What is home automation?

We use technology more and more every single day. From activating security systems to climate control or even turning on and off the lights. Now imagine: switching on and off the lights, closing all your doors and moderating the temperature in the house. Now imagine doing all those things in just a few seconds using your smartphone. With home automation, you will never forget to lock your house, you won’t stress with debating who is going to switch off the lights, you won’t worry about coming home to an extremely cold or hot house.

Home automation concept

Home automation is a convenient way to monitor and control day to day devices we use at home. These include lighting, air conditioning, curtains, doors among others. It gives you access to control devices in your home from a mobile device anywhere in the world. It more accurately describes homes in which nearly everything ranging from lights, appliances, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems are hooked up to a remotely controllable network.

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The most compatible devices for this approach are “smart” devices and appliances that can be connected to a local area network, via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. However, electrical systems and even individual points, like light switches and electrical outlets, can also be integrated into home automation networks.

With the correct home automation system, you can use any Internet-connected device to view and control the system itself and any attached devices. Monitoring apps can also provide a wealth of information about your home, from the status of the current moment to a detailed history of what has happened up to that very moment. You can also be able to check your security system’s status, whether the lights are on, whether the doors are locked, what the current temperature of your home is and much more. If cameras are integrated as part of your home automation system, you can even pull up real-time video feeds and literally see what’s going on in your home while you’re away.

You can be able to program your system to send you a text message or email whenever your security system registers a potential problem, from severe weather alerts to motion detector warnings to fire alarms.

Components

Home automation most commonly connects simple binary devices. This includes “on and off” devices such as lights, power outlets and electronic locks, and also devices such as security sensors which have only two states, open and closed.

The basic control unit is the hub. The home automation systems are able to distribute programming and monitoring control between a dedicated device at home, like the control panel of a security system, and a user-friendly app interface that can be accessed via the hub which can be an Internet-enabled PC, smartphone or tablet.


Related Article: What is Internet of things?


The home automation idea is still in its infancy stage. At the moment, the manufacturers that specialize in home automation have focused on the most critical and useful parts of a connected home. For example the doors and windows and environmental devices that keep you safe and comfortable. In order to allow additional real-time security, convenience and control, home automation systems from security providers also include options for video cameras. With the best systems, you’ll also be able to include lights and individual electrical outlets into your home automation package.

What are the benefits of an automated home?

Convenience.
It is something really special to be able to communicate with your home remotely, from wherever you are. A smart home is truly the next level in convenience and customization.

Safety and Security
The security of your home is one of the most important things about it. With home automation, you can make a secure home even more secure. For example, you have guests for the weekend. Wanting them to have the freedom to come and go, you provide them with a key for the duration of their stay. What if they mistakenly forget the key? Rekeying your locks is expensive, but not doing so could put the safety of your home at risk. An automated locking system can do away with all of that worry and expense. Instead of handing out physical keys, keyless entry systems on your home allow you to provide guests to your home with a code. Once they no longer need access to your home, you can simply delete the code. This is just an example among many of how home automation can increase the security of your home.

Efficiency
With home automation, there are tasks that will be done quickly and efficiently. For example, not only are motorized curtains far more convenient than manually changing the position of all of the curtains in your home each and every day, but they can help your home run much more efficiently. They open and close appropriately depending on the position of the sun, time of the day and amount of heat in the house.

Once you start to understand the possibilities of home automation scheduling, you can come up with any number of useful and creative solutions to make your life better. Is that west-facing window letting in too much light? Plug your motorized blinds into a “smart” outlet and program it to close at noon each day. Do you have someone come by at the same time each day to walk the dog? Program your home automation system to unlock the front door for them, and lock it up again when they’re done.

Two of the leading home automation security providers are ADT and Vivint, both of which offer different features that can save you time and money.