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What is Geofencing & How Can It Make Your Smart Home Even Better?

by Ann Ferguson

Having a smart home makes your life easier — you don't have to think about your home’s optimum settings; it just gets done. But did you know that you can make your smart home even smarter? With geofencing, you can make your home run even more efficiently.

Never heard of geofencing? Don't worry; we'll walk you through what it is, how it works, and how you can improve your smart home!

Setting Up Boundaries

GPS marker with the home symbol on a map

What is geofencing? It's a location-based technology that uses GPS, RFID, Wi-Fi, or cellular data to trigger a pre-programmed action when a mobile device enters or exits a virtual boundary set up around a geographical location. Basically, it uses your location to trigger specific actions on smart devices and controls once you've entered or left the virtual boundary you created.

Geofencing is controlled and managed through a Z-wave powered smart hub or panel and combines all your smart devices and controls into one cohesive network. You can set triggers for your lights, security system, smart plugs, GPS trackers, thermostats, door locks, electronic devices, smart appliances, sprinkler systems, and in-home sound systems. That's your entire home!

Keep Cool & Bright

Softly lit house at dusk

With warmer temperatures on the way, you have to stay on top of your home's utility bill. And if you already have a smart thermostat, you're on the right track. But it can be better.

When used with geofencing, you can set it so your thermostat automatically raises the temperature a few degrees when you leave the house, which helps you save on energy. You can also program the thermostat to lower the temperature once you've reached the boundary of your geofence, so your house begins to cool when you arrive.

As for lights, you can do something similar where your porch lights and interior lights automatically turn on, so you don't come home to a dark house. While you can do that with ordinary smart home automation, this way, you don't have to fiddle with timing and schedules — it's all based on where you, and your smartphone, are currently located!

Everything is Secure

Mother and daughter coming through the door on a spring day

While geofencing is beneficial for all your smart devices, it is especially helpful with your security system. Usually, you'd have to deal with codes, timing, and remembering to arm it when you leave the house. With a geofence trigger, you can set your security system to arm or disable automatically, based on your location.

You can even get real-time video notifications of when your loved ones arrive home, so you know they're safe and sound. But if you need to set up custom settings to trigger other actions simultaneously with your security system, it's easy to do so. You can tailor your system to work around family school schedules, like powering down the TVs and electronic devices when it's time for bed.

And if you have an older teen you want to keep an eye on, you can key the system to alert you when their phone leaves the house.

Open Sesame

Do you ever struggle with your garage opener? Maybe it takes forever to open the door, or perhaps you don't like having to lend it to someone else in the house who gets home later than you do. Or you're tired of the security risk from leaving it in your car. Don't worry; We've been there. But with geofencing, you don't have to.

You can use the geofence to automatically open the garage door after crossing the appropriate barrier, eliminating the need for a garage door opener. And if you have a double-door garage you share with your spouse, you can link and trigger each door to a different device, so only your side will open when needed. And the same goes for their side, too!

Master the Honey-Do List

Steering wheel with errand reminders all over it

The beauty of geofencing is that you don't have to limit it to your home. Instead, you can use geofencing with smart assistants like Alexa to give you real-time shopping reminders. So long as your smart assistant has phone access, you can create a tailored reminder to pick up cereal or milk the next time you're near a grocery store — no more forgetting what's on your shopping list!

But you don't have to stick to just shopping reminders; you can create a reminder based on any location. The post office, the dry cleaners, your kid's school — anywhere you need to accomplish a task, your smart assistant will keep your errands on point. So, if you always have trouble remembering all you need to do in a day, integrating geofencing with your smart assistant is the way to go.

Smart Devices Go to Work

Do you put off using your robot vacuum in your home because of the noise? Many people do, but not everyone has a smart home set up with geofencing. With the proper geofence parameters, you can trigger your smart devices to go to work when you're away, including a smart robo vacuum.

So, if you have a full schedule, you can still come home to clean floors without being bothered by the sound of the vacuum. You can even do it for other compatible smart appliances that you'd like to work behind the scenes.

Up Your Smart Home Game

Smart home tech symbols in the palm of a hand

Undoubtedly, geofencing makes your smart home run even more efficiently. Without dealing with programming for exact schedules, you can spend less time programming and re-programming your automations and have more time for your everyday life. But if you don't have smart home automation just yet, we can help at Refined Systems!

Contact us for a consultation appointment to get started, and we'll get you set up. All you have to do is tell us what you want your smart system to do!