How to Build a Smart Home 101

welcome to how to build your smart home

101 through this video I'm gonna show

you every single device that you need

from start to finish to be able to

easily build a smart home within your

own home let's get started

hey everybody welcome to tech with Brett

where I help tech work for you now if

you own any smart home products or you

would like to learn more about how to

use them make sure you hit subscribe

below as that's what my channel is all

about so here we have your future smart

home so everything that you need I will

be illustrating here on this whiteboard

today so the very first thing is you

need to have a dedicated internet

connection so this is a modem coming in

from outside somewhere that will always

provide internet within your home if

you're trying to use your smartphone as

a Wi-Fi hotspot to power your smart home

products you're just going to have a

terrible experience so make sure that

you have an incoming modem to provide

Internet now next usually you will have

a Wi-Fi router so this is a very

important part of the smart home process

as this is what allows your home to have

Wi-Fi connection and all of your devices

connect to it now there are many

different companies that sell a modem

and a router together so my parents had

an Xfinity modem and router all in one

but I am using an Asus router and I did

find one that is 2.4 and 5 gigahertz so

is what that means is the 5 gigahertz is

a faster way to connect to the router

and for most of the Wi-Fi connected

smart home products you do need a 2.4

gigahertz signal so most of the routers

today have what is called dual band

which essentially means that it has both

of these contained in one SSID or one

Wi-Fi connection so you shouldn't have

to worry about that too much but just

make sure you have a good quality router

and I believe my router can connect up

to something like 250 devices together

so I will leave a link in the

description below of all the products

I'm talking about today so that you can

learn a bit more about how they work and

then if you want to use them in your own


you can do that as well so once you have

a dedicated Wi-Fi network in your home

this will always be sending information

from your phone to your different

devices to be able to control them so

this is a very important step in the

smart home process now next let's talk

about how you would control these

devices so if you've watched my channel

you know that I do have the Google home

so here we have this little Google home

device now I will mention that you don't

even need a Google home to get started

in building your smart home the Google

home just allows for instant voice

access at any time so if you have an

Android or an iOS smartphone device all

you need to do is download the Google

home application and you can get started

so the Google home devices they do not

have a hub built inside of them so that

means that you would need to buy

products that are compatible with Google

assistant that would connect through a

Wi-Fi or maybe another hub so whenever

you're looking for a new smart home

product make sure it has works with

Google Assistant labeled so that you

know it is going to be compatible now

next another big company in this space

is Amazon so you've probably seen many

devices that say work with Amazon Alexa

now the Amazon echo devices are set up

very similar to how the Google home is

right now you can actually go download

the Amazon Alexa application and you can

begin building your smart home as well

now if you do have an Amazon echo plus

or an echo show - they actually have

some hub capabilities built-in called

ZigBee so that means that you can buy

ZigBee compatible devices and connect

them directly to the echo without

needing another hub and so there are

hundreds and thousands of devices that

currently will work with the Amazon

products and they can work with the


or you can use other hubs as well as

just Wi-Fi connected devices now next

let's move on and talk about Apple so

here we have an apple home pod and if

you own Apple home products in your home

that is when you would want to go with

Apple right now I currently don't use an

iPhone I don't have

any other Apple products I'm using on a

daily basis so I would not get Apple

only smart home products because I will

not be able to use them at all

Apple's really locked in to only being

able to use devices that are compatible

with their products where with Google

and Amazon you can download their

applications whether you have an iPhone

or an Android phone and use their

products so for Apple to get started you

actually need a hub device so a hub

device is a newer iPad an Apple home pod

or a newer Apple TV so if you have one

of those devices you can start creating

your home kit home and start adding

different home kit devices within your

home now if you're using an iPad or

something that device does have to be at

home for you to control those devices so

that's kind of interesting so you may

want to pick up a home pod or an Apple

TV or something like that to be able to

have it better control and then you will

be able to control all of those things

via voice with Siri if you have those

compatible products and then last year

we actually have Cortana so Cortana is

kind of new to this space or Microsoft

where they only have a few different

supported services that you can connect

to so like lifx Samsung smartthings and

a few others but they're just getting

started so they do actually have a smart

speaker you can purchase or you can just

download the Cortana app on your Android

or your iPhone device to be able to get

those connected and start using Cortana

to control your smart home so those are

all the things that you would need to

start controlling your home via voice

you can either pick up there

voice-activated products or you can

download the applications to be able to

get started now all of these products

will connect to your internet via Wi-Fi

connection so as long as you already

have that Wi-Fi it will be very simple

to get them connected up now let's talk

about different products you would need

to connect other smart home products to

your home so first let's talk about a

hub so here we have the Samsung

smartthings hub so Samsung smartthings

is able to control two different types

of products so one

ZigBee and the other one is z-wave so

with a product like this

you would need to buy compatible

products with ZigBee or z-wave now one

of the reasons you would want to go with

something like the Samsung smartthings

hub is because whenever you add a light

bulb or a light switch if you were to

buy Wi-Fi ones each time you add one to

your Wi-Fi network it's actually going

to add strain on your Wi-Fi router where

if you go with something like the

Samsung smartthings hub the ZigBee and

z-wave don't work off of Wi-Fi they have

their own connected network so that they

actually relieve strain off of your

network and they can connect directly to

the hub and you can have up to 250

devices connected directly to these

Samsung smartthings hub so here you can

see what a hub looks like very simple it

can connect directly into my router and

the new one can actually just be Wi-Fi

only and then you just need that powered

on and then you can connect devices


now another one that you may want to get

would be something like this which is a

Tsang LED hub so this allows you to

connect up to 60 light bulbs right to

this sing LED hub so maybe if you only

want to control light bulbs you can do

that and this can be wired into your

router or it can just be Wi-Fi only now

the products that can connect with sing

LED are the ZigBee products as well so

some of the benefits of going with

something like that is you can pick up a

singlet light bulb like this that's a

white light bulb for 10 bucks where if

you were to go with like something

that's Wi-Fi connected that light bulb

would be $30 or there's all kinds of

different options there but going with

something that connects to a hub does

save you money the hubs could range from

50 to $100 if you get something like the

Philips hue hub that will cost you $50

and then the products are going to be a

little less to connect to that so if you

do get a hub those are some of the

reasons why you would want a hub as it's

going to remove strain on

your network and the devices are going

to connect directly to the hub to make

it very easy to control now some of the

products like let's say we have the echo

show to here so this is Amazon's smart

display built into here is actually

ZigBee hub so just like the echo plus

the echo show to has that ZigBee hub

built in so then that means you wouldn't

need to buy another hub like this you

could just pick up the echo show too and

then you can pair compatible products

right to this and then that's again

removing strain off of your Wi-Fi

network and then like I said before if

you get an Apple iPad that would be how

you can control your homekit devices

because they connect directly to your

router but then they kind of their

signal is transferred through the iPad

so that you can create different

routines and everything so those are

different ways in which you can control

and AD smart home products to your home

now let's talk about the different types

of smart home products so a simple

product one of the first ones I got

started with was my nest thermostat so

nest is a product that's compatible with

all of these different smart home

companies and it was very easy to

install and it connects directly through

my Wi-Fi so it's sending a signal to my

Wi-Fi router constantly so if i activate

my google home and say change the

temperature to 70 degrees it's going to

route that information from the google

home to the internet where it will then

actually change my thermostat so very

simple very cool you can also just pull

open the application and control that

now next let's say we have a smart light

so there are a bunch of different types

of smart lights you can get like I said

before you can get ones that connect to

ZigBee or z-wave or you can just get a

Wi-Fi only connected device like the

life expose or I even bought a $10 one

from Walmart and that again would add

strain to your network but if you only

have a few of these it's really not

going to be a problem sometimes you can

get them cheaper but they just might not

be as good of quality so again if I ask

one of my assistants to turn off the

light if it's compatible and if I've set

it up in the application then it will

route that information to my router and

turn on or off the light bulb now with a

light bulb one interesting thing is if

somebody turns off the switch that smart

light bulb then becomes unavailable

because the power has been turned off to

it the switch can no longer be used so

you just need to be aware that if you

add a smart light bulb to a outlet in

your home or maybe a lamp if anyone

actually turns off the switch that light

switch will no longer become in use you

can't control it with voice so you need

to make sure that either the light

switch on the wall or the switch on the

lamp is always turned on so that you

always have access to that and then if

you're going to add a bunch of smart

light bulbs to a fixture of maybe five

that's going to end up being a little

bit expensive so another way in which

you can do this is by changing out your

light switch to a smart light switch so

sometimes these can be a little bit more

expensive I think I just bought one for


that was ZigBee compatible so it was

able to connect directly to my

smartthings hub and then I can control

it with my router but the benefit of

this is no matter what if I turn on and

off the lights with one of my assistants

I can still turn it on and off right

here manually with the switch or with my

phone or whatever so this makes it

always available and then I'm only

buying one switch instead of buying five

light bulbs so the switch would control

the whole entire fixture now if you have

two light switches for one light bulb so

let's say we have two light switches and

then here we have our whole lights you

do need to buy a certain type of light

switch so this

is known as a three-way switch so then

you will need to make sure that you have

the compatible three-way switch where

this is probably the main switch and

then this is an adapter you need now

this should also work if you have multi

locations as well so you just need to

make sure that you do some research on

these but if you just have one light

switch single pole is what that's called

very easy to add a light switch to here

and let's say I had a bunch of light

bulbs it would control all those on a

single fixture all at once so then some

other products that I've used is here we

have like a smart outlet so this is

really convenient if maybe I have

Christmas lights or I want to turn off a

certain light or a lamp in a room

without having to deal with getting a

smart light bulb this can do that as

well you can get them so they are Wi-Fi

connected or you can get them ZigBee and

z-wave so they would connect to your hub

as well and then I have a bunch of

different smart cameras so here we have

a product called wise cam and it's only

about 25 dollars and it will connect to

your echo devices so you can actually

view this camera right here on the echo

show but it's not compatible with Google

assistant so you just need to make sure

that any product you buy is compatible

with what products you already have so

last here we have the nest hello

doorbell so if somebody rings this it

can automatically alert my Google home

and then here we have the ring video

doorbell so the ring doorbell is only

compatible with the echo show to show

pictures or the Amazon Alexa app where

with the nest you can actually view the

nest hello on both the Google home hub

as well as the echo show from Amazon so

just be aware if you have a ring video

doorbell it will not work with your

chromecast or Google Home Hub devices so

there are hundreds of different products

I will be showing off a bunch more smart

cameras in the near future but for right

now just make sure that if you're

purchasing any of these that you know

what you want and that it will be


with your different products so to recap

what you need to do first off you need a

dedicated Wi-Fi network connection if

you don't have that you won't be able to

control your devices when you're away

from home so right now if I left my home

I could pull open my phone over here

activate my Google assistant and I could

say turn off all the lights in my house

and it would turn off all the lights at

once without the internet we wouldn't be

able to do that so then you need to make

sure that you know where you kind of

want to build your smart home so you

could be like me and you could get a

bunch of Google home devices and echo

devices kind of have a split personality

or you could stick to one where you have

all Google homes and we'll get into the

difference about those on another video

definitely that will take a lot of time

to cover so decide where you want to go

and so then you would need products that

are Google assistant compatible and was

on alexa compatible apple homekit

compatible or cortana compatible and

then once you have that decide what kind

of lights that you want do you want to

just add a few smart Wi-Fi light bulbs

to your router that's very easy to do

you can go pick up one so then you would

connect it to its compatible app and

then you would go through here and

connect it to one of those or do you

want to buy a hub and connect a bunch of

light bulbs to a single hub or a bunch

of different smart products to one hub

and then you would connect that hub to

your smart devices and then what other

devices would you want in your home so

do you need a thermostat do you need to

switch out lights which is do you need

smart plugs or smart cameras there are

so many different options available

I'm definitely anything for your price

range if you're looking for super

affordable or maybe you want to spend a

little bit more so and then depending on

each device there's a bunch of different

features for each one of those so if you

don't have any of these devices you can

simply get started by just going and

buying a Wi-Fi compatible light bulb

connect it to your router and you can

begin from there and then once you get

one of those set up maybe you want to

get a voice-activated speaker in your

home you can go and pick up a Google

home mini for

under $50 or you could pick up an echo

dot for under $50 as well and then you

can begin controlling your smart home

all via voice and then you can create

rooms and different groups and routines

where automate certain things by certain

commands that you would say and so

there's just so many things that you can

do once you begin starting with one

device and then you can build from there

now I do suggest that if you start using

one maybe you start using smart things

try and get all your devices to be

connected through the same protocol so

either ZigBee or z-wave it's just gonna

save you a bunch of money and the long

run right now in my home I have a bunch

of devices from all kinds of sorts and

so it gets a little confusing but the

goal here would be to have less

applications you need so if everything

connects to one hub like the smartthings

hub that's only one app you need to go

in to adjust things and then you can go

into the Google home and control all of

that as well now I know that was a lot

to take in but hopefully that helps you

know exactly where you want to go with

your own smart home so that you can save

money and find the best devices for you

now if you do have any further questions

I'm always available in the comments

below and if you would like to see more

compatible products for your Google home

or your Amazon echo devices make sure

you select the playlist over here on the

side thank you so much for watching

we'll see you on the next one