Home Automation, what’s that?

Home Automation, you’ve heard the name thrown around and you want to know what it’s all about!

It means to literally Automate, your Home. But again, what does that mean? Are we talking as futuristic as “The Jetsons” with robots that cater to your every need, or just vacuums that roam the house looking for bits off the floor to collect?

These days, anything you’d like to get automated in your home could be done. Mark Zuckerberg even enlisted the help of Morgan Freeman to voice his home automation assistant, Jarvis. His home is running a system called Crestron, and he built a driver to work in conjunction with it. Crestron is a high-end automation system which can be found in many large homes or hotels. Check out Mark’s Integration here in this funny video.

 

On to more realistic use cases of Home automation could include Lighting, Comfort, Entertainment, and Security.

There are new devices coming up every day between new light switches that you can control from your iPhone or android, to your Nest Thermostat. What about your complicated TV with your different inputs, how do you even figure that thing out? You just want to watch your Modern Family, right? Finally, your home security system, cameras, intercom systems, door locks, oh my!

Each of these items have their own app, but when you have 20 devices in your home, you don’t want to have 20 different apps to go through. That’s where home automation really comes into play. A good home automation system takes each of these items and integrates them into one system allowing you to control everything in one place. Check out this video from Control4 describing how their system works.

 

Companies like Control4 have made home automation easy, for the end user. A dealer can come set up everything in your home to work with one remote, with any devices you have. Imagine talking to your Alexa device and saying, Alexa, Start the day. As soon as Alexa hears this, your shades roll up, your lights dim to 40%, your heater turns on, and your favorite Radio Stations begins playing on your home speakers. Isn’t that cool? How about when your door bell rings and you’re then sent a text, and an image appears of who’s at your front door, that’s really cool! Say you left your garage door open, after 6 minutes, you’ll get a notification that you’ve left it open and a reminder to close it, oh yeah, you can close it from your app too! That’s what Control4 can do for you. Any scenes you have created for an entertaining scene, to movie time can all be configured and set up to work with your Alexa. You don’t even need a remote anymore, you can talk to your home.

Last but not least, you can check out Apple’s Homekit. This is a more DIY system where you do not need to rely on anyone for assistance. You create your favorite scenes, talk to Siri, and you’re good to go.

 

However you decide to go, before you spend a penny on anything, ask yourself a few questions.

  • How much money do you want to invest?
  • Which technology will you be going with? Zigbee, Z-Wave, Wifi, make sure you do your research.
  • Can you put a value on being able to control your home when you’re not there?
  • Remembering if you closed your garage door, turned on the alarm, forgot to turn off the heater.

Devices such as Apple’s Siri, Amazon’s Alexa, and Google’s Home are all gearing up to work with all new systems. Make sure you’re in the know, do your research, and talk to professionals. Once your system is set up and running, you will definitely love it!

Good luck!

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