“Home automation is no longer just for the technophile hobbyist or for an episode of MTV Cribs, it’s right on the cusp of becoming mainstream.”– Sam Lucero, former senior analyst at ABI Research.
What Is Home Automation?
As the terms suggest, Home Automation, also known as Domotics, implies programmed controls for homes for functions ranging from automatic lighting when a person enters a room/driveway to controlling and maintaining the temperature of the home and everything in between. Any function or utility in a home can be connected to and be managed by a remote interface, allowing it to function in an autonomous manner, thereby either increasing efficiency, or providing convenience to the homeowner, or both. Home automation is the integration of the electrical functionality of a home provided by a control system.
It may seem like science fiction, however, home automation is not a new concept. Think of automatic motors/pumps for maintenance of water levels, or driveway lights with sensors to light up when pulling into the drive way, which may be considered standalone automated systems. With Google investing in Nest Labs and Samsung joining the fray by announcing its smart home initiative, Home Automation may well be the next big thing.
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How To Get Started:
- For non-tech savvy homeowners, it may seem like a daunting task to assess their ‘automation’ requirements. Some of the most popular home automation devices like LED lights that change color or an integrated thermostat to control airflow and temperature for $250 or even internet connected home garden systems for $60 may seem frivolous or expensive at first blush, however when weighed against the convenience and advantages they offer, will seem like a reasonable investment.
- Getting started with home automation may seem like a daunting task, especially since home automation covers everything from voice controlled television sets and thermostats to kitchen appliances that can be operated from an app on your smartphone. The key to starting with home automation is for the homeowner to focus on what they actually want to do, or in the alternate, what they don’t want to do.
- Talking to a professional in the field like gosmartbricks.com can make this task even simpler. As a homeowner, one may decide to implement devices and technology to cater to their needs, be it for increased home security or increasing energy efficiency by going green to managing comfort and convenience.
- The decision on how to start with home automation primarily depends on the home owner’s’ personal preferences as well as the benefits and advantages home automation offers in general.
- In general, the primary benefit of home automation, as also of any technology, is the convenience to the user. Home automation takes away and automates many mundane tasks which add to the comfort and convenience of homeowners, and is, therefore, the very essence of home automation.
- In addition to the joy of having done away with boring chores, it brings a certain convenience by allowing homeowners remote access to controls, many of which are now integrated with their handheld devices. Take for example the sprinkler system for gardens, which can now be remotely monitored and allows users to set up and modify sprinkler timings through their handheld device.
- Added to the convenience of homeowners, home automation systems also offer efficiency in operations, ultimately resulting in reducing household costs. With increasing awareness and demand for green buildings and sustainability, energy efficiency is a must-do now. Be it from automated learning thermostats, automatic water pumps, Wi-Fi enabled lights, water heater modules to an integration of renewable energy, all lead to reduced electricity consumption and water wastage by efficient use of technology. Based on a study,households in the US can save up to $ 1300 per year from home insurance premiums and utility costs by implementing home automation systems.
- Home automation systems can also be implemented to allow greater security and safety for homes. Installing sensors for entry detection or Wi-Fi enabled cameras allow monitoring of homes remotely and can alert homeowners via text or alarms. This technology can also be used to detect every environmental concern imaginable and help prevent breakages or leakages from turning into disasters.
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Different Type Of Home Automation Technologies:
There are multiple home automation technologies available today and while one technology may fall into many roles, home automation technologies may be categorized into the following categories:
- Lighting and climate control, which includes temperature management and providing remote access to the central thermostat in a home.
- Water management for home and garden: This realm of home automation covers technology developed to maintain water levels in the storage units and for providing information and insight into weather conditions and soil conditions for maintaining plants.
- Home security and surveillance systems: This sphere of home automation is aimed at protecting the home from intruders and monitoring activity remotely while homeowners are away for business or on vacation.
- Custom home automation: This essentially includes custom solution based on the home owner’s requirements, and can range from automatic curtains to voice controlled appliances like television or music.
The penetration of technology in daily life is increasing and home automation, while not a new concept, is not fast gaining momentum and acceptance in the market. While limited to eccentric geeks and billionaires in the past, home automation technology now is more affordable and offers a real and practical solution to homeowners allowing them to save time and money. The jury is still out on whether the reason for implementing home automation is simply a nice gimmick to show off or whether it genuinely leads to more efficient utilization of time, money and home utilities. The evolution of home automation and its widespread acceptance, however, clearly leads the path to a safer, healthier and happier life.
Curated by a Building Expert from Wienerberger India
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