Here’s how a home can be retrofitted to be ‘smart’
Transforming old homes into smart ones can be complex. However, modern advances in technology have made it possible, says Ashish R Puravankara, Managing Director, Puravankara. “The biggest factor, though, is the ability to understand which exact technology would be the best suited for the old home. Then, it becomes easier to seamlessly integrate those devices in the old setup. Customers usually opt for smart technologies that can address their most basic concerns—for instance, home security systems, smart lighting and smart thermostats.”
Several technologies can retrofit existing object (switches, sockets, IR-controlled devices like air-conditioners or TVs) to be IoT-enabled, observes Dr Narendra Bhat, President, BuildTrack. “Sensors can be added to the mix, so that IoT technology provides notifications via smart apps when they are triggered owing to smoke, gas leak, or even quality of air.”
Decentralised home automation is useful in older homes as it can be incorporated without changing the wiring. “In this case, existing conventional switch plates are replaced by smart switches and an independent processor for compatibility with smart device applications and voice control,” highlights a spokesperson from Kalpataru.
Ayan Sen, Founder, Ayan Sen Architects, believes the cost for an old home to be retrofitted to smart is in the range of Rs 2 lakh-2.5 lakh, although it varies from vendor to vendor and the nature of the various appliances. In terms of additional investment in building a smart home compared to a conventional one, he says, “Rs 5-10 lakh is a good amount for a basic degree of systematised automation. In terms of return on investment, obviously when you get out of a room and the light is switched off, you save that much on energy and costs.”