The Ultimate Smart Home Guide
The 2023 Ultimate Smart Home Guide
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:
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
About Smart Home
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!
Smart Tip #1
- Install a Smart thermostat to take control of your heating and cooling.
- 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.
- Use a Smart Power Strip to reduce energy waste when your TV, game console, computer and other devices are switched off.
- 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
Watch to learn more about the Benefits of Smart Home
Smart Home Devices
Hover to learn more about popular Smart Home devices
Smart 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.
Control the temperature of your home from anywhere
Nest Thermostat E
Stylish Connected Thermostat
Smart Home Hub
The ultimate “virtual personal assistant,” with a diverse set of features—including user-friendly touchscreen, speakers and dashboard functionality—for control across your connected home.
Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
The Centre of Your Helpful Home – The Nest Hub (2nd Gen)
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.
Get voice-controlled help, instant weather reports, news, traffic updates, music and so much more.
Outdoor Smart Camera
Detect suspicious movement and sounds and sends an alert with an image directly to your phone or email.
Indoor Smart Camera
See and hear what’s going on at home, even when you’re not there.
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.
Wide-Coverage Wireless Router
Say goodbye to dead zones while accessing a stronger network connection in farther-reaching corners of your home.
Smart Doorbell (Wired)
Safely and conveniently see who’s coming and going, even when you’re not at home.
Flexible, temperature-controlled comfort throughout your home.
Nest Cam with Floodlight
A floodlight and camera all in one.
Smart Tip #2
Compatible Smart Product
Up the efficiency factor of your Smart Home setup with these 3 compatible products:
Most devices you’d plug into a standard wall outlet can become “smarter” when you use a Wi-Fi–connected plug.
Control your connected home from afar with these Smart replacements for traditional electrical switches.
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.
Installing your Smart Home
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:
- How well do the features and benefits match up with my wants and needs?
- 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.)?
- Are my current systems (e.g., HVAC, Internet, home monitoring, audiovisual components, etc.) compatible with the new solution?
- Do I need to buy any add-on items to make a chosen product work in my specific home layout?
- What’s involved in the setup? Do I need to download an app to my phone or tablet?
- 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.
Learn More about the Benefits of Smart Home Installation
Rent vs. Buy
To rent or to buy? We compare the options.
Renting your Smart Home Equipment:
Purchasing your Smart Home Equipment:
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:
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!
Google, Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Thermostat, Nest Thermostat E, Nest Temperature Sensor, Nest Audio, Nest Mini, Nest Hub Max, Nest Hub (2nd gen), Nest Wifi, Nest Protect, Nest x Yale Lock, Nest Cam (outdoor or indoor, battery), Nest Cam with floodlight, Nest Cam (indoor, wired), Nest Doorbell (battery), and Nest Doorbell (wired) are trademarks of Google LLC.
*The Nest Hub Max requires a Wi-Fi network, a nearby electrical socket, and a compatible (Android, iOS) mobile device. A Google Account is required for full access to features.
 Google Duo account required to make video calls and leave video messages.
 Night Vision not supported.
 Personalized results, for up to six users, require additional enrollment and setup.
 YouTube TV and music services require a subscription. TV and music services require a subscription.