Home automation gives you total control of all your devices and appliances with the touch of a button. If you ever dreamed of having a house where everything was automatic, then that dream can be fulfilled today. Home automation gives you the power to control several things like lighting, HVAC, security cameras, home theatre system, irrigation and many other devices you normally use around the house. For many the question is, “where do I start?” Here are some things you should know about home automation technology.
What Can Home Automation be used for?
Home automation can be used for a variety of things you normally do around the house daily. Some of the most common things you can use (but not limited to) are:
- Lighting – You can use home automation to turn on, dim or turn off the lights. You can have it set to dim at a particular time or turn on automatically when you walk into the room.
- Thermostat – With home automation you can set your thermostat to turn up automatically just before you enter the house.
- Air conditioning – Have your air conditioner turn on or turn off automatically and even adjust the temperature remotely.
- Curtains – You can set the home automation system to automatically open or close your curtains at a particular time of the day.
- Home Theatre – Have your home theatre automatically turn on and play a video from your computer all with the touch of a button.
- Security System – Control and monitor your security cameras inside and outside the house remotely.
- Irrigation – Set your irrigation system to water your garden automatically at a specific time of the day.
- Garage door – Automatically open or close your garage door from your car or anywhere outside.
Home automation has several other uses and is not limited to the ones mentioned here.
Benefits of Home Automation
Though the benefits of home automation will vary from person to person, there are some benefits worth mentioning.
• Convenience and Comfort
Home automation offers home owners to set up specific ‘scenes’ that will enhance the comfort in the home. You can create specific ‘scenes’ in your home with any enable device. For example, you can set up the home automation system to set the temperature in the living room to a particular degree, turn on or dim the lights, draw the curtains and turn on the music at a particular time of the day. Just in case you forgot to turn off the lights in the kitchen downstairs, you can turn it off with the touch of a button from your bedroom on the first floor.
With home automation you can remotely control your indoor and outdoor video cameras. You can set your home automation system to send a text message or live video feed (IP cameras required) to your phone in the event of any intrusion. With home automation you will be able to access and control your security cameras from any location even outside your house.
Unlike popular belief home automation is not very expensive but has become quite affordable today. With your home automation system you will be able to save on electricity, gas and water charges every month. You will also be conserving on your total energy consumption.
• Ease of Use
Instead of turning on your home theatre and then your television to watch a movie, with home automation all you need to do is touch a button on your touch panel, and your home theatre and television will turn on. Home automation makes it easier to connect and use almost every device and appliance you have in your home. You do not need to walk around carrying several remote controls to operate different devices, you just need to use either your smart panel, iPad or iPod touch or desktop computer to control any of the connected devices in your home.
How does it Work?
There are basically four main parts required for home automation, they are: Main Controller, Interfaces, Sensors and Control methods.
- Main Controllers – This is a small device through which the home automation system works. In other words it is the ‘brain’ of the home automation system. It is connected to your home network system and uses the internet.
- Interfaces – Interfaces are devices through which you connect with the home automation system. They can be Touch Panels, Remote Controls, Keypads, Internet and Smartphones.
- Sensors – Home automation works with sensors placed in strategic places in and around the home.
- Control Methods – There are different ways through which home automation systems work. Home automation uses a variety of systems like Internet Protocol (IP), WiFi, IR. Zig-bee, Relays and Serial Data.
Home automation has come a long way from what you used to see in the Bond movies. Home automation is accessible today and has become a must for homes. Apart from adding comfort, security and style to the home, it increases the value of the property.
Andrea Walter is a blogger and writer for Kensington AV – a Luxury AV installation company based in London and serving customers across the capital including Mayfair, Chelsea, Fulham, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, St Johns Wood and the home counties from our showroom in Kensington.