When the Bristow family bought their first home in Provo, Utah, they painted, added new carpet, and renovated the kitchen...
But the thing that Brett Bristow was most excited about? Adding the
For years, Bristow had wanted to embrace home automation, but as a renter, his family was stuck with an old thermostat that was difficult to program. The Nest Thermostat came first, and Bristow was thrilled to avoid the hassle of messing with the levers on ancient thermostats in his previous homes. “I was so excited because I could finally install technology in my own home and I could now change the thermostat from the comfort of my couch,” he says.
Bristow went on to outfit the entire 2,500-square-foot house with smart home devices that let him automate everything from lights and locks to lawn mowing and laundry.
“I love it, because I can get rid of a lot of the nuisances in life and free up time to play with my kids. Plus it’s just cool,” he says.
Bristow had always been an early adopter of technology and was familiar with the smart home devices available. But the process of outfitting his own house was gradual and organic: He would note his family’s habits and try to automate what made sense. One of his earliest observations was that his family used timers and sought out information regularly – a
Smart lights were also foundational, as family members were often forgetting to turn them off. He created a
When the family cleans together on Saturday mornings, three of his children, ages 4, 7, and 10, always want to listen to music. This added a task for Bristow, who had to play DJ. Now, they ask Google for the songs they want to listen to. “It turns chores into a fun time,” he says. The kids also talk to speakers in their bedrooms each morning, asking about the weather so they dress appropriately. “They know more about the weather than I do,” he says.
As at many households, bedtime is a delicate balancing act, easily thrown off by the smallest variation. To keep things on track, Bristow used the
At the Bristows’, smart locks are set up to lock automatically each night, giving them a sense of security. And the
For further peace of mind, Bristow installed a
Many homeowners will tell you that once they see the way automation makes some things at home easier, more secure, and more fun, they keep going. The Bristows are well along that journey. In the living room,
Among Bristow’s favorite gadgets are the smart blinds and shades. They automatically open in the morning and close at night, or through one of his speakers or displays, he can ask Google to close them if the family is watching a movie and the sun is glaring on the TV. “I can continue to snuggle with my kids without having to get up,” he says. “It makes life a little more comfortable.”
Compatible smart devices required.
Some features, including mobile notifications, remote control, video streaming, and video recording, require working internet and Wi-Fi.
Familiar face alerts are not available on Nest cameras and doorbells used in Illinois.