You may have heard of smart homes, but what exactly are they and what benefits do they have over standard constructions?

Common forms of smart technology

Smart homes can sometimes be referred to as automated homes, as they use technology to make everyday tasks that little bit easier.

Some features are common in most properties of this type - for example, lighting may be wired up so it switches on and off as people enter and exit a room.

This type of energy efficient technology not only does its bit for the environment, but also helps to lower the residential electricity prices faced by residents.

Audio systems are also controlled in this way - if you enter a room and the smart system is programmed to switch on the music then you don't have to worry about pressing the play button.

Other functions that the technology can play include automatically watering plants that surround the property. These systems can be set on a timer and will spring into action on a regular basis.

Alternatively, a smart home may be able to detect when air conditioning and central heating systems need to be used when the ambient temperature rises or drops below a certain level.

Looking ahead

Smart home technology is becoming increasingly advanced, as new systems are developed and homeowners are more aware of their need to become efficient.

Remote controls are typically used to switch certain devices on and off, although there is the potential for this stage to be eliminated in the future.

Motion sensors are already used for lighting and audio systems, but could be deployed in other areas of the smart home.

Whether smart homes will become more widespread in the future is yet to be seen, but their obvious environmental benefits could well encourage more people to consider them.