One of the driving factors that drives people towards living tiny is the efficiencies gained by a tiny space. Not only are you are able to clean the entire space in ten minutes, but with a well-designed kitchen, you can cook a meal all from standing in one place. To optimize the space further, implementing technology can drastically cut time performing menial tasks like turning on a light, setting timers, or checking the status of your off-grid systems. Today's devices coupled with a hub or several devices that are designed to work with Bluetooth or a home network allow a tiny house to become a smart house.
Amazon's Alexa or Google's Home systems are probably the first thing people think of when they hear about smart devices. These devices can turn on lights, lock doors, check who is at the door and act as your personal secretary so you have more time to do the things you want to do. Implementing smart features into you tiny home during the design and build process will help integrate the newest technologies into you home.
Being able to control features of your house while you are away is one of the most useful things about a smart home. Not only does it improve safety, but it saves time and money. You can place Bluetooth enabled switches throughout your circuitry to allow a smart hub to turn them off or on by voice command. This method is a lot cheaper than buying smart switches for every outlet or appliance and can be used to control any outlet/receptacle. You can also install smart smoke detectors that talk with your other devices to warm you when they detect something and you are not home. Smart thermostats will save power, which can be crucial in an off grid home and will save money on standard electric systems.
Cameras are now pretty cheap and can easily be integrated with motion sensors and wifi to provide continuous security surveillance or monitor certain conditions of your structure while you are not home. Coupling video surveillance with solar can give you live visual updates on solar panel snow coverage or how much light it hitting your panels. With snow coverage, you could remotely activate a generator to replenish your electrical system or activate an actuator to remove snow or turn on a heating element. Blink is a subsidiary of Amazon and works with the associated app to allow for wifi remote monitoring and has motion sensors built in to activate the camera when motion is detected.
While smart homes are not for everyone, they do have their place in the tiny home community. Those who travel often will love the benefits of controlling their home or answering the front door with a com system, while those at home will love the additional time they save