Imagine making your day-to-day life a little easier with a touch of a button. Those lights you forgot to turn off when you went to bed? Off in a second. When you wake up, your coffee is hot and waiting for you. Thanks to home automation, you can make home life that much easier. Here’s what you need to know in order to get started with home automation.
What is Home Automation?
Home automation is exactly what it sounds like: a way to automate your home. With the right tools and equipment – and a combination of voice commands and the touch of a button – you can operate just about everything in your home, including the following:
- Window Shades: Forgot to lower the blinds before you left the house? Automated window shades make your life easier since you can lower them with the touch of a button – and without you being at home.
- Lighting: You can set your lights to turn on or off when doors close, or set up a motion detector that will sense when someone moves in and out of the room to operate the lights.
- Appliances: Your morning coffee can be ready even before you are with the touch of a button. How’s that for efficiency?
- Heating & cooling systems: Set the temperature to a comfortable level right before you get home from work so you don’t have to keep the A/C running all day.
- electrical outlets.
And that’s just a few things you can accomplish with home automation. Our directory of home automation experts can not only educate you on other ways to make your home life easier, but can retrofit your home with the right tools too!
This video will give you a crash course on home automation:
How does it work?
Home automation is two-fold: it enables you to control these simple tasks from your phone via a remote controlled network that connects home automation devices to your phone or tablet. The automation aspect means you can schedule events to happen at a specific time, such as having the A/C switch on before you get home so you arrive to a cool house. Alternatively, it enables you to control devices at your leisure – turn lights on and off at unscheduled times.
Now, about the remote controlled network. Home automation wouldn’t be easy if it wasn’t for the ability to control devices remotely. You can control your home without even being there thanks to an internet connection – or WiFi – which enables you to view and control any tools you have in place in your home using a device you carry on your person with apps that work with the device.
How cool does that sound?
Want to see home automation in action? Take a look at this video. This homeowner has done it right!
What you need to get started
Before you run to the store and start buying home automation equipment, it’s important to know what’s required to remote control your home.
You need software. In order to turn off those lights without being in the room, you’ll need a hub that houses the connections and access you need to do so. Some home automation systems have a smart control panel – which is essentially the brain of the system – or a mobile app that can be installed on your phone or tablet. The software required depends on the device you’ve purchased. It’s also important to note that you may need to download several apps to control different devices.
Alternatively, you can purchase Apple’s HomeKit. It’s one piece of software that enables you to connect a wide variety of devices on a shared home automation brain system. Read more about the HomeKit here.
You need equipment. If you want your morning cup of Joe ready before you are, you’ll have to purchase a coffee maker that’s home automation-friendly – one that’s designed to be controlled over a remote control network.
Here’s a more detailed picture of what you’ll need:
I’m ready. How do I begin?
You know what home automation is and what’s required to get started, but how do you start? First, it’s important to assess what you need from a home automation system. How would you benefit from home automation? Keep these questions in mind:
- Do you want to make day-too-day, repetitive tasks easier?
- Do you want to save money on your energy bills?
- Do you want to increase home security?
- Do you want to wake up and go to bed with less worry?
The answers to these questions will help you determine what you could benefit from when it comes to home automation equipment. It can seem overwhelming, so here’s what you should keep in mind:
Don’t stress out about it
You don’t have to buy every piece of equipment on the market. Instead, start off small and slowly. Buy few things you’d like to have and purchase more overtime. Take your time growing and modifying your system.
Buy what you’ll use
It might be tempting to buy every remote controlled piece of technology on the market, but are you really going to use that automated pet feeder or watering planter? But only what you know you’ll use regularly. Otherwise, it’s a waste of money and your time setting everything up.
Still feeling overwhelmed? Not to worry. We have an extensive directory of home automation specialists who can work with you to prepare your home with a home automation system that will connect to a wide variety of devices to make your life easier.
Stay tuned next week for a timeline of what equipment to buy and what home automation systems are compatible with this year’s most popular devices!