There were an estimated 4.6 million smart homes in the United States in 2015, and that number is growing all the time. If you’ve ever wondered why someone would invest in something that seems unnecessarily expensive, you might be surprised to find out that smart home systems don’t have to cost a fortune. These systems are a growing trend because of the security, savings, and convenience they provide to homeowners. We’ve gathered some facts and statistics to illustrate these points.
Average costs: Professional vs. DIY installation
The cost of creating a home automation system will vary widely from home to home according to what you want to automate. DIY systems are less expensive than professionally installed ones. Here are some general ranges of costs:
- Professionally installed home automation systems start around $2,000 and can easily reach $10,000 or more, depending on the system’s size. A good rule of thumb is to plan on $1,000 per room.
- A professionally installed home automation system usually comes with installation and programming fees, which run around $80–$100 per hour.
- The hub or controller alone for a professional automation system costs between $500 and $2,000.
- Because you can build a DIY system piece by piece, the costs will vary greatly depending on what devices you get—but it’s possible to put together a DIY home automation system for under $500.
- Hubs or controllers cost between $60 and $300, though some high-end, high-tech controllers can run as high as $2,000.
- Many smart home controllers come with starter kits that typically range from $100 to $350.
- Wi-Fi thermostats cost between $150 and $300.
Reasons to invest: Staying safe and saving money
While convenience may seem like the purpose behind a lot of home automation, many devices also provide additional security and even energy cost savings.
- Some insurance companies, such as State Farm (Source), offer discounts on insurance rates for home with smart home programming installed. American Family Insurance offers better rates to customers with qualifying devices (smoke/fire alarms, water/moisture detectors, etc.). Source
Home security features: Smart locks, motions sensors, light timers, and more
- In a 2012 study, more than 40% of burglars interviewed said the presence of a camera in a home would prompt them to choose another target. Source
- 56% of burglars enter through the front or back door of a home, and 23% enter through a first-floor window. Source
- In 2015, 35.5% of home burglaries showed no signs of forcible entry. Source
Sensors, alarms, and detectors
- Three out of five home fire deaths between 2009 and 2013 happened in homes with no smoke alarms or smoke alarms that were not working. Source
- More than 400 people in the United States die every year from carbon monoxide poisoning. A carbon monoxide detector can alert you to the presence of this odorless gas. Source
- Plumbing failures (frozen, burst, or leaking pipes) cost an average of $5,092 out of pocket per incident. Water heater failure costs an average of $4,444 per claim and is one of the top five sources of residential water damage. Source
- Using light-emitting diodes (LEDs) is one of the most energy-efficient ways to light your home. LEDs use only 20% to 25% as much electricity as traditional light bulbs and last up to 25 times longer. Source
- Dimming your lights, which you can do with smart lighting, will extend the life of the lightbulbs and save you money as well. Source
- About 39% of the energy used by the average home goes towards heating and cooling. Source
- The Nest Learning Thermostat typically shows savings of 10% to 12% on heating costs and 15% on cooling costs. Source
- Nest estimates that smart thermostat owners save an average of $131 to $145 per year. Source
- Other smart thermostats can save customers an average of 23% on their combined heating and cooling costs. Source
An expanding industry: Stay tuned for more
Smart homes and home automation products are not a fad that’s going away anytime soon. The number of wirelessly connected “things” is growing rapidly and doesn’t show any signs of slowing down.
- There were 2.4 million wireless lightbulbs and lamps in 2013, and that number is expected to grow to over 100 million by 2020. Source
- In 2013, 23 million cars were connected to the internet, and that number is expected to grow to 152 million by 2020. Source
- In July 2016, an auto research group predicted that 55% of cars will be connected to the internet by 2020. Source
- The Internet of Things (IoT) is the network of connected devices and products, including those in home automation. One analyst group predicted there would be 6.4 billion connected devices in 2016, with that number growing to 20.8 billion by 2020. Source
The trend of the future
People are turning to smart home automation more and more because of the added security it can bring to a home. Being alerted right away on your smartphone if something is amiss is an incredible benefit of this technology. People are also looking at the potential savings from reducing their energy costs and receiving insurance discounts. And of course, when it comes to the ways home automation can make life more convenient, the possibilities are nearly endless. We expect big things in the next few years from the smart home industry, and we’re excited to see where it takes us.