Home Automation & Smart Homes

You've heard these home technology terms over the last few years but unless you've actually lived in a smart home it's difficult to conceptualize exactly what they mean. The idea of home automation has been around since the early 1900s but over the last few decades it's been fully realized. Smart homes are offered in many forms and at many price points so the term isn't all inclusive and a buyer must beware. 
 
Home automation can be as simple as turning on a light from a remote control instead of getting up to flick the switch or telling your thermostat to automatically turn down a few degrees while you're at work during the day and then adjusting back to your comfortable temperature before you arrive home. I'm sure you're familiar with universal remote controls which enable control of the TV, DVD Player, and cable box from one remote since most cable or satellite companies now offer the solutions themselves. There are many affordable solutions that accomplish these single point automatons and they all sounds great, right? 
 
Now let me tell you what a real smart home can do for you. This smart home isn't the cheap solution we talked about above. Fully integrated home systems can cost anywhere from $20k to $500k but they have unimaginable possibilities and are thoroughly seamless to incorporate a new level of security and convenience.
 
Imagine this home...
 
When the doorbell rings select TVs turn on to the camera display at the front door for 60 seconds. Better yet, when someone pulls into the driveway, those TVs turn on to the driveway camera so you can see who is there before they even reach your door.
 
If your child comes home from school alone, your home can send you an email when they disarm the alarm.
 
If you have children who leave every TV and light on in the house, they're not something you'll have to check or worry about turning off. At any time you can see what lights, TVs, etc. are on and turn each one off via your remote control, touch panel or, of course, your iPad or iPhone - that's right - you don't even have to be home to control your home.
 
Perhaps you have water trouble in your basement? You'll be happy to know you can receive an email if your sump pit reaches a certain water level and you can react before the flooding begins.

Home Automation doesn't only include the items in your home but also those outside. Outdoor lighting, heating, audio, video and more can be controlled by your outdoor waterproof remote control.
 
When you're ready for bed you can hit the "Good Night" button and all of the lights turn off, all TVs except the master turn off, the thermostat is adjusted, the garage doors are closed and the security system is armed. Keep in mind, EVERYTHING can be customized, so if you have a teenager who watches TV all night his TV needn't be on the "Good Night" button. Or maybe you actually want to set his TV to go off an hour after you go to bed. When your house is wired so that all of the electronic components talk to each other anything you dream of is possible.
 
All this talk of buttons has reminded me - you don't even need a remote control! Your body itself can control your lights as you move through your home.
 
Home automation really is a convenience that is inconceivable until you experience it as part of your daily life, but it's certainly a convenience I hope I will never have to live without. Our smart home allows me to spend more time with my family, feel safer in my home and save money on my energy bills. A true smart home allows for a better way of life.

Home automation can be used to handle almost every device that uses electricity for functioning. Let's see what all can be automated in a house for the ease of handling.

Security
Integration of home security systems through automation gives you the advantage of keeping an eye on your house even when you are far away. Automation allows you to view your house through security cameras by accessing Internet from a remote location.

Lighting
Automating lighting system of the house saves a lot of electricity. People, specially children, have the habit of not turning the lights off before leaving a room. Automation provides for automatic turn off and on of lights when people leave or enter the room thereby, saving a lot of money and energy.

HVAC System
Heating, Ventilation, and Air Conditioning system in a house requires manual temperature and humidity control. Automating this system will allow the owner to control the system even when he is not at home and regulate environmental controls of humidity and temperature.

Audio-Video System
Audio and video systems at home can be switched on and off from anywhere in the house. Automation also allows distribution of audio and video sources to different rooms.

Home Appliances
Appliances like a coffee maker, garage door, sump pump, and shades can be automated and handled from a remote place. You don't have to worry even if you forget to turn off your coffee maker. You can always switch it off even if you have left home for vacation.

Step #1 Make a Plan

It is very important to plan out before automating your house because a small start may end up getting large. Therefore, plan ahead and set objectives according to your requirements. Whether you want a simple automation or complicated ones for your house, think about it.
 
The cost of automating your home may vary depending on its complexity. Decide on your requirements and set your budget to avoid any confusion. Home automation is not a common feature in today's homes, but with changing times, it will has become closer to a a necessity for every home so to make living even more comfortable and secure.