Home Automation 101: The Basics
Home automation residences, sometimes called ‘smart homes’, are the best evidence we’ve seen that we’re living in the modern future. They give homeowners total control over their living space, allowing them to alter and adjust almost anything direct from their smartphone. No fuss, no effort, instant results.
What started as a gimmick at the World’s Fair in the 1930s is now our reality with the home automation market worth almost $4 billion in 2016, with that number estimated to quadruple in the next three years. In just a few short decades the idea of home automation has gone from a high-tech curio with no basis, to a thriving market that is capturing the minds of our nation.
Home automation systems are now in millions of homes in America and around the world, with all experts indicating that home automation is getting smarter and smarter every day.
How Does Home Automation Work?
Home automation is one of the few technological advancements that sounds more complicated than it really is. In truth, all you need to get started is a smartphone and a Wi-Fi connection.
To get the full experience you need to install a home automation control panel in your home. Think of this control panel like a home base for all your automated needs. Your tablet or smartphone can be your remote, but the control panel will give you the freedom to get more of your smart devices connected.
Along with that control panel you’ll need some way for the home automation network to send signals to your devices. This might be Bluetooth, or it could be a Wi-Fi connection. In general Wi-Fi is preferred as it makes it possible for you to control your space, even when you aren’t in it!
To get the most out of your home automation system, you’ll need smart devices. Don’t worry, there’s no need to spend the big bucks. You’ll find that most of your electronic devices, like modern televisions and entertainment systems, have Wi-Fi connectivity that allows them to fit into a home automation network already. The things you’ll need to add are smart power outlets and light bulbs, but that’s only if you want even more control of the system.
What Can I Control With Home Automation?
There is so much that you can do with home automation, but ultimately it comes down to how smart you want your house to be, and your typical needs for using the technology. Here are some things that home automation allows you to control:
Entertainment Systems: Set up your television’s schedule to record your favorite programs, turn the television down or turn the music up, all without doing anything more than using an app on your smartphone. Managing entertainment in your home is simpler than ever!
Appliances: Modern appliances open up when home automation comes into your life. Suddenly you will have the ability to brew your coffee while you’re lying in bed, turn the oven down from another room, or feed your pet with just the touch of a button. For those with the right vehicle, you can even get your car nice and warm before you step out of the house!
Motorized Control: Want to open your curtains, roll up your blinds or even fold up the Murphy bed? Don’t get up! A smart house allows you to do all of these things when you’re just sitting on your couch. What about if you forgot to close the garage door this morning before you went to work? No problems if your home automation system is on Wi-Fi one swipe will get the job done.
Indoor Climate and Temperature: Home automation is one of the easiest ways to manage your energy consumption, particularly when it comes to your home’s indoor climate. You can easily turn your thermostat on when you’re coming home from work on a winter evening, or use timers to maintain temperatures within your home without blowing our your energy bill.
Lights: Being able to set timers to automatically switch lights on and off means you won’t ever need to stumble through your own home looking for the light switch. It also means that you can turn lights on or off around your home no matter where you are. Never get out of bed to switch the light off again!
Locks and Security Systems: Home security is one of the main reasons that many families start with home automation, and it should definitely be one of the first things you consider in any home automation plan. An automated security system will allow you to automatically lock your doors, surveil your home in case of intruders, and be protected if anything goes wrong. Even smarter would be to get an all-inclusive plan from a company like Frontpoint security that includes all the fun parts of home automation, as well as all the safety bells and whistles.
What Does The Future Of Home Automation Look Like?
To be honest, and to the joy of tech lovers and new smart homeowners everywhere, the future is looking very exciting. The home automation market doesn’t show any sign of slowing down, but is instead becoming a fast growth industry where advances are constantly happening, and the technology is becoming more and more accessible to a wider range of people.
We expect that, as the years progress, smart homes will no longer be a surprisingly novelty, but rather something that we come to expect from every home, apartment, office and even café that we walk into.
Welcome to the future.