Smart Home idea no. 1: “green” lamps for a feel-good atmosphere

If you want to give your interior a fresh and natural appeal, indoor plants are always a great choice. But many of them will quickly wither without plenty of light and attentive care.

Thanks to the plant-growing lamp Mygdal, you don’t need a lot of time (or space) to enjoy a natural ambiance at home.

If you want to give your interior a fresh and natural appeal, indoor plants are always a great choice. But many of them will quickly wither without plenty of light and attentive care.

Thanks to the plant-growing lamp Mygdal, you don’t need a lot of time (or space) to enjoy a natural ambiance at home. German company Nui Studio has come up with an idea to make your house smart and green at the same time: They created a pendant luminaire that functions like a self-contained ecosystem. Since the closed glass jar prevents water from evaporating, the plant inside grows and flourishes all by itself. The lamp also generates its own light, which can be controlled via app. A tap on your smartphone is enough to adjust the brightness, light temperature, or set up automated schedules.

Connected loudspeakers, voice-controlled TVs, and vacuum robots have long become a staple in modern households. But creative developers are just getting started: they continue to design new devices to make our homes even more comfortable. Let’s take a look at the latest innovations.

Mygdal

With flourishing plants inside, no Mygdal lamp looks quite like the other. Source: Erwin Block Photography

Smart Home idea no. 2: mini power plants on the balcony

More and more family homes rely on photovoltaic installations on the roof as a source of energy. But even if you live in an apartment, you can still turn sunlight into electricity. Plug-in solar panels are connected to regular socket outlets, which allows you to place them anywhere you see fit: in the garden, on the balcony, or even on a wall.

A smart idea for home owners as well as tenants who want to make the most of renewable resources! Contrary to conventional installations, the mini solar plants can be mounted and put into operation with a few simple steps. Integrated inverters ensure that the power generated from sunlight enters your electricity grid at the right frequency and voltage. Mini solar plants can produce up to 300 kWh per year, which is more than what the average household in the UK consumes per month.

Priwatt
Even in a rented apartment, you can generate your own electricity from renewable resources. Source: Priwatt

Smart Home idea no. 3: mirror, mirror on the wall …

Watching your favourite show from the bathtub? Or tuning in for the weather forecast while brushing your teeth? No problem: thanks to smart mirrors, your bathroom can be a home theatre, newsroom, and wellness oasis all in one.

These mirrors come with a variety of special features: dimmable lighting, touch sensors, integrating heating, or time display. They can also be connected to app stores and streaming services. If you’d like to give this smart home automation idea a try, we recommend looking out for a model made from shatterproof glass. Prices start at around 600 euros – with no upper limit, depending on the range of functions.

Smart Home idea no. 4: app-controlled barbecue

Even in outdoor areas, digital technologies can help us out in many ways. A smart garden offers anything from automated irrigation systems to robotic lawn mowers and intelligent barbecues. In outdoor kitchens, for example, connected thermometers can monitor the temperature on the grill.

German manufacturer Weber has designed a series of gas-fuelled barbecues with smart features. Providing step-by-step assistance, they will alert you as soon as your steaks should be flipped and served. Alternatively, you can use an app to monitor the cooking process while you’re enjoying time with the family or preparing side dishes: all you need is your smartphone to check the current temperatures, set a readiness countdown, or find new recipes.

Smarter Grill
A smart grill will let you know when your steak or veggies are ready to be flipped and served. Souce: Grillfürst

Smart Home idea no. 5: mini server for maximum functionality

You’d like to take it one step further and install a complete system at your house? In that case, the idea of a KNX Smart Home might be worth considering. KNX is the international standard for connected building technology. Based on either a cabled or wireless network, it covers a variety of functions – from controlling your lights and blinds to regulating indoor temperatures. With the help of the Gira X1, even highly complex KNX systems thus become easy to operate. With the help of the Gira X1, even highly complex KNX systems thus become easy to operate.

Don’t be fooled by its size: the compact mini server makes it possible to control every smart function via app. Whether you’re at home or on the road, all it takes are a few swipes on your tablet or smartphone. Apart from adjusting your lights, blinds, and heating, the Gira X1 app also enables you to create and save personalised scenes. This may look something like this: upon leaving the office after work, you activate the scene “Welcome home”. Your house will then turn on the heating, lower the blinds, and switch on lights as soon as you arrive at the doorstep. Sounds like the perfect start to a relaxing evening, doesn’t it?