Licensed electricians will drive smart-home adoption.

Smart home device adoption is exploding with products ranging from smart light bulbs and switches to sophisticated security and sensor-based alert systems. Widespread adoption will be dependent on licensed electricians trained in the interoperability and specifics of major brands.

Smart home adoption in Europe and the UK is edging closer to the US. Market indicators include the UK surpassing the US in smart speaker adoption in 2021, with 38 percent of UK homes having installed a smart speaker versus 30 percent in 2020 [].

IDC's Smart Home and Office Devices team recently concluded that smart home and office tech will be driven by services more than hardware features and reliability [Ars Technica].

IDC’s forecast denotes the fact that smart home adoption in the UK and around the globe will be driven by services and exceedingly dependent on licensed electricians trained in the installation, repair, maintenance, and interoperability of smart home and office devices – and smart building sensors and devices. 

Major brands such as Google Nest, Apple, Amazon Alexa, Ring, Netatmo, and Logitech have deep market penetration in the UK and are clamoring for licensed electricians to grow their brands. Amazon Key for Business was recently launched and is actively recruiting electricians. 

Entry point smart home products create a false sense of DIY security 

Installations such as Phillips Hue smart lightbulbs can lead the consumer into a false sense of DIY security – for the most part when one or two devices are installed in a home or business such as a smart bulb or switch, things may be fine. 

However, when introducing a digital assistant and additional devices such as thermostats, locks, or alarm devices, the level of automation becomes exponentially more complex and requires a licensed professional who can install and integrate the devices into one seamless system.

Major brands rely on professional installation to ensure that their products will work as designed and that interoperability issues will be managed by someone with deep experience. The consumer doesn’t care why Nest does not work with Ring, they just want their technology to work. 

Global brands rely on trusted professionals for third-party sales consultations

Licensed professionals are also a trusted source for residential and commercial customers for sales consultations of major brands. Their experience places them in a unique position with an ability to evaluate each customer’s situation and make the best recommendations, especially with interoperability issues. 

Brands are launching programmes with installation bonuses and sales incentives. Many of these incentive programmes can be lucrative for an electrical business, there are no acquisition costs, payment is guaranteed, and scheduling is flexible to ensure established customer accounts are not impacted. 

The complexity of connecting multiple devices with proper automisation cannot be minimised. Even when initiatives such as MATTER – driven by the Zigbee Alliance – are fully adopted, brands will still rely on licensed professionals trained in the specifics of each brand to drive consumer adoption and brand favorability. 

About the author: Chris Viatte is the CEO and founder of Zürich-based Mila, the European leader in on-demand technical support.