Home Automation for Everyone

by WizzRoy

You don't need to be an engineer to install your own home automation system. Modern home automation systems are so easy to install, almost anyone can do it.

Imagine this. You leave your home in the morning for work. On the way to work, you wonder if you have forgotten to switch off the lights in your room. Instead of rushing home to find out, you take out your smartphone and connect to your home automation system to check. You found out you did indeed forget to switch it off so you just turn it off from the smartphone.

While you are at work, your wife calls you to let you know that she will be going back early today. Once again, you use your laptop and connect to your home automation system via the internet. You set the thermostat to turn up the heat and the lights to turn on an hour earlier than usual so that your wife doesn't have to come back to a house that is cold and dark.

Does this all sound like something out of a science fiction novel or movie? The truth is that not only is home automation something that is science fact, the technology is cheap and easy enough for just about anyone to install in their homes on their own.

How do modern home automation systems work

Actually home automation systems have been around for a long time. Remember the clapper? That is actually a form of home automation albeit one that is not very high tech but it did what it was designed to do, allowing you to control an electrical appliances by sound.

More advanced home automation systems have been around for some time as well but they have not been popular with the masses due to the difficulty and cost associated with installing such a system in the home.

Older systems required special wiring to connect all the smart devices together. Installing the wiring also requires professional installers. Home automation systems then were also not modular. You need to come up with a hefty sum for the entire system to be installed at one go.

Today's modern home automation systems are much more sophisticated and connected. Communication between the smart devices are either via the power line or wirelessly via radio frequency (RF) signals. Some systems have hybrid power line and RF communication like the INSTEON home automation system to back up each other as each method has its pros and cons.

A RF only system is limited by its range as walls, floors and other solid objects weakens the signal and limits the range between smart home devices. Power line only system has problems when you have a multi-phase electrical wiring system in the home. Devices from one phase is not able to communicate with devices on other phases. Hence, a hybrid system is the ideal system.

Home automation devices from Amazon

WeMo Light Switch, Wi-Fi enabled, Works with Amazon Alexa

Wemo Light Switch seamlessly replaces your old, boring light switch, giving you control of any one-way connection light directly from your phone, wherever you are in the world. ...

View on Amazon

Samsung SmartThings Hub- White

SmartThings lets you easily control, monitor, and secure your home from anywhere in the world. The heart of your smart home, the Samsung SmartThings Hub will connect all of your...

View on Amazon

Honeywell Wireless Lynx Touch L7000 Home Automation/Security Alarm Kit with Wifi, Zwave & GSM Module

Honeywells newest updated LYNX Touch L7000 all-in-one home and business control system features a bright, 7" full-color touchscreen with graphic icons and intuitive prompts for ...

View on Amazon

Etekcity Wireless Remote Control Electrical Outlet Switch for Household Appliances, White (Learni...

Command complete control over your outletsThe Etekcity Remote Control Outlet Switch lets you remotely control hard-to-reach appliances and devices without built-in power switche...

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SensorBug Low Profile - Bluetooth 4.0 Wireless

This product is NOT an open system for developers! Bluetooth 4.0 Smart Wireless SensorBug - Low Profile, 100 meter Line of Sight performance. Included with the purchase is a fre...

View on Amazon

Installing your own home automation system

Since modern home automation systems do not need to rely on special wiring, the systems are more modular. You can start off your home automation system with a single light bulb or a light switch. As your needs grow, you can add more devices and control systems as you see fit.

Systems like the INSTEON home automation have all kinds of modules that you can slowly add on  depending on what and how you want to control.

Besides light points, you can add modules that regulate room temperature, control electrical outlets, open and close garage doors, lock doors, control security cameras and control water sprinkler systems. Control options include motion control modules, light sensitive modules and temperature monitoring modules. You can also add modules that allow you to control the entire home automation system via a web browser on a PC or an app on a smartphone.

All these modules can be easily incorporated into your existing home automation system. It is as easy as plugging the module into a electrical outlet and connect the module to your existing system using an easy pairing system that literally takes the touch of a button.

As you can see, with the variety of module options available, the potential of a home automation system as an energy savings system, security system or even home monitoring system that is tailored to your requirements is huge.

Welcome to the future.

Updated: 10/11/2012, WizzRoy
 
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Rose on 01/20/2014

It does sound very futuristic and convenient.

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