Home automation is one of the most talked-about technological advances in the last few decades. It has gone from a luxury item to a trend and now to must-have technology. Home automation, including home security automation, is essential for everyone because of the critical benefits. However, it can be costly, confusing and easy to get locked into one system.
If you are building a new home, take a closer look at why you should be making this move and just how easy it can be to do so.
What Is Home Automation?
The short answer is that home automation is a way of installing and controlling how devices in your home operate. From lights to your doorbell, these devices can communicate with you through switches, touchscreens, an app or, in some cases, with voice commands. These can be isolated items or devices that you control on their own. Or, they can be designed to work within a controlled network where one hub or device controls the functions of others throughout the space.
Incorporating Automation into the Home
The term automation is defined explicitly as an ability to program an event or schedule something to happen, and then the device does it for you. For example, there is no need for you to turn the lights on by flipping the switch. Instead, you tell a device to turn them on at a specific time, and it does it for you. Automation includes scheduled events (such as the blinds coming down at 7 pm every night) to direct commands needed at that moment (such as opening an app to view the front door).
Accessing the Home Remotely
There is a secondary component to home automation that’s growing in value and prominence. It’s the ability to access the home remotely. While home automation is designed to make managing tasks at home easy, you also want to have those skills away from home. While a limited amount of one-way remote monitoring has been possible for some time, it’s only since the rise in smartphones and tablets that we could truly connect to our home networks while we’re away. The benefits range from real-time video access to turning on and off the lights and open doors from remote locations.
What Is a Smart Home?
The term “smart home” has been used for years to describe a home that could handle various tasks. In short, today, we know it as a home that has a variety of devices that can automate various tasks.
Home automation becomes truly “smart” in the Internet-enabled devices that attach a network and control it. In many ways, a smart home is simply a home with built-in automation. There is a growing trend towards creating homes designed from the ground up to include smart home features.
Most people don’t realise that you can have a new ‘smart home’ with robust technology without it costing the earth. By focusing on the most useful components and using a mixture of wired and wireless solutions, your new ‘smart home’ has never been more accessible.
What Is the Internet of Things (IoT)?
The term Internet of Things, more commonly called IoT, refers to technology that communicates with the internet.
IoT in homes is used for devices to connect over your home’s Wi-Fi or other internet connection. This allows these devices to send information back and forth, communicating a wide range of tasks and sharing data from one device to the next.
WiFi is by far the most common control protocol; it means that your IoT device will use the regular Internet provided by your Internet Service Provider.
It is essential to have a home network set up, which will be the backbone of your Smart Home to ensure the flexibility and security of your system. This will allow you to expand your smart home in the future if you wish, and with more people working from home, it will ensure there is no slowing of your internet connection.
Benefits of Home Automation
All of this seems like a good thing, and there is no doubt it also seems overwhelming, especially if you are just getting started with home automation. However, the question many people ask is why. Why should you invest in smart home automation? What benefit is this going to bring to the way you live your life right now?
There are many specific types of benefits that home automation can present, depending on how you wish to use it. Here are a few of the key advantages:
- Increased safety: By far, the best reason to invest in home automation is that it can enhance your home’s safety and security. Cameras include night vision and motion detection, remain in control over who enters your home and who does not get access, deter thieves with cameras, schedule lights to turn on at night to provide a sense that people are home. Smart fire detectors also are carbon monoxide monitors and alerts to your phone.
- Remote access: Control your home from mobile devices, including your laptop, tablet, or smartphone.
- Comfort: Use home automation to make your home a more comfortable, liveable space. Adjust your lights to soften or brighten based on the time of day and answer your door without getting up. If you hear a noise at night, you can look on your phone to see the outside of your home without leaving your bed.
- Convenience: Program devices to turn on automatically at certain times or remotely access their settings from anywhere with an Internet connection. Did your son or daughter forget his or her home key? Perhaps you have a dog walker coming by to help with your pets. You can give them access to your home for a specific amount of time with a push of a button or even their own pin code.
- Energy efficiency: Home automation allows you to be more mindful of your power usage. For example, you can save on energy bills by reducing the length of time that lights stay on or lowering temperatures when you leave a room.