What is a Smart Home?


In this segment of NBC Open House, Coldwell Banker Real Estate and CNET.com establish a definition for the “smart home” that is simple while allowing still for choices.


We may not remember the advent of the refrigerator or washer & dryer. But we might recall when toaster ovens hit. Or the TV remote control, cordless phones and microwave oven. These were huge. They changed our homes and our lives. But their arrival seemingly came one at a time, once a generation.

We are in different times and I can’t imagine a period where the intersection of home and tech was more prevalent. It is the Smart Home era!

Our homes are major emotional and lifestyle investments. And now, with the development of Smart Home products, our homes want to play an even greater role as they know our habits, simplify our lives and save us time and money.

And those who are buying and selling homes are taking note. Homes – both new and existing – that go on the market with Smart Home products installed are gaining traction.

Coldwellbanker.com even tracks those which come on the market, starting with Diane Polland’s magnificent $100 million listing on Long Island Sound and followed by nearly 1,400 properties featuring Smart Home technology.

And while the revolution is well underway, we noticed that no one had defined for consumers what a Smart Home really is. So we sat down with the editors at CNET.com, the preeminent technology reviewer, to set the standard that was simple while allowing for choices:

Smart Home: A home that is equipped with network-connected products (i.e., “smart products,” connected via Wi-Fi, Bluetooth or similar protocols) for controlling, automating and optimizing functions such as temperature, lighting, security, safety or entertainment, either remotely by a phone, tablet, computer or a separate system within the home itself. It must have a cable, satellite or DSL internet connection and equipped with at least three Smart Home features including security and/or temperature.

Category Examples
Security* Smart locks, networked security cameras
Temperature* Smart thermostats
Appliances Smart refrigerators, smart washer / dryers
Entertainment Smart TVs, TV streaming service
Heating / Cooling Smart HVAC system, smart fans or vents
Lighting Smart light bulbs, lighting systems
Outdoors Smart plant sensors, smart watering systems
Safety Smart fire / carbon monoxide detectors, nightlights

* Must have at least one

The hope – as CBS Marketwatch pointed out – is this definition will set the stage for home buyers and sellers to have a greater understanding of the benefits of their future homes.

Header Image & Property featured in NBC Open House segment: 75 Linden Lane, Chatham Township, NJ listed at $1,899,000 by Debra Woerner with Coldwell Banker Residential Brokerage.

Carla is the Director of Marketing Communications at Coldwell Banker Real Estate. She is passionate about connecting people and ideas - making her role pretty much a dream job. A born and bred Jersey Girl, Carla attended Rutgers University - twice - where she competed on the varsity crew team as an undergrad. Carla loves spending time with her husband, kids and dog; and at a good yoga class.

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  1. John & Cindy Farrell
    July 11, 2016

    This will be very helpful to have a working definition. So many people are asking.

  2. Rachel
    August 30, 2016

    When people talk about ‘smart homes’, it’s definitely hard to place what they’re talking about exactly. This could mean a multitude of smart devices, or just a couple. Setting the standard for a smart home is important, so thanks for sharing this.


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