How To Build A Smart Home (Beginner Guide 101)

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How To Build A Smart Home

Beginner Guide 101


For many, the concept of a smart home system is intriguing due to the convenience it promises to offer. If you're interested but unsure where to start, stay with us! This is a beginner's guide series aimed at providing foundational knowledge for those new to smart homes, guiding you step by step through understanding smart homes and learning how to build your own system.


In this beginner's guide 101, we'll cover the following aspects of smart home systems:
1. Essential Hardware Basics
2. Introduction to TP-Link Smart Devices: What Are They and What Can They Do?
3. Basic Smart Control - Using Tapo/Kasa App
4. Exploring the Possibilities of Smart Home Systems - Smart Actions



1. Essential Hardware Basics


The foundation of any smart home system lies in its network infrastructure and smart devices.


Most smart devices rely on WiFi connectivity, although some also support wired connections. Prior to setting up your smart home system, ensure you have a stable and robust WiFi network coverage in your environment.
Fun Fact: Many smart home devices offer local usage capabilities, meaning they can function even without internet access. As long as your smartphone is connected to the same WiFi network, you can control and manage these devices offline, accessing most features such as controlling smart plugs, scheduling tasks, and viewing camera feeds.


Furthermore, no smart home system would be complete without a variety of smart devices. To cater to the diverse needs and scenarios in your home, a wide range of smart products has been developed, including popular options like smart security cameras, smart plugs, and motion sensors. By incorporating different types of devices, you can gradually enhance the intelligence and convenience of your home.



2. Introduction to TP-Link Smart Devices: What Are They and What Can They Do?


As a leading consumer electronics brand and pioneer in the smart home industry, TP-Link's Tapo and Kasa brands offer a wide range of smart devices to meet different needs. If you're unsure about what products you need, let's explore them together.





Smart Security Camera


As the name suggests, this is a device that provides real-time security monitoring, allowing you to stay informed about key areas.


For example, when someone breaks in, the camera can sound an alarm to scare off intruders, send you real-time notifications, and record relevant video clips for later viewing. You can also monitor elderly people or pets alone at home to keep an eye on their movements and respond promptly to any accidents.












Smart Doorbell


More than just a doorbell, it's also a smart camera that supports motion detection, allowing you to know who's lurking in front of your door at all times.


With its two-way audio feature, you can remotely inform delivery personnel where to place packages even when you're not at home.





Smart Plug


A handy tool that transforms ordinary home appliances into smart devices. You can control the smart plug and the connected appliances anytime through the app, eliminating worries about forgetting to turn off lights or TVs when you're away from home! 


You can also set schedules to turn devices on and off, or set timers, such as connecting coffee machines or kettles and setting a timer to wake up to coffee or hot water in the morning. The unique Away mode function randomly turns devices (lights) on and off during the night to simulate the presence of someone at home, increasing security. Moreover, with models supporting energy monitoring, you can monitor the power consumption of devices and adjust their usage frequency to save on electricity bills!




Smart Switch


Replace the dumb switch so you no longer have to worry about forgetting to turn off lights. With a tap on your phone, you can turn off all lights from your bed, when you're away, or even when you're just too lazy to move. Various styles of smart switches are available for you to choose from, including single-pole switches, dimmer switches, three-way switches, 2-gang switches, ceiling fan switches, etc.




Smart Switch Button


A physical button that can replace app control. By presetting scenes (controlled devices) in advance, you can switch between different scenes (control multiple devices with one button), such as turning off all lights (when returning home), turning on privacy mode for all cameras, and more. In addition to single-click, it also supports double-click, clockwise, and counterclockwise rotation, allowing you to switch between four scenes with one smart button.





Smart Lighting


Smart bulbs, smart spotlights, smart light strips - various forms of lighting devices are available for you to choose from. Want colorful lighting? No problem, there are multiple RGB lighting options available, and you can also choose from various color temperatures, whether it's white light or warm light.


And that's not all! For color light devices, especially color light strips, we've built in up to 70 different lighting effects to meet various usage scenarios, from movie nights and family gatherings to Valentine's Day and Christmas atmospheres, as well as lighting effects for different weather, moods, or themes. The Tapo smart light strip is not just a lighting device, it's a powerful assistant that greatly enhances your sense of well-being in life!









Smart Sensors


Motion Sensor



Tapo T100


Detects every movement.

Receive instant motion detection alerts from phone notifications.


Better motion detection alerts when used in conjunction with other smart devices.

Emit alarm on Tapo hub when movement detected

 Visible alerts: Turn on Lights and change to a specific color when movement detected.


Water Leak Sensor



Tapo T300


Accidents happen, but this device may be your savior.


Place the water leak sensor under the laundry room, water pump, basin, or bathtub. When it detects a leak, it sounds an alarm immediately, preventing water damage to your floors and house!


Contact Sensor


Tapo T110


A good companion for forgetful people. 


It notifies you promptly when you forget to close doors, windows, or the refrigerator door.



Temperature & Humidity Sensor



Tapo T315  Tapo T310​​​​​​​


It's not only a data recorder. Explore the convenience when using with other smart devices. 


 Turning on a humidifier or dehumidifier (smart plug) when humidity decreases or increases

 Turning on a heater when temperature drops






Smart Thermostat


Still manually controlling radiators? Try using the Kasa thermostat radiator valve.

Set up smart schedules to automatically adjust the temperature at different times of the day.


It supports frost protection, ensuring that the radiator doesn't freeze even when not heating. With an additional temperature and humidity sensor, you can assist in calibrating the temperature. When used with a contact sensor, it can notify you promptly when a window is accidentally opened, and it can also choose to notify you and close the heating at the same time.







Smart Robot Vacuum


Let technology take care of cleaning for you!


Automatically clean and mop your home while you're away, working, or sleeping, giving you a clean home! Leave more time for your family and yourself, creating more moments of happiness and relaxation.





3. Basic Smart Control - Using Tapo/Kasa App


Now, you might be overwhelmed by the rich functionalities of various products, but there's no need to worry about not knowing how to use them. Most product functions can be achieved through our powerful Tapo/Kasa App!


All the device functions are integrated into one app, with the main functions placed on the device page, making it easy for you to understand at a glance.





4. Exploring the Possibilities of Smart Home Systems - Smart Actions


In the product introductions above, you may have noticed that different types of smart devices can work together. How is this achieved?

Let's meet the powerful Smart Action!


It consists of two parts: Shortcut and Automation.


Shortcut, also known as a scene, allows you to pre-set scenes and activate shortcuts to switch between different scenes, control multiple smart devices, and enable/disable automation. For example, setting up modes such as gaming, movie night, and sleep for your room, enabling the Away mode (turning off all lights, turning on cameras, enabling motion sensor detection alarms, etc.), and more.


Another important part is Automation. With automation, you can achieve intelligent interconnection between different smart devices. Simply put, it follows a logic of "When xxx, Then xxx". For example, when the backyard motion sensor detects movement, the Tapo hub sounds an alarm continues for 30 seconds, and sends a notification to my phone.




Since everyone's devices, usage scenarios, and needs are different, through the use of Smart Action, you can explore and design automation rules tailored to your unique usage scenarios!


If you're confused about the various connections between products, no worries! We've built in multiple scene and automation setting templates, which you can directly use after adding devices, without needing to consider the various association logics between them.



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