You may not need to have the same home automation system of Bill Gates, but it’s important to understand the basics. This blog post will explore one of the most common trends in technology called smart home automation. Find out how it benefits you, what you need, and how things work.
The Basics Of Home Automation Technology
What Is Home Automation?
First, let’s define home automation. Is it different from a smart home? The answer is no. Also known as domotics, home automation performs two things: control and automate processes or activities of certain appliances or systems. These include HVAC or electricity. Many people think it is the Internet of things. Both concepts are different but interrelated. Once appliances and systems are hooked up to the Internet, a person then has greater control over these through a WiFi connection.
In home automation, control plays a huge role. This is because to create a smart home, appliances and systems need to be connected to a certain network. This network will also have a user interface you can access to adjust or change the settings as you see fit.
Benefits of Building Smart Homes Of The Future
The idea of smart homes or home automation has been around for a long time – in fact, as early as the 1970s. Before, though, only commercial and industrial buildings used it. What then changed? Homeowners realized the following advantages:
1. Energy Efficiency
— Vuma Durbanville (@VumaDurbanville) April 26, 2017
In 2014, the average electricity bill in the United States was $114.09. This is about $3 higher than the previous year. In Hawaii, the average cost is a staggering $246! While we can no longer live without electricity, it’s important to use it efficiently. Home automation can help you with that as you can choose to operate certain appliances or lights only when necessary. For example, lights in the living room may turn on only when it senses the presence of a person.
One of the primary reasons why many are now using home automation is security. Are you worried you haven’t locked your door properly? Would you like to see your surveillance footage in real time? How about knowing if somebody tripped your alarm?
— Mulberry Smart Homes (@MulberrySmart) July 19, 2017
Let’s face it: people are busy, perhaps too busy we become lazy! With a smart home, you can automate activities. When the clock chimes 5:00 a.m., your coffee maker starts making you a cup. You can then shut down everything, from your thermostat to your air-conditioning or TV, using your mobile phone and while you’re already out of the house.
With home automation, especially in relation to the Internet of Things, your interface can gather data from your devices or systems. The interface may send the information to, say, appliance manufacturers or local electricity supplier, or you can use it yourself. Either way, the data can be used to improve the performance of the network or the product itself.
How Does It Work?
So how does home automation work? It can actually be very complex depending on the appliances you’re dealing with, the manufacturer, etc., but the bottom line is these systems and products should learn to communicate. To whom should they talk to? They can “talk” to one another or respond to a home automation controller or sensor.
— Business Insider (@businessinsider) July 13, 2017
Here’s An Example
Let’s say you want to install LED lights that can change colors, turn on or off, as well as light up or dim down. Most probably would purchase the Phillips Light Starter Kit. This package already includes three light bulbs. You’ll also need a Hue Bridge, which is separate from the bulbs when you purchase. This will serve as the hub or the one that connects the lights to the controller, which is an app on the phone. With it, you can control up to 50 hue lights.
The Hue Bridge has quite limited functions. If you want to automate your home and more, you may want to get third-party services. One of the most popular is Amazon’s, Alexa. This one acts as your home’s personal assistant. It can run podcasts or audiobooks, set your alarms, or remind you of your to-do lists. But you can also connect lighting systems to it.
To operate, it reacts to your voice via Amazon’s Echo. Using its wake word, which could be Alexa or Computer, you can then “tell” it what to do such as turning the lights on and off.
These days, setting up a home automation system is more convenient, thanks to home automation kits. They already include the instructions so you can do it DIY. But if you’re thinking of having the entire home controlled and automated, you have to call a specialist.
Here’s a video for a quick review. Check it out!
Home automation is going to make your life easier. Try it at least for your basic or simple tasks like switching the lights on and off.
What’s the most incredible home automation technology that you know of? Share them in the comments below:
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