✔ Amazon and Google have sold 150 million smart speakers in just four years
✔ Smart TVs are the most popular smart home product in the world
✔ Setting up a smart home could save you £450 per year
What’s on this page?
What percentage of consumers in the UK own at least one smart home device?
23% of Britain's 66.44 million people have a smart item, according to YouGov’s 2018 survey.
8% of people have two or more, which is part of a growing trend towards turning your home into a smart place to live.
What percentage of UK households own smart home products?
A massive 57% of homes in Britain now contain a smart device, according to a survey conducted by Smart Home Week.
Meanwhile, more than one in six users control their smart device from outside their home on a daily basis – whether it’s to make sure there’s a hot drink waiting when they come back, or to make sure their cat isn’t tearing up the sofa.
How many smart homes are there in the UK?
There are 2.22 million smart homes in the UK.
A smart home has a central hub (a smart speaker, control panel, or app) that's linked to at least two devices – for instance, a smart bulb and smart plug.
We’ve calculated the figure above by looking at the number of households in the UK – 27.8 million – alongside the percentage of homes that own at least two smart devices, which is 8%, according to YouGov.
Smart home users by age
Smart home statistics indicate that ownership is dominated by younger consumers.
However, the youngest of these people (18 to 34-year-olds) typically don’t yet have as much disposable income as their older counterparts, and are therefore trailing slightly – for now.
What percentage of buyers would rather buy a home with smart home products installed?
54% of respondents said they would choose a smart home over an identical house which didn’t have smart technology, as per a 1,250-person study by Coldwell Banker Real Estate.
And 65% of people said they’d pay more for a smart home, according to a John Burns Real Estate Consulting survey of 22,000 people.
You might have more luck selling a smart home to a younger market, as 72% of millennials would reportedly be fine with paying $1,500 (£1,120) more for this technology – and 42% would part with $3,000 (£2,240) more.
What is the Internet of Things?
You can’t have a smart home without the Internet of Things. This is a network of devices which are connected to the internet – and, in many cases, to each other – that allows for a rapid transfer of data to create desired outcomes.
It can be used in your home to create automatic processes, such as ordering more cat food when you’re running low, or turning up the heating when there’s a cold snap.
Industries can also benefit from knowing whether crops need watering or shelves need stocking, and local governments can be alerted when their residents’ bins are full.
By 2018, there were 17 billion connected items worldwide.
By 2025, this figure is predicted to more than double, rising to 34.2 billion across the globe.
The Internet of Things: revenue and forecast
The Congressional Research Service in the US has placed the Internet of Things’ global revenue at $93.9 billion (£72.6 billion), as of 2018.
This figure is set to increase exponentially, with future estimates ranging from £246 billion by 2023 (according to GlobalData) to a gigantic £930 billion by 2022 (as predicted by the International Data Corporation).
Global household penetration of smart home products
Smart home statistics show that the global household penetration of products stood at 7.2% in 2019, according to Statista.
This figure is reportedly set to increase to 16.7% by 2023, more than doubling – and there’s certainly room for growth in countries like China, which had a penetration figure of just 8.5% in 2019.
Most commonly used smart home products in the UK
Smart meters are the most commonly used smart home product in Britain, as they’re owned by 18% of people – but as they’re given away for free by companies, we’re not counting them.
Smart speakers are therefore the most popular smart home device, with 11% of consumers owning one. Among them, 69% chose the Amazon Echo, while a comparatively meagre 19% plumped for a Google Home.
Smart home tech ownership by device
Most common smart home products in the world
3. Media boxes
4. Security cameras
Excluding computers and smartphones, TVs currently lead the smart home device market.
They’re closely followed by printers, media boxes (i.e. smart set-top boxes, Chromecasts etc.), and security cameras. Games consoles, tablets, and smart speakers also rank highly.
What are the most in-demand smart products?
Unsurprisingly, the most popular smart home devices are made by tech giants Amazon, Apple, Google, and Samsung.
Amazon smart speakers which feature Alexa are among the most popular smart devices in the world, with Jeff Bezos’s company having sold a total of 100 million Echos and Dots, as of the start of 2019.
The Google Home trails behind this impressive figure, but 52 million worldwide sales is still pretty impressive.
Smart watches are increasingly common, and it’s Apple that’s streaking ahead of the rest of the competition. 22.5 million Apple Watches were bought in 2018, representing a huge 369% increase on the previous year.
The value of the global smart home market
Spending on smart devices across the world is estimated to reach £80 billion by the end of 2019, according to a report in September from Strategy Analytics.
That report – as well as various other sources, including research firm Markets and Markets – have predicted the market will grow by around 11% every year, leading to an industry worth a whopping £120 billion by 2023.
The history of smart homes
Once electricity became widespread in the late 19th century, the public could start dreaming about home automation – but for many decades, smart homes were seen only in works of fiction.
They were the preoccupation of sci-fi authors like Ray Bradbury, who fired the collective imagination with stories like the 1950 classic “There Will Come Soft Rains”, and pop culture staples all the way from The Jetsons to 2001: A Space Odyssey and Disney’s Smart House.
Here's a quick history of smart homes, from the point where progress started to pick up: the 1960s.
What percentage of searches are voice control?
In 2016, Google CEO Sundar Pichai revealed that 20% of searches on his company’s mobile app and Android devices were voice-activated – but that appears to be misleading in the wider context.
The widely quoted estimation that 50% of all searches would be voice-activated by 2020 also seems set to fall flat, but it is the case that 40% of adults now use voice search at least once per day.
The overall percentage of voice searches is likely to be low, which is perhaps why the biggest companies have been reluctant to reveal exact figures.
What do people think is the top benefit of a smart home?
The top benefit of a smart home is “remotely controlling and monitoring home devices”, according to 37% of participants in a 2019 study of people in the US.
A 2018 YouGov survey showed that ease and convenience were the top advantages – for instance, 38% of people in the UK said: “They make my life easier.”
Another 21% agreed that smart homes “are easier to use/more convenient”, compared to the 15% who said they saved them money, and the 12% who said they were more environmentally friendly.
How much money can a smart home save you in the UK?
As well as making your life easier and more convenient, smart home statistics show that you can also save money with just a few energy-conscious products.
|Smart device||Savings per year|
If all households were turned into efficient smart homes, the UK would also cut its energy usage by 9 millions of tonnes of oil equivalent (mtoe) – 6% of the country’s total energy consumption. That’s right – smart homes can help fight climate change.
Because smart bulbs are LED, they can use anywhere from 75 to 90% less energy than your old bulbs. They also last for up to 25 years, which should save you even more money.
Becoming a smart bulb-only home can save you around £35 per year, according to the Energy Saving Trust – and you can cut your annual energy bills by another £15 if you get your smart bulbs to switch off when you leave a room.
That’s an overall saving of £50 per year.
Considering the average annual gas bill in the UK is £676, that means you could save as much as £210 every year.
And this figure can of course be higher, depending on your typical energy usage.
Smart shower head
A smart, water-efficient shower head can save you £70 every year on gas, and around £115 on water bills.
That’s a total annual saving of around £185 per year.
Smart fridge freezer
If you opt for a smart fridge freezer, you could save as much as £113 per year on energy bills.
While this would mean a considerable outlay, it’s certainly worth looking at if you’re already planning to get a new fridge freezer.
How much time can you save with smart home products?
57% of people save around 30 minutes every day by using smart home products, according to a study conducted by CNET and Coldwell Banker.
That works out at 182.5 hours over the course of 12 months – or to put it another way, you could save around 8 days every year by creating your own smart home.
Apple now owns half of the smart watch market, with Fitbit standing on 5.5 million sales, and Samsung in third on 5.3 million.
We’ve also already seen consumers switch over to smart TVs, and they don’t look like they’re coming back. 157 million units were sold in 2018, representing 67% of overall TV sales.
Samsung TVs were the most popular type, attracting 21% of sales – around 33 million TVs – while LG and Google make up the top three on 12% and 10%, respectively.
When it comes to smart hardware which gains you access to more TV – like set-top boxes, for instance – the Amazon Fire TV Stick rules the roost.
34 million people actively use the distinctive black remote, which is somewhere between an iPod and a classic clicker. That’s around five million more than Roku, and 12 million more than TiVo.