While today’s tech world continues to dazzle users with the latest smartphone feature or addictive app, there are other useful innovations happening that promise to bring even more convenience to life. Right now there is a revolution underway in home automation that helps families manage busy households by transforming houses into safe and efficient smart homes.
Smart home automation is the ability to monitor and control different home systems such as lighting, climate control, security and more. It is done with the help of smart home wireless devices. Once installed and set up, most home systems can be monitored and controlled conveniently via a smartphone.Luckily, this era of home automation is affordable and easy for do-it-yourselfers to install and operate. It’s efficient, easy and to be honest…fun! In fact, with a few key pieces of home automation tech, any home can become a smart home.
Below are some of the most popular and useful home automation projects that any homeowner can undertake to transform a home into an intelligent modern dwelling.
- Lighting – One of the easiest and most useful home automation projects involves home lighting. Automation can be achieved as easily as replacing existing bulbs with intelligent LED bulbs. These bulbs have dual benefits – they are incredibly energy efficient and they can be controlled via smartphone. Adding programmable dimmers or color-changing bulbs gains even more soothing, mood enhancing effects. Imagine, entering the home and at the touch of a button having all the lighting automatically set to the desired mood and lighting level perfect for any room and any time of day. Systems such as this can also be programmed to turn on and off at pre-set times when the house is vacant as a burglary deterrent. Companies such as Philips and Leviton have automated lighting products that create energy efficient and stunning home lighting and switching to smart lighting is one of the easiest home automation projects.
- Heating – Climate control has been a big benefactor of programmable home automation. Heating and cooling are typically the most costly and inefficient systems in a home but with the addition of a smart thermostat such as those from Nest, homeowners can achieve both cost-savings and convenience. With a smart thermostat, temperatures in the home can be regulated more efficiently, in some cases on a room by room basis. Smart thermostats learn as they are used, constantly optimizing efficiency based on user settings and habits. They can be programmed by daily schedule or by season and can be controlled using a smartphone. Best of all, significant savings on energy bills can be achieved immediately, making the addition of a smart thermostat a good investment for any household.
- Doorbell – Even the lowly doorbell has been elevated to smart status recently with an array of choices and features that add security and convenience. A typical smart doorbell such as one from Ring, contains a video camera, motion sensor and two-way audio. When someone rings the doorbell the user is notified by smartphone with a video and audio feed. Even if the homeowner is not at home, they can see and speak to the person at their doorstep. This adds convenience as well as security and peace of mind. Most systems will record the activities at the doorstep and professional monitoring services are also available. The homeowner will know when visitors arrive and leave and can monitor packages left outside. Installation of these systems is simple with many operating wirelessly, eliminating the need for difficult wiring or drilling holes through walls.
- Security – Home automation isn’t just about thermostats and mood lighting…taking security to the next level is a popular and effective home automation upgrade. There are a wide variety of systems from simple to comprehensive from professional brands such as Honeywell, ANNKE. And choosing one is largely dependent on each home’s specific security needs. In general, what makes these systems so appealing is their ease of use and simple installation. By taking advantage of smart home security cameras and network control systems, users can avoid costly installation. No wiring is needed and most wireless IP cameras only require a power source or battery. Since no drilling or wiring is needed, these systems are great for renters too.These modern security systems are modular which allows for a smaller initial investment with the ability to expand as different features or more cameras are needed. Door and window sensors can monitor entry, motion detectors can catch activities outside the home and audio alarms can be triggered to scare off potential burglars. A control hub with network access allows all the components to work together and enables monitoring and control from a smartphone using a variety of apps currently available.Installation of a security system is so effective that many insurance companies offer valuable rate discounts for homes that have them. A smart security system is a great way to improve safety, protect property and complete home automation.
- Home Assistants – Imagine having answers to virtually any question, the ability to record notes or shopping lists, up to date info and news and a friendly companion at all times. This is the promise of the latest smart home assistants such as the Amazon Alexa and Google Home devices. These internet-connected, voice-activated wonders give the user instant access to almost any information. Voice activation makes them easy to use and hundreds of secondary services are available with just a simple request. From ordering pizza to calling Uber, smart home assistants are quickly becoming indispensable additions to the modern home. They also act as control hubs for other smart home automation devices using voice commands. As more services are being constantly added, a home assistant becomes more convenient and valuable.
Home automation is here and it has never been easier to implement and enjoy. Smart homeowners are taking advantage of the convenience, security and cost-savings that can be achieved with the addition of these smart devices.