhere in America, the courier rings the doorbell and hears you. The explanation that you are not at home causes at least bewilderment in him, since the stereotype tells him that you are standing outside the door, making fun of him. For this, of course, it is not worth putting such a call. But in order to see who came to you, to receive notifications in real time, you can and should put it. The cost of such a call is relatively low, and the convenience is noticeable.

Kolya Belousov mentioned that he uses a smart lock that opens by an NFC tag, remotely, and also by a key. Since this is a security issue, I am not yet ready to use such calls in my homes, the risks are too great, and it is definitely not worth being a pioneer in this area. But it is quite possible to install such a lock on a barn with tools, open it for workers when they come to do something on the site. While I do not have such a castle, the question is that I just took care to cover the entire area with Wi-Fi, before that it was only in the house.

The quality of life today is impossible to imagine without a good Internet, I have TP-Link Deco in my apartment, I once wrote about this system in Spillikins, I am very pleased with it.

I installed several Keenetic routers in the house, including one with a 4G modem, this is the second line in case of failures with a wired provider, so that the smart home continues to work. I will not go into the discussion of Wi-Fi routers, but I will note that it is necessary to choose not the models that your provider gives you for free (they are short, slow and smart home, most likely, they will not pull at all), but those that fit your tasks.

Water leakage sensors, shut-off valves

How often do pipes burst in your house or apartment? What is the likelihood of this event? I think it’s minimal. The leakage sensor is a good thing, but in conjunction with the ability to remotely shut off the water, which immediately makes the installation not so simple and trivial. I don’t have such sensors, although I think that I will put such locking devices on the pipes during the repair.

The leak sensor should be installed for those who are afraid to swim away, but at the same time remember that if you put it in the bathroom where children are constantly splashing, your loved ones and steam are standing on a rocker, that is, the possibility of false alarms. Not sure if you want a list of dates and times someone has washed up. Therefore, I refused to use such sensors, but then everyone has a choice, since you know your habits better.

House cleaning, air purification from dust

Somehow I quietly stopped using large vacuum cleaners, they remain in the closet and are covered with dust. I have a bundle of a pair of handheld vertical vacuum cleaners – Samsung Jet Light and Xiaomi Dreame v11, I’m happy with both models.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

No wires, very comfortable cleaning, which has turned from a duty into a quick process, a couple of minutes, and you’re done. That is, you are distracted by vacuuming for a few minutes a day.

During the day, a robot vacuum cleaner drives around the house; it was successful not only for cleaning, but also for cleaning the air from dust. With daily use, dust simply does not remain anywhere. A kind of space unit, but there are models for every taste and budget.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

I completely abandoned air purifiers (stationary), there is no sense in them with such a vacuum cleaner, one accessory has replaced another in my life. I want to say right away that you need to fight with dust in the city with all your might, since it can provoke allergies in you, there is nothing good in this. For people with pets, a robot vacuum cleaner is just a must, since it doesn’t know when it’s tired and cleans the apartment non-stop, or whatever you set it up.

I got fired up with the idea of ​​the Samsung JetBot 90 AI + robot vacuum cleaner, a garbage collection container is built into its docking station, it is enough for 2-3 months of cleaning (you need to check, of course). But the very idea that the vacuum cleaner will not need to be shaken out every day, captivates me, and very much. A strong move, since it is exactly shaking out the container that I personally do not like about the robot vacuum cleaner.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

Water purification – reverse osmosis system

The kitchen has a reverse osmosis system that purifies tap water. The choice of such a system is always individual, here you need to pay attention to how much water you use or drink for cooking. You need to choose based on the volume of the tank, the rate of mineralization. Look at how much maintenance costs, cassettes for mineralization (drinking distilled water is definitely not worth it). With such a system, I easily gave up buying bottled water, it is simply not needed. The thing is inconspicuous and irreplaceable if you live at home and cook.

Various smart home sensors and other items

I will not describe the security system, cameras and other goodies, here everyone will build everything individually, but it is definitely not worth describing their decisions publicly. I use wireless chargers to charge various devices; they are located in different parts of the house so that you can conveniently use them.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

I have several charges, it’s just that their number is gradually growing from year to year. Convenient, simple and clear. I have no need for USB connectors on ordinary sockets, but in a couple of places I did not calculate the number of necessary sockets, so I use extension cords. I always chose the models with the best characteristics, but there are no special features here either.

Temperature and humidity sensors are located in the house in different places, they allow you to assess how well the batteries work (in a country house, you can adjust the temperature of the boiler and, accordingly, the batteries). This is not the kind of information that is constantly needed, in the automation of a smart home there are warnings about a sharp change in temperature or other parameters. It can be useful, especially when you forget to close the window and the sensors remind you of this, the temperature changes dramatically.

The smart camera Aqara is used as an intercom at home, it also monitors the situation in a couple of rooms (there is a camera everywhere). The review came out the other day.

Smart things in everyday life, my personal experience

Automation is becoming an important part of a smart home, you can combine sensors, come up with scenarios for their work, there are a lot of possibilities. Smart TVs, which have incorporated the ability not only to broadcast a picture from a smartphone, but also independently connect to certain online cinemas, remained outside the brackets of the narrative.

For voice control of a smart home in Russia, there is no alternative to Alice from Yandex (it works more or less, there is an innate crookedness and glitches, but others are even worse). The most popular format is Yandex.Mini station, it is not about sound, but about voice control of your smart home and what you come up with. Also, with the help of such voice assistants, you can endow “stupid” TV with smart capabilities, but it’s easier to do this with the help of separate sticks, of which there are many on the market. This is how my old TV in the kitchen became smart, got a second life. It makes no sense to throw out a cool thing just because it is not smart enough.

In a short text about the comfort that you can create in your own apartment or house, I didn’t have the task of telling you everything in detail. Rather, it is an invitation to discuss this issue, tell what you use and what you consider important, perhaps you have some findings that will be useful to all of us. Share your experience in the comments.

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