Many of us dream of living in an automated home, where we have smart lights, security systems, TVs, thermostats, locks, and other smart gadgets that are connected and can be operated through voice commands. You can even take it a step further and go for an automated bathroom. But how do you automate a bathroom, and what does it even do?
Here are ways to automate your bathroom:
- Add a smart faucet.
- Install a smart toilet.
- Make your shower smart.
- Switch to enhanced vanities or smart mirrors.
- Install a smart speaker system.
- Throw in additional smart or automated fixtures.
In this article, we’ll talk about the different smart technologies you can install in your bathroom in order to automate it. We’ll also talk about what these technologies do and how they’ll benefit you.
What Does an Automated Bathroom Look Like?
An automated bathroom would have a high-tech toilet with a motion sensor for the seat and temperature-controlled water. Your toilet can also have a heated and antimicrobial seat, as well as self-clean capacity.
Your bathroom can also have a digital faucet and shower panel with temperature and water pressure control settings, a digital sink with touchless technology, mood-enhancing lighting, and a mirror with internet connectivity.
If you wish, you can toss in a smart speaker and virtual assistant so you can operate all these smart fixtures through voice commands while you’re in your tub or while your hands are wet.
Needless to say, these smart fixtures were designed to make your bathroom experience more convenient, relaxing, interactive, user-friendly, and even more hygienic.
How To Automate a Bathroom
Automating your bathroom could be a more difficult and tedious job compared to automating any other part of your house. That’s because while you’d only need to add certain smart appliances and devices in the other rooms, automating your bathroom may require you to actually take out certain fixtures and replace them with smart ones.
1. Add a Smart Faucet
A smart digital faucet is equipped with touchless technology, so you only have to place your hands under the sensor, and water will automatically run. When you take your hands away from the sensor, the faucet will also turn off by itself. Therefore, this particular technology allows you to conserve water and save money while enjoying the convenience it brings.
The controlled flow of water means saying goodbye to wasteful water consumption. Your water doesn’t have to keep on running while you thoroughly rub soap on your hands or while you brush your teeth.
What’s more, the sensor allows you to turn the water on or off without having to crank the faucet’s handle or lever. It’s a convenient feature if your hand is dirty, greasy, or soapy. This way, you don’t have to wash the messy or soapy knob after washing your hands.
There are also smart faucets with automatic or digital temperature control settings. This feature requires less power to heat the water up because you can preset the exact temperature you want. Some models also have a LED indicator that tells you the current temperature of the water even from a distance.
Of course, there are also smart faucets that you can integrate with your smart speakers like Amazon Echo or Alexa or Google Home. This way, you can turn your faucet on or off and adjust water temperatures by simply issuing a voice command.
Aside from conserving water, preventing water overflow and wastage, saving on your water bill, keeping dirt and smudges off your handle, and presetting water temperature, a smart faucet’s hands-free feature also helps prevent contamination and the spread of disease-causing germs and bacteria.
The hands-free feature is perhaps the most important benefit in the age of the COVID-19 pandemic, especially if we’re talking about a bathroom that caters to multiple users.
2. Install a Smart Toilet
Like any other smart device or appliance, a smart toilet can connect and interact with users. It comes with a range of features that allow it to do various things. These features include:
- Automatic lid. You don’t have to worry about opening and closing the toilet lid anymore with a smart toilet. Your toilet’s motion sensor will automatically open the lid for you when you’re about to use it and will close when you’re done. This feature also means that the argument on whether to leave the toilet seat up or down is rendered moot.
- Seat warmer. When your smart toilet has a seat warmer, you can say goodbye to sitting on an ice-cold surface and getting the sleep shocked out of your system in the middle of the night or during cold winter mornings. You can preset your toilet, so the seat is kind of warm and toasty. Some heated seats are even antimicrobial.
- Hands-free flushing. Your smart toilet can be equipped with a sensor that detects when a user is seated and has stood up. This presence detection sensor will prompt it to flush by itself once you’re done. This particular feature makes a smart toilet hygienic because you don’t need to push levers or buttons. It also helps save water because it uses just the right amount of it to flush waste.
- Nightlight. Some smart toilets have night lighting in ambient colors. This more extravagant feature allows you to have a more personalized and relaxing experience at night, especially after a hard day’s work when you just want to be alone with your thoughts and enjoy some much-deserved alone time.
- Bidet. You can do your business and have your bidet do the cleaning for you by spraying water on your bum; no need to wipe hard-to-reach areas with toilet paper. Some bidets also allow you to adjust the water temperature, so you don’t get sprayed with a freezing jet of water and adjust the water pressure for utmost comfort. Most smart toilets with a bidet also come with a dryer.
- Self-cleaning feature. Self-cleaning nozzles or wands will release cleaning and disinfecting agents to help prevent the accumulation of unsightly stains on the toilet bowl’s interior. So you can go for extended periods without having to put on your rubber gloves and scrubbing and brushing your toilet with possibly harmful chemicals. They also have special design elements like fewer crevices and a non-porous finishing glaze.
- Air deodorizer. Your smart toilet can have an air deodorizer, so you don’t have to worry about foul odor permeating the air and bothering the next user.
3. Make Your Shower Smart
You can put up a digital shower so you can control and automate the water flow, water temperature, and steam.
But a smart shower also allows connectivity and integration with other smart devices, such as smart speakers and smart lights, so you can also control and enjoy some music and ambient lighting through voice commands while taking a shower. It would help if you know the difference between a digital shower and a smart shower first.
A smart shower doesn’t just have a thermostatic valve to allow you to set the water’s temperature to how warm you want it to be, but it also allows you to do it hands-free via voice commands or through a mobile app. That means getting your water heater to start working even before you step into your shower.
Smart shower systems also have a built-in temperature limit to prevent scalding, which is a good feature if you have elderly or young kids at home.
Another thing a smart shower can do is conserve water and energy. Aside from no longer having to run the water needlessly until you find the right temperature for you, you can also preselect water flow and pressure. You can also get reminders of how long you’ve been in the shower.
Needless to say, a smart shower head with LED lights is also great for light therapy and hydrotherapy.
4. Switch to Enhanced Vanities or Smart Mirrors
Some automated bathrooms have vanities or mirrors that actually transform into a TV screen so that you can be brushing your teeth and watching your favorite show at the same time. Or you can watch the news as you do your hair and get ready for work, or even do your makeup while watching a makeup tutorial on YouTube.
There are also smart mirrors that boast fogless surfaces and touch-activated lighting with their built-in LED lights. There are also mirrors with Bluetooth connectivity, as well as those with a built-in surround-sound speaker system.
5. Install a Smart Speaker System
Your bathroom may be the last place in your house you’d think about placing a smart speaker. However, a lot of smart bathroom fixtures can be operated using voice commands to virtual assistants like Amazon’s Alexa or Google Assistant.
So, installing a smart speaker in your bathroom helps you optimize all the smart functionalities of your toilet, faucet, shower, and vanity. You can mount it on your wall or on your ceiling.
Aside from the convenience of not having to push or press physical buttons, such as the buttons for water temperature settings, having a smart speaker can also enhance relaxation or provide entertainment, depending on how you want your bathroom experience to be.
Imagine soaking in your tub after a stressful day at work and enjoying some instrumental music. You can skip a track or play a specific song without having to get up or touch your phone with your wet fingers.
Or you can listen to a podcast or a lecture if you want to spend your bath time learning something. You can also ask Alexa or Google to pair with your phone and tell you what your schedule for the next day is like. Or instruct Alexa to add shampoo and toothpaste to your shopping list.
Alexa or Google can also help you with your ambient lighting. You don’t have to go to the switch every time you want to change colors. Simply tell Alexa about it, and you can enjoy your home spa night with healing green light.
6. Throw in Additional Smart or Automated Fixtures
Now that you have your more important automated or smart bathroom fixtures, you can add the less basic ones. We’re talking about automatic soap and shampoo dispensers, smart towel warmers, smart weighing scales, and even smart toothbrushes.
Some bathrooms also have privacy windows, which can change from normal to opaque using a remote control or a smart device. Privacy windows also have UV protection and serve as insulators for a more comfortable bathroom temperature.
And if budget isn’t an issue, you can switch your tub to a smart one. A smart bathtub now allows you to fill up the water up to a specific depth and warm it up to your desired temperature by using your mobile app or issuing voice commands. Some tub models also allow you to change the color of lights around them depending on your mood, and some also let you add some fog.
Benefits of Automating Your Bathroom
Automating your bathroom means integrating it with artificial intelligence (AI) and Internet of Things (IoT) devices to control your bathroom fixtures better and have a more seamless experience. The specific benefits of doing so include:
- Improved health. You can improve your physical and mental well-being by using the relaxing spa-like effects of a smart bathroom. For instance, you can apply aromatherapy and chromotherapy to de-stress and ease tired and tense muscles, you can use your warm soaking tub to detoxify, and you can use your smart scale to gauge your fitness level.
- Customization options. Smart bathroom technology allows you to personalize a whole bunch of settings according to your needs and preferences. You can have them just the way you want, from water temperature to water flow and pressure to lighting.
- Hygiene. With touchless technology, we no longer have to touch surfaces like faucet knobs and toilet flush buttons, thereby eliminating contact with what’s potentially contaminated with germs and bacteria. You don’t even have to wipe yourself with toilet paper if you have a bidet. Of course, this technology could be more useful in public bathrooms where there are multiple users than in your own.
- Convenience. With your bathroom automated, you don’t have to wait for your water to get warm enough or for your tub to get filled because you can just pre-set it, leave, and continue with what you’re doing. You can have your toilet clean itself. You can enjoy music, adjust the lights, and generally get things the way you want them without pressing buttons or getting out of your tub.
- Save energy. An automated bathroom allows you to save on energy costs because everything is well-regulated, from water temperature to water usage to lights. Your faucet will run only when your hands are there. Your heater will warm your water only when needed. And your tub will fill only up to your specified depth so you can be sure no excess water goes down the drain if you’re not watching.
An automated bathroom connects smart bathroom fixtures with other intelligent devices like your smartphone, smart speaker, and smart thermostat to give you more control and more customization of your entire bathroom experience.
Moreover, an automated bathroom offers you comfort and convenience in everything, from brushing your teeth to checking yourself in the mirror, washing your hands, taking a shower, using the toilet, and soaking in the tub.