A recent report from Business Insider explored the growth of the professional install market for smart homes, citing that DIY solutions have struggled to gain traction against professionally installed smart-home systems.  

This prompted curiosity into the latest purchase trends for DIY smart home companies. Interest focused on exploring trends among consumers who had both purchased and installed smart home products within the lighting, temperature/energy and security smart home product categories. A DIY smart home purchase can be de­fined as one in which the consumer guides themselves through the entire installation of the product/s without the assistance of a professional, whereby a professionally installed smart home system is installed and monitored by a service provider.

Initial findings reveal that 1 in 5 respondents have purchased and self-installed one or more smart home products in the last 12 months. The most popular purchases overall and amongst single device owners include smart lighting and smart thermostats, while those who own multiple smart home products are likely to have a smart thermostat in the mix.

Houzz research indicates around half of people renovating their homes are incorporating smart systems or devices, and smart thermostats are the single most popular device in a renovated home. Lighting, cameras and thermostats are technologies most likely to be upgraded and to come out with smart features in the next 5 years. Thermostats, again, represent a category where smart solution upgrades are most anticipated. The beginning stage of the home renovation process offers an opportunity for DIY companies to intersect the customer at a time when consideration of smart home installation is top of mind.

Regarding the professionally installed home market, primary pain points consist of higher bills and poor brand reputations, along with the increasing strength of DIY offerings, specifically where unification is concerned. Due to such, DIY companies should position the DIY process as offering counter-advantages: cost savings, trusted names and the ability to sync devices within the home.

In addition, the professionally installed market is focused on security-related smart home products, which represents a small niche within the smart home product umbrella. This in turn offers DIY companies the opportunity to leverage an expanded product portfolio.

In terms of audience, millennials constitute the generation into which most DIY’ers fall (25-34, specifically), and purchasers within the 18-44 range have purchased and installed nearly double the volume of smart home products as those aged 45-65+. DIY smart home companies will benefit from targeting this audience with compelling messaging, education and pricing.

DIY Smart Home Purchases in 2016
DIY Smart Home Purchases in 2016