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From the Editor: What I learned about home automation

Home automation is a great way to make life easier. At least, that’s what I’ve learned this month. While my home is not fully automated, I plan on visiting a home automation store to speak with a specialist. After all, how cool would it be to turn the lights off with my phone if I’ve already left the house? Here’s what else you can do with home automation.

Home Automation: Where to begin?

If you used our directory to find a home automation store near you, you’d walk in, see all sorts of gadgets sitting on the shelves and probably get overwhelmed. That’s natural because there is so much to consider when upgrading your home to a home automated one. So here’s how you get started:

  1. Start thinking about why you want home automation. With the touch of a button on your smartphone and an app downloaded to your phone and/or tablet, you can begin to control just about anything in your house. The questions is what you think will make your life easier. Is it controlling window shades, or lighting? Do you have a habit of leaving the air conditioner on all day, wasting energy when no one’s in the house? Once you’ve come up with a list of things you’d like to control, you can start getting a better idea of what you should be purchasing.
  2. Don’t get overwhelmed by all the techie gadgets you see and like. Will you really use that automatic pet feeder? How about the egg tray that reminds you of how many eggs you have leftover? They sound really cool, but don’t spend money on gadgets you won’t use. Instead, focus on what you will use. After all, home automation isn’t cheap!


Talk to an expert

Home automation is easy to DIY install once you have all the equipment necessary. Having said that, these are intricate systems that will require a conversation or two with a certified home automation system expert. That’s because you’ll need two things to get your home automated: software and equipment. Most systems require a form of software (or a control panel that controls the entire system) that houses each piece of technology together and connects them to your smartphone. Once you’ve chosen a software that works for you, you must buy the home automation gadgets that work with that software system.

Take the Apple HomeKit. It’s a smart phone system that controls a wide range of devises on an Apple device. The HomeKit is the brain of the system, and homeowners would purchase home automation gadgets that work with the HomeKit.

Home automation can be confusing, so we recommend talking to an expert!

Home automation can be confusing, so we recommend talking to an expert!

Here’s what else you need to know about this home automation kit.

Home automation isn’t just for fun

When I think of home automation, I think of how cool it would be to open an app on my phone and command my coffee maker to brew a fresh cup before I reach my kitchen. But home automation isn’t just about making my life a little bit easier in the mornings. Home automation is an especially important tool when it comes to home security. Home security systems can be equipped with the following to make your home safer:

  • Door/window sensors so you can tell when the doors have been opened/closed in your home;
  • Security cameras that let you see your property anytime of day;
  • Automatic door locks in case you forget to lock the door once you’ve left
  • Sirens/alarms that signals an intruder is entering the premises.

A healthy combination of these tools can secure your home, whether you’re 25 or 250 kilometers away.

More importantly, with the right home security system, you can control any of these with your smartphone or tablet!

home security

Here’s an overview of three security systems that will give you peace of mind and security when you need it most:

  1. Viper Connect. The app and system let you monitor your home from your phone. With video streaming, you can even watch your home and see who’s moving in and out of the house.
  2. iSmart Alarm. This home security kit brings together both cameras and motion sensors, so you can watch what’s happening in and around your home, and use the app to control the camera angles.
  3. Canary. The Canary app is smart – it learns your home routine over a period of time. If everyone’s out of the house by 9 and someone’s trying to get in shortly after, it’ll send you a notification that something doesn’t seem right.

How’s that for home security?

What about cost?

While the apps don’t cost money, buying the home automation kits/systems and corresponding equipment can add up. That’s why you want to be sure that what you’re buying will not only work for your home and your needs, but that you’ll actually use it. This is why it’s important to speak with a home automation expert about your options!

Having said that, cost doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be splurging on home automation for your home. In fact, home automation can actually save money! Take a look:

  1. Smart thermostats can set a timer for when your air conditioning turns on and off, so you can save on energy during the day when no one is home.
  2. A lighting system enables you to turn off the lights no matter where you are, preventing a waste of energy if you left the lights on before you left the house.
  3. Bright, sunny day out? Lower the blinds with the touch of a button to keep cool air in your home and prevent heat from entering.

These are money-saving energy features that future home buyers will be interested in if you put your home up for sale.

Moral of the story: the right combination of home automation can increase your home’s value, increase your comfort and peace of mind. Control appliances, lighting, air conditioning and more wherever you are, whenever you are.

Can home automation be cost-effective? Chat with an expert to come up with a solution that fits your budget!

Can home automation be cost-effective? Chat with an expert to come up with a solution that fits your budget!

I don’t know about you, but I’m excited about the prospect of home automation and would be interested to see how it can improve my everyday life!

To get started on your very own automated home, contact a home automation expert today!

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