Smart Home Automation?
What is it? What can it do for you?
No matter where you are in the world, all of your home’s devices can be controlled with smart home automation technology. Using a mobile device, you can control sprinkler systems, thermostats, electrical outlets, AC systems, appliances, and even the lighting. This is because all of those things are connected to a network controlled remotely. Your alarm system is also a part of this network, along with the windows, doors, surveillance cameras, smoke detectors, and the sensors that they’re connected to.
Achievements in Smart Home Automation
Until now, costly homes and commercial structures were the only ones to use automated central control systems. At one time this was limited to heating and cooling systems as well as lighting. Building automation didn’t often offer more than scheduling and tracking functions back then. Further, it could only be accessed from certain control points inside the building.
Smart home automation is a progression towards what is being called “Internet of Things,” where an IP address is assigned to things that can be remotely accessed and tracked.
The most apparent beneficiaries of this method were “smart” appliances and devices that were plugged into a LAN (local area network) through Wi-Fi or an Ethernet cable. But individual points (such as electrical outlets and light switches), as well as electrical systems, have since been added into the network of home automation. Commercial entities have looked into the potential of tracking inventory with IPs. We’re not too far away from tracking missing items with a mobile device.
Automation involves booking and inputting events for network devices. Commands relevant to specific periods can be programmed. For instance, lights can go out at 11 pm every night. Lights can also be switched on when something triggers the security alarm.
Smart home automation can simplify your life. If one window is bringing too much light into the house in the afternoons, the outlet can be programmed to close your motorized blinds at 3 pm. If someone comes by the house to walk the dog each day, your system can be programmed to open the front door when they arrive (and lock up when they leave).
The other primary aspects of innovative home automation are remote access and tracking. Although a set amount of single-direction remote tracking has been around for a while, only recently have tablets and smartphones been able to plug into our home networks when we’re not home. You can use any online device to see and regulate the smart home automation system and all the things connected to it.
Tracking apps can offer plenty of details about your home, such as real-time statuses and events that have happened up to that point. You can view the status of your security system to find out if any doors are unlocked, if any lights are still on, and what the temperature is inside your house. The home automation system comes with cameras, allowing you to turn on video feeds in real-time and see what’s happening in your household when you’re not around.
Several key jobs can be performed with the most basic of notifications. The system can be programmed to send an email or text when your security system notices a potential issue, whether it be a storm warning, motion detector alert, or a fire alarm bell. You can also receive notifications for less important things, like when the front door is unlocked for your kid returning from school.
You can engage with the home automation system using your remote app, giving you true manual control. Besides keeping the security system armed and disarmed, it can be used for schedule reprogramming, door locking/unlocking, thermostat resetting, and lighting adjustments from wherever you are using your mobile device. Manufacturers are producing a rising amount of “smart” appliances and devices every day, allowing almost endless possibilities for home automation.
Components of Smart Home Automation
What sorts of things can be integrated into a smart home automation system? Just about all things that can be plugged into a network can be remotely and automatically controlled. Smart home automation is mostly used to connect basic binary devices (such as power outlets, lights, and electronic locks, among other On/Off devices). It can also control security sensors limited to closed and open states.
Online devices that connect to and control network is where the “smart” aspect of home automation comes into play. This home computer is the classic control unit that most home automation systems from years past were based on. Modern home automation systems program and track control between dedicated household devices, such as a security system’s control panel. A user-friendly app interface can be accessed with a tablet, smartphone, or PC and an internet connection.
Manufacturers have created several “smart” devices, some of which have many cutting edge aspects. However, not many of them have the integration features necessary for a smart home automation system. Each manufacturer has their own concept of how such devices should be controlled once plugged in. Although you might own a “smart” television, fridge, washer/dryer, coffee maker, or thermostat, there tends to be an individual control process associated with each device.
Not too far down the line, home automation has the potential to be commonplace in society. Today, home security companies are concentrating on the most important and practical aspects of a plugged-in home, such as windows/doors and environmental devices (smoke detectors, thermostat, carbon dioxide sensors, humidity sensors) that maintain your comfort and safety. For extra security, control, and convenience, home automation offered by security companies may also come with video cameras. With modern systems, your home automation package should include lighting and separate electrical outlets.
One main benefit of home automation is the unparalleled energy savings potential (and subsequent cost savings). “Smart” thermostats come with a temperature threshold to regulate the household’s heating and cooling system. For the most part, individual target temperatures on thermostats can be programmed to reduce energy use at times when you don’t need to heat up or cool down.
Fundamentally, smart home automation allows you to customize use of energy in your day-to-day routines. With additional adaptability to home automation systems, each device and electrical outlet can be shut down automatically when not in use. Just like with sprinkler systems, thermostats, and similar devices, scheduling can be organized by seasons and weekends.
Schedules can be beneficial, but not everyone’s timetables are universal. Energy rates can be minimized further with remotely controlled systems by programming “macros” into them. To put it another way, you could establish an “arriving home” event that switches heating and lights on while you’re on your way home from work, for instance. With one touch of your mobile device, such a command would be activated. Alternatively, a “departing home” event could stop you from using energy on appliances and lights you forgot to switch off.