The Ultimate Smart Home Guide


The Ultimate Smart Home Guide

Smart Home Bundle Products

A comprehensive guide to the latest Smart Home technology that can make your home life more comfortable, efficient and secure.

No matter where you live or what you do for a living, we’re all looking for user-friendly solutions that can make our lives easier, while also saving us money and time. The best Smart Home devices on the market today do just that, and are designed to improve the efficiency, safety and comfort of your home. Think:

  • Wireless thermostats that learn your daily routines;
  • Front door locks with cameras that record the comings and going from your home;
  • Indoor and outdoor cameras that are durable enough to withstand Canadian winters and offer facial recognition video-capturing technology;
  • Voice-controlled Smart Hubs that sync up compatible devices like your TV, lights and security cameras;
  • And beyond...

But with a wide array of options to choose from, it can be difficult to determine which products would best suit your home, budget and lifestyle. That’s where this guide comes in—featuring an in-depth overview of the most popular Smart Home products, plus tips on setting up your connected home and considerations for purchasing or renting your new Smart equipment. You’ll come away with a better understanding of the latest Smart Home systems and services that will allow you to take advantage of the potential savings, efficiencies and comfort delivered by connected technology.

Whether you’re searching for a way to access media across multiple devices, to safeguard your home from potential intruders, or to get a handle on your energy consumption, remember: you can always Call on Reliance™ to find the right solutions for your home.

10 Questions this Guide will Answer

  • What is a Smart Home and how does it work?
  • What are the main benefits of building a connected home?
  • How can I use Smart Home devices to curb my power consumption?
  • Which Smart Home devices are right for me?
  • Which products and devices does Reliance offer to make my home smarter?
  • What does it mean to be "Smart Home Compatible"?
  • How do I set up my home with Smart technology?
  • What are the benefits of renting vs. buying a Smart Home solution?
  • What kind of warranty can I expect on my new Smart Home equipment?
  • Why should I choose Reliance for my connected home needs?

About Smart Home

Google Nest Hub showing mailman at the front door from the kitchen

Smart Homes use WiFi-enabled products—also called Smart Home devices—to support the remote monitoring and management of home appliances and systems, including the thermostat, HVAC, indoor and outdoor lighting, security cameras, media players and more. In addition to Internet connectivity, most Smart Home devices use cutting-edge technology like Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning to monitor user behaviour patterns, which allows the devices to automatically update settings based on the preferences of people in the home.

Because Smart Home products and systems monitor and learn user patterns and preferences over time, they often become key tools in making homes more energy efficient. As the ultimate in “set and forget” technology, At the same time, devices like Smart Home door locks (some including cameras) and alarm systems offer peace of mind whether you’re home or away, and can boost the overall protection of your home and contents from intruders—or even just untimely visitors!

Small changes can make a big difference to your power consumption and resulting energy bills. Try these tips

  1. Install a Smart thermostat to take control of your heating and cooling.
  2. Turn lights off when not in use or install Smart Switches that automate on-off functionality, so you don’t even have to think about flicking a switch.
  3. Use a Smart Power Strip to reduce energy waste when your TV, game console, computer and other devices are switched off.
  4. Choose energy-efficient, Smart Lightbulbs—especially LEDs, which last up to 15 times longer than incandescent varieties.

3 Key Benefits of Building a Connected Home

Energy Efficiency

Dial in your energy consumption with a Smart Thermostat that learns from you, programs itself automatically and can help save energy during peak usage.

Home Security

Use Smart Doorbells to see who’s at your front door, even if you’re not at home, tamper-proof, keyless deadbolt locks that lock automatically when you’re away, wireless indoor and outdoor cameras that offer a real-time view of your property, and more.

Day-to-Day Automation

Enlist a Smart Home Hub to keep track of your schedule, receive reminders automatically, make shopping lists, control compatible devices (including lights, thermostat, and switches), and more.

Watch to learn more about the Benefits of Smart Home

Smart Home Devices

Smart Home Bundle Products

Hover to learn more about popular Smart Home devices

Smart Smoke and CO Detector

Outsmart danger with a device that’s powerful enough to tell the difference between burnt toast and full-fledged house fire.
Learn More

Indoor Smart Camera

See and hear what’s going on at home, even when you’re not there.
Learn More

Smart Doorbell

Safely and conveniently see who’s coming and going, even when you’re not at home.
Learn More

Smart Speaker

Control your connected home using your voice.
Learn More

Smart Door Lock

A keyless deadbolt lock that’s smart enough to secure your door automatically when you’re away.
Learn More

Smart Home Hub

This “virtual personal assistant” allows you to control your Smart Home devices from a single dashboard.
Learn More

Outdoor Smart Camera

Detect suspicious movement and sounds and sends an alert with an image directly to your phone or email.
Learn More

Wide-Coverage Wireless Router

Extend and improve the coverage of your home Wi-Fi system
Learn More

Smart Thermostat

Google Nest Learning Thermostat

 

*One of the most popular Smart Home devices in Canada* – control your heating and cooling automatically, with built-in technology that quickly learns your preferences and keeps your dwelling at the perfect temperature—whether you’re at home or away.

  • Smart technology makes it easier to conserve energy, which may lower your heating and cooling bills.
  • 24/7/365 control via an app on your smart device.
  • Fully transparent energy consumption makes it easier to monitor how much energy you use and when.

 

The Google Nest Learning Thermostat™ – works with other Google Home products, making it super-easy to use and voice-prompt compatible.


Use it with: A Smart Home Hub or Smart Home Speaker to control the temperature settings in your home with a simple voice command.

Smart Doorbell

 

Safely and conveniently see who’s coming and going, even when you’re not at home.

  • 24/7/365 video streaming, with access via smart device or PC, so you can see, hear and speak to visitors in real time from anywhere.
  • HD video delivers crisp images, even at night, for the ultimate home protection.
  • Receive alerts when someone or something is at your door, even if they don’t ring the bell.

 

The Google Nest Hello Doorbell™ – machine learning technology recognizes family and friends and prerecorded quick responses let you answer the door even when you can’t get to it. Meanwhile, front door video footage gets saved in the cloud for next-generation security.

 

Use it with: A Smart Lock for the ultimate in home privacy and protection.

Google Nest Doorbell

Smart Home Hub

Google Nest Hub

 

This “virtual personal assistant” allows you to control your connected home (including all compatible devices, such as your TV, lights, security camera and thermostat) from a single dashboard

  • Hands-free help at your beck and call, with voice-control of integrated Google Assistant
  • Flexibility built-in: Watch your favourite YouTube videos, stream music, listen to a podcast… and when you’re not using it, display your treasured photos on the ultimate digital photo frame.

The Google Nest Hub™ – a 7-inch LCD visual display andtouchscreen, built-in full range speakers and far-field microphone make this Hub a multi-media powerhouse.

 

 

Use it with: The Google Nest Hello Doorbell, so you can see who’s at the door and speak with them directly through the Hub.

Smart Smoke and CO Detector

 

These smoke alarm and CO detector helps you outsmart danger, whether you’re at home or away. It tells you what’s wrong, tests itself, can be silenced from your phone, and so much more.

  • Powerful smoke detector and CO sensors built in to one easy-to-use unit. 
  • Sends alerts to your phone if something’s wrong, allowing you to call emergency services more quickly whether you’re home or away.

 

The Google Nest Protect™ – uses photoelectric and split-spectrum sensors, which are less prone to false alarms, and includes a 10-year CO sensor built right in. Plus: This device tests itself and sends alerts to your phone when the batteries are low—no more ear-splitting beeps or chirps to ruin your day.

 

Use it with: An indoor Smart Home Camera to view the situation inside your home before you call emergency services.

Google Nest Protect

Smart Speaker

Google Home and Google Home Mini

 

Control your connected home using your voice. Smart speakers also make getting answers, playing music, organizing your day effortless.

  • Hands-free help at your beck and call, with voice-control of integrated Google Assistant
  • Flexibility built-in:, stream music, listen to a podcast and more

The Google Home™ and Google Home Mini™ – stay connected and organized with Google Assistant—receive appointment reminders, schedule updates, and even dictate shopping lists on the fly. Plus: Control your home thermostat, listen to music and other audio or pair it with other speakers to listen to music throughout your house.

 

 

Use it with: A Smart Thermostat to control the temperature settings in your home with a simple voice command.

Outdoor Smart Camera

 

Detect suspicious movement and sounds and sends an alert with an image directly to your phone or email.

  • Smart enough to automatically zoom in for close-up tracking; use your phone to see who’s there, even when you’re not. 
  • Weatherproof construction and hidden power cord provide seamless security in even the worst conditions.

 

The Google Nest Cam Outdoor IQ™ – tamper-resistant and made to withstand anything Canada’s weather can throw at it, featuring HDR and intelligent imaging for crisp and clear views up to 15 metres (50 feet) away.

 

Use it with: An indoor Smart Home Camera to view the situation inside your home before you call emergency services.

Google Nest Cam Outdoor

Indoor Smart Camera

 

See and hear what’s going on at home, even when you’re not there.

  • Smart enough to automatically zoom in for close-up tracking; use your phone to see who’s there, even when you’re not.

The Google Nest Yale x Lock™ – connects to your Nest app, allowing you to unlock your door and monitor who comes and goes from your phone. Plus: set unique passcodes for people you trust.

 

 

Use it with: An Outdoor Smart Camera for versatile, broad-scope protection of the perimeter of your home.

Smart Door Lock

 

A keyless deadbolt lock that’s smart enough to secure your door automatically when you’re away. Some include cameras for added security and protection from unwanted visitors.

  • No more searching for keys or wondering whether you locked your front door!
  • Open and check the status of your door from anywhere via an app on your phone or other smart device.

 

The Google Nest Yale x Lock™ – connects to your Nest app, allowing you to unlock your door and monitor who comes and goes from your phone. Plus: set unique passcodes for people you trust.

 

Use it withAn Outdoor Smart Camera for versatile, broad-scope protection of the perimeter of your home.

Google Nest Yale Lock

Wide-Coverage Wireless Router

Google Wi-Fi

 

Extend and improve the coverage of your home Wi-Fi system.

  • Better network coverage and stronger Wi-Fi performance means you can take part in your favourite activities, including video streaming, web chatting and gaming, anywhere in your home—no more dead zones or other annoying Wi-Fi issues!

Google Wifi™ – ultra-reliable, whole-home coverage in one unified solution that covers up to 1,500 sq.ft., with an easy-to-use app that lets you see which devices are connected and set priorities for bandwidth.

 

Use it with: A Smart Home Speaker like Google Home or Google Home Mini, for hands-free control of all of your connected devices.

Waiting for an important package to arrive and worried that it’ll get swiped from your front step? 

There’s a solution for that! Outdoor Smart Cameras can detect movement and sounds and sends an alert with an image directly to your phone or email. Plus: They’re smart enough to automatically zoom in for close-up tracking, while facial-recognition technology can pinpoint the features of anyone who comes in contact with your package—deliveryperson or otherwise. And the built-in recording capabilities offered in some models allow you to capture high-resolution video up to 15 metres (50 feet) away—for increased safety, security and protection of your property and possessions. Learn more about Outdoor Smart Cameras here.

Compatible Smart Product

Up the efficiency factor of your Smart Home setup with these 3 compatible products:

Smart Switches

Control your connected home from afar with these Smart replacements for traditional electrical switches.
Learn More

Smart Bulbs

Choose from a variety of models, including ones that are dimmable out of the box (i.e., without a dimmer switch), change colour and even play music.
Learn More

Smart Plugs

 

Most devices you’d plug into a standard wall outlet can become “smarter” when you use a Wi-Fi–connected plug.

  •  
  • Some models offer power monitoring, “away mode” and extra charging ports for advanced functionality and ease of use.

 

Use it with: A Smart Home Speaker like Google Home or Google Home Mini, for hands-free control of all of your connected devices.

Smart Switches

 

Control your connected home from afar with these Smart replacements for traditional electrical switches.

  • Some models feature voice control using a Smart Speaker; alternatively, dial in automated schedules involving multiple smart devices using a Smart Home Hub or app on your phone or tablet.

 

Use it withTraditional or Smart Lighting or any switch-wired devices to increase energy efficiency and reduce power consumption, especially when you’re away from home.

Wemo light switch

Smart Bulbs

Wyze light bulb

 

Choose from a variety of models, including ones that are dimmable out of the box (i.e., without a dimmer switch), change colour and even play music.

  • Some models offer scheduling features that let you control your lights using an app—making them a great security and energy efficiency add-on to your Smart Home systems.

 

Use it with: Smart Switches, which can control multiple bulbs in different devices at one time.

Installing your Smart Home

Smart Home Technician instaling Google Nest Outdoor Cam

5 Simple Steps to Set-up your Connected Home

Building a Smart Home can be a difficult task, especially with the wide variety of brands and products available in the Canadian market today. This five-step approach can help:

Think about your daily habits and patterns—what would make your life easier, more comfortable and more efficient?

Next, consider your current Smart situation: Are you just starting to dip your toe into the Smart Home pool and want to begin integrating time- and cost-saving devices here and there in your home? Or, are you looking to expand on the gadgets you’re already using with even smarter technology? Or, further still, are you considering kitting out a completely connected home—from doorbell to lighting, speakers to security cameras indoors and out, smoke and CO detector to water valve control?

You’ll need to investigate the suitability of each product against your goals and current situation. Ask yourself:

  1. How well do the features and benefits match up with my wants and needs?
  2. What needs to be in place in my home in order for me to start using this product (e.g., high-speed Internet, specific wiring or outlets, etc.)?
  3. Are my current systems (e.g., HVAC, Internet, home monitoring, audiovisual components, etc.) compatible with the new solution?
  4. Do I need to buy any add-on items to make a chosen product work in my specific home layout?
  5. What’s involved in the setup? Do I need to download an app to my phone or tablet?
  6. Am I tech-savvy enough to complete the installation myself or should I hire a professional?

We recommend that you aim to integrate products with the widest compatibility as possible—especially if you’re new to the Smart Home category. This way, you can build up your connected home without having to worry too much about potential conflicts as you introduce new devices in the future.

Based on what you learned in Step 2, now is the time to get your home ready for the new products or solutions that you’ve selected.

This process can be as easy as downloading a Smart Home monitoring app to your phone or installing a Smart Home desktop app to your computer. On the other hand, you might need to investigate the best place to put a wireless Smart Home camera on the outside of your house or upgrade your Internet package to take advantage of the new functionality you’re planning to introduce to your home.

Note: If you have any doubts about whether a product is right for your home, what steps you need to take to prepare your home, or if you’re unsure of your tech-installation capabilities—it’s important to consult with a professional service provider. When you work with a technician who’s trained in connected technology and knows the ins and outs of product compatibility, installation and troubleshooting, you’ll be setting both yourself and your new Smart product up for greater success over time.

Many Smart Home devices are what’s called “plug and play,” meaning they’re often functional straight out of the box and likely only need to be charged up and connected to your Wi-Fi network to get to work. This includes many Smart Speakers, Hubs and Smoke Detectors, as well as most Smart Plugs, Switches and Lightbulbs.

However, other devices, including Smart Doorbells and Locks, Cameras and Thermostats, require some in-home setup. Most often, this involves personalization—setting unique passcodes (Smart Locks); checking record settings (indoor and outdoor Smart Cameras and Smart Doorbells with audiovisual capabilities); specifying preferences and schedules (Smart Thermostats); or other quick steps to help your new Smart Home devices learn your patterns and behaviour.

Setup and installation instructions are often available inside the package of the new device, but an even safer bet is to enlist a trained Smart Home Technicians, like those on-staff at Reliance Home Comfort, who’ll save you the time and hassle of setting up your new equipment, and will even guide you through the use of your new Smart Home products. And if you ever have a problem that requires in-home service, those expert technicians are then only a phone call away.

One of the easiest steps overall—essentially, you’ll need to keep your Smart Home apps updated (i.e., downloading new versions when they become available), add or update schedules and preferences, and so on, to keep your devices functioning optimally.

The good news is that, because they’re “smart,” most devices will “tell you” when they need maintenance: They’ll alert you when their batteries are low or a new version of their app is available. They may even notify you when they detect new or different behaviour patterns from what they’ve learned.

Rent vs. Buy

Smart Home Consultant in customer's home showing them options on a tablet
To rent or to buy? We compare the options.

Renting your Smart Home Equipment:

Purchasing your Smart Home Equipment:

  • No upfront investment
  • Low monthly rental payments
  • Free expert installation
  • Full equipment and service warranty during 5-year contract
  • Often comes with a special incentive or rebate when you commit to a rental
  • One-time investment
  • No ongoing payments
  • You install or hire a technician to do it for you
  • 1-year in-home service warranty
  • You own the equipment

Why Reliance?

Smart Home Technician standing in from of Reliance car

Why Choose Reliance for your Connected Home Needs?

Reliance Smart Home service packages are an easy, worry-free and affordable way to build your connected home. And when you choose Reliance for your Smart Home technology, you can rest assured that each of our technicians has been specially trained in the installation and setup of Smart Home products. Take advantage of these benefits when you Call on Reliance™ for your Smart Home needs:

  • Receive customized product recommendation from an expert Smart Home Advisor
  • Choose from a wide selection of Smart Home products and bundles, including equipment that works independently or with existing connected devices—making it easy to begin building your connected home or build on the technology you’ve already got in your home.
  • Google Nest Pro Elite certified technicians deliver trustworthy installation and setup. They’ll even take the time to demonstrate the features of your new Smart Home products after they install them in your home.
  • Rental packages include full equipment installation and 5-year in-home service warranty.

Watch to learn more about getting Smart Home with Reliance

When you choose Reliance for your connected home needs, your Smart Home products are covered from start to finish—and if anything goes wrong, we’re only a phone call away!