If you are into smart devices and automation, you have probably heard about smart home automation. The idea of turning your lights on and off without needing a light switch or locking your doors without needing to be home is impressive.
With home automation, homeowners can do so much more using the internet. You can schedule meal preps to save time in the evenings, connect all your devices for improved convenience and even command your vacuum to start cleaning while still at work. The possibilities are endless with home automation technology.
If you are new to this concept, home automation is a term used to refer to smart technology used around the home. You can run a household and connect all your devices using IoT (Internet of Things) with home automation. As more people turn to smart homes and homebuilders incline more to smart home building technology, home automation is the future of living.
What exactly is a smart home?
The term smart home refers to a household where different devices are connected to a source (the Hub) that connects them to the internet. For this to be possible, the devices need to be smart, meaning they need to come with internet connection capabilities. With this connectivity, homeowners can command these devices through apps to make them do pretty much anything a manual device would do.
Smart devices can be commanded through voice commands such as:
- Turn lights on and off
- Unlock or lock the door
- Open the garage door
- Adjust thermostat
- Close curtains
- Turn down heat
Home automation platforms (Hubs)
For home automation to work, you need to connect your smart devices to a home automation platform. Some of the best home automation platforms as recommended by Muchneeded.com include Amazon Echo, Google Nest Hub, Samsung SmartThings, Wink Hub 2, and Apple HomeKit.
Smart home platforms or hubs are devices that connect all your smart devices in one network, offering a user-friendly way of controlling your smart devices through voice commands. These platforms use different protocols to work, such as your home network, Bluetooth connectivity, broadband connectivity, Z-wave connectivity, and ZigBee, among others.
Appliances in the house that can be automated
Most homeowners start with their lighting system when starting the home automation journey. With smart home technology, it is possible to command your home lighting using voice commands. You can set power on/off schedules to have complete control of your home lighting needs from anywhere.
You can amp up your home’s ambiance using cool smart lighting options like color-changing bulbs and tunable smart bulbs where you can control the light intensity in different parts of your home.
Smart security cameras
Upgrading your home’s security using smart security cameras is an inexpensive and ideal way of keeping an eye on your home from anywhere. Smart security cameras are easy to install and use and can be installed in any area of your home. The smart system used in these cameras issues alerts whenever there is an activity in your home.
They can be set up with motion-activated recording to give you a live feed of the activity in your home at any time through your smartphone. You can program them to automatically shut off when you get home to avoid recording yourself or your family while at home.
Smart security cameras are handy security devices that can deter burglars and also offer evidence in the event of a break-in.
Automatic heating and cooling
Having your home heating controlled by a smart program is an easy way of saving energy and reducing your heating costs. Using smart thermostats, you can be in complete control of your heating and cooling. A smart thermostat uses presence sensors and geolocation services to know when the house needs to be heated or not.
Smart thermostats can be connected to other smart parts of your home like door and window sensors, smart blinds, and local weather forecasting services for access to weather data. This data can be used to determine heating or cooling control options.
Introducing smart locks in your home can revolutionize how you access your home by making it easier to access your home and even letting visitors and loved ones in even without being home. With smart locks, you no longer have to walk around with keys since you can control door locking and unlocking through a smartphone.
You can give smart access to your loved ones and revoke their access whenever you want. This is a much more affordable option compared to changing locks every time you want to lock someone out. You can connect a smart home lock system to your home’s lighting and heating system, ensuring everything turns off when there is no one home and turns on when you get home.
DIY smart home solutions
If you are considering installing home automation, you can set up the system yourself if you want to avoid the cost involved.
Choose your smart devices
Since you are new to smart home technology, you can start small by purchasing one or two smart devices for your home. Some of the easiest devices to start with include:
- Smart home speakers.
- Smart light bulbs.
- Smart electrical plugs.
- Video doorbells.
- Smart thermostat.
- Smart locks.
Choose your smart home platform
With an ideal smart platform, your devices can communicate with one another while giving you a central command center using voice assistants like Siri, Alexa, and Google Assistant. The best platform is one that can work with devices from different manufacturers. Some of the options in the market include Amazon Echo, Apple Home Pod, and Google Nest.
Gradually add to your smart home device collection
Once you get conversant with how smart devices work, you can consider adding more devices to your ecosystem. To achieve balance, you should consider device categories for entertainment, control, utilities, and security. Including these categories in your smart home project can turn any home into a highly convenient smart home.
Smart home advantages
Automating your home using smart devices can deliver a wide range of benefits. These include:
Smart home devices can improve efficiency around the home. For instance, using an automated floor vacuum can ensure your floors are cleaners on schedule, while setting your coffee maker to make coffee before you get out of the shower can save time in your morning routine.
Smart home security devices give you access to different areas of your home at any time of the day, even when you are not there. A smart camera delivers live feeds to your smartphone, while smart sensors can alert you whenever there is an activity in your home or when your door opens.
Since all your energy-consuming devices are connected to your mobile device, you can manage them from anywhere to save energy. You can set up high-use devices to run at the cheapest rate and even ensure light bulbs are turned off when no one is in a room. Smart plugs allow you to cut energy costs.
Is it expensive to automate your home?
On average, homeowners spend between $600 and $2500 to install a home automation system. The cost is dependent on home wiring needs and the extent to which you need to automate your home. Generally, professionals charge an average of $85/hour for home automation services.
You also need to consider the cost of smart devices and the wireless protocol you will use. Other costs include monthly service fees, automation activation fees, and cloud automation costs.
Managing a household on top of a busy schedule can be overwhelming. If you are looking for a way to regain control, turning your house into a smart home may be the solution. Home automation will make your life more comfortable, easier, more secure, and fun.