In the last couple of years home automation has become quite popular because of its affordability. It is no longer a dream for people to have a fully automated home where all their devices are connected to a control pad and can be operated with the touch of a button. With home automation the possibility of connecting and operating your devices are simply unlimited. There are several things that can be controlled with home automation software, but first you need to get an idea what home automation can do and then move on from there.
What can I control?
There are several things you can control with home automation, the list is endless. But here’s a simple list of things home automation can control.
• Control your lights – you can turn it on, dim or turn it off automatically or at a predefined time
• Control your thermostat and air-conditioner
• Control your home theater system
• Access and control your security cameras inside and outside your home
• Turn on or off any enabled appliances
• Channel your music, TV and audio to different rooms
• Open or close windows, doors, curtains, blinds or the garage door remotely
These are just some of the basic things home automation can do for you.
How do I control these?
With home automation you do not have to worry about carrying several remote control devices around. You can control these actions from a variety of devices and places such as:
• From your computer
• From your smartphone
• From your iPad or touchscreen panel
• From anywhere outside the house
• You can set up a schedule as to which device should turn on at a particular time
• You can control these actions automatically based on certain “events” that happen
• You can control these one at a time or all at once
Why Use Home Automation?
One of the reasons why home automation is fast becoming an important feature in many homes is because of convenience. With home automation you can control and automate almost every appliance and device in your home. The most important part of home automation is that you do not necessarily have to be at home to control these devices. For example, you can control the temperature of your home while you are outside the house. You can turn on the lights or have it dimmed even while you are far away in another place. Just in case you are in the office and realised you forgot to close your garage door, you can close it right from where you are through your enabled device. Now, that’s convenience!
Home automation is not just a safety measure to keep guard while you are away. Apart from home automation providing surveillance for your home, you will also be able to see if something as small as a leak in your water system. With home automation you can have your garage lit up and your garage door open from within your car when you come home late at night. Home automation provides more than just security, it offers home owners advanced safety measures and convenience.
How does home automation work?
Home automation works mainly through four different parts namely: Main Controller, Interfaces, Sensors and Control methods.
o Main Controller – The main controller is a small box that looks like a DVD player or so. This is the brain of the home automation system. There are different models available based on what you need to control. The main controller is used to connect your home network and can access the internet as well.
o Interfaces – Home automation uses a variety of interfaces. An interface is a device through which you control the home automation system. These are some of the interfaces you can use for your home automation system:
o Touch Panels – The touch panels can be anything from a 4” touch screen to a 10” touch screen panel. It could either be mounted on a wall or could be carried around and is normally charged at a docking station. Touch panels also have cameras built into it.
o Remote Control – Similar to the TV remote, the remote control device for the home automation system is used to control different things.
o Keypads – Programmable keypads mounted on the wall can be used to control the home automation system. The keypads are also multi-touch and can be programmed to control different appliances or devices when touched twice.
o Mobile Devices – The home automation system can be controlled by various smartphones and mobile devices such as the iPad or iPod.
o Sensors – Sensors placed in strategic places in your home and can be used to turn on the lights if someone walks into the room. Sensors are also places outside the home and work in conjunction with the security system.
o Internet – The home automation system is normally connected to your home network and to the internet. This gives you the ability to control and operate any device or appliances in your home while you are on the road or even in another distant place.
There are many options available when it comes to home automation, so choosing one that fulfils your needs is important. Many home automation systems are designed to grow with you – meaning that you can add other devices or appliances to be controlled by it at a later stage.
Andrea Walter is a blogger and writer for Kensington AV – a Luxury AV installation company based in London and serving customers across the capital including Mayfair, Chelsea, Fulham, Hyde Park, Knightsbridge, Notting Hill, St Johns Wood and the home counties from our showroom in Kensington.