Steps on How to Pick a Home Automation System

A smart home system isn’t necessarily for high-end homes. Here are some tips in putting automation into your home.

You may have seen the homes of famous celebrities on lifestyle shows. Their so-called smarthome, with remote controls for the lights, heating, and cooling, wireless alarm system, home theater system, and even window curtains, have truly amazed us. Though home automation may appear pricey, it doesn’t necessarily mean that only celebrities can take advantage of its futuristic features. Here are some tips on putting up your own home automation system without breaking the bank.

First and foremost, as a reminder, each individual system, such as the lighting, home security systems, home theater system, and heating and cooling, is a subsystem in a general home automation system. As much as possible, install your automation system when your home is still in the building or remodeling process. By doing this, you can save money on rewiring and remolding needed for your system’s peripherals.

Steps

1. Come up with ideas. Go online or check lifestyle magazines and see what’s new and available in your area. You may also look at yellow pages and price shop on services of a Contractor, Plumber, Painter or Electrician.

2. Brainstorm on what you’d like to automate. You may just start small, maybe with just the lights. From there on, you can expand by adding other functions. Aside from lighting and heating and cooling, security cameras for home can be linked with your home theater system, giving total control on your fingertips.

3. Know your budget. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for a basic system to thousands of dollars for a more sophisticated whole-house automation system.

4. Be sure that the system you’ll go for will work with your existing furnace and other electrical appliances. You may, however, need to change your light switches, alarm and thermostat controls.

5. Position the master control panel in a convenient location, where everyone in the house has easy access to.

6. You may go for a system that utilizes powerline or radio frequency controls if you’re automating an existing home. These can save you money from extra wiring installation for controls. However, these systems tend to be less flexible than systems that function with low-voltage wiring.

7. Pick a system that you can monitor and control remotely. These modern innovations that you’ll surely benefit from can give you the power to shut down the house as you leave and check its status when you’re away. Remote access can usually be achieved through the telephone or internet-based controls.

8. Wireless controllers are also available. Present controllers are usually touch-screen and are programmable. These controllers make perfect sense, especially for senior citizens and physically challenged individuals, since they work anywhere in the house.

9. Partner your system with an uninterruptible power supply to maintain convenience even if the power goes off.

10. If you’re planning to pair products from a variety of companies, be sure that they’re compatible with each other. Choose a system that gives you maximum flexibility.

Points to Gain Clarity on Before Choosing a Home Automation System

The idea of bringing in automation to control and monitor different aspects of your home sounds extremely lucrative to homeowners. Whilst home automation systems may largely vary in scope, functionality and scale, these intelligent units provide countless lifestyle and economic benefits to family members, including convenience, security, energy efficiency, and remote monitoring. Nevertheless, a wide variety of systems available in the market can make deciding the right one for your home an overwhelming experience.

Most of the modern home automation solutions feature three crucial components: a central hub, also known as a primary interface; control devices, which can range from your smartphones and tablets, to remote controllers and desktop PCs; and lastly the peripheral devices that receive signals from the central hub. The peripheral devices include plug units, light fixtures, wireless remote light switches, dimmers, photo sensors, IP cameras, motion detectors, smoke detectors, wireless thermometers and wind meters, amongst others. What generally makes one system different from another is how the central hub communicates with the other peripheral devices.

Before you start weighing each alternative against the rest, it is imperative to be thoroughly certain about your home requirements. Whilst this may sound cliché, homeowners can easily get clouded or influenced by an array of choices in the automation and home control sector and may overlook their primary needs. To choose the system that is an ideal match to your automation needs, it is important to gain clarity on the following points:

1. Size of Your Home:

Needless to say, the size of your home will have a bearing on the home automation system you should choose. In the case of mainstream 2-bedroom apartments, the primary automation requirements may just be to control the lights, heating/cooling and entertainment systems. On the other hand, automation and control for larger luxurious homes will entail systems that are scalable and compatible with third-party peripherals. In addition to this, automating large homes would require intelligent sensors for light, motion detection, smoke/fire detection and temperature sensors that activate devices, such as lights, sprinklers, thermostats, IP cameras, doors, and awning blinds, amongst others.

2. Number of Home Subsystems to Be Controlled:

A setup required to just manage lights and heating in-house would differ as compared to an integrated home automation system that is capable of controlling and remotely monitoring lighting, door/window sensors, multi-room air conditioning, outdoor/indoor security, window blinds, and emergency alerts (smoke, fire, and leak detection). Having a clear picture of the number of appliances you wish to automate will help eliminate choices that are more expensive than your budget and more complicated to suit your requirements.

3. Number of Devices that will Control Your System:

If you wish to remotely monitor and access your home for any intrusions or emergency situations, you will need to choose a home automation system that can be managed not only using remote controllers and in-house panels but also other devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops when away. If remote monitoring is important, choose an automation system that supports web-based and app-based configuration and access.

Home Automation Systems – A Boon To The Homemakers

Technology has provided us with many gadgets and devices to simplify our lives. As yet, there may not be robots to perform the daily chores of cooking and washing, but home automation makes it easier to perform these tasks and in general makes life a bit simpler. It is possible to remotely switch on air conditioners or the washing machine to perform its tasks or even to record your favorite television program in your absence, with home automation. This technology enables the user to control the electronic devices in the home from wherever they are.

The basic requirements for this system are an interface in the form of a switch or a remote control, an interface card for your network and a router for the computer LAN setups. Different types of devices require different hubs for connections. Distribution panels, multi-zone controls and video modulators are also used in the system.

Home automation systems are basically made up of three components, namely, structured wiring, the micro-processor and the connection center. The connection center is deemed to be the core of the home automation system. The structured wiring is installed all through the house to the hubs located in the connection center. The micro-processor can be likened to the brain of the system, and is housed in the connection center. You can program the commands in the microprocessor. The microprocessor allows you to control the different electronic equipment in the house such as electronic appliances and lights. Touch screens, remote controls and keypads will be the interface.

The home automation system allows you manage your tasks easily. For instance, before leaving the office, you can preset many things, by registering into your home automation account. You can simply click the icons designated for a particular device in your home. You can determine the status of some of the tasks by checking out the security camera monitor. You can start these tasks if you have forgotten to do so just by the click of the icon, and the chores will be completed by the time you reach home.

While traveling, you can access the home automation system through your PDA or personal digital assistant. You can simply switch a button to turn on the garage lights or the front porch lights to welcome you home. You may also start the air conditioner or the coffee machine in the same manner if you so wish. The wireless remote can be used once you are in the neighborhood of you house to open the garage doors or disarm the security system.

The home automation system can perform security tasks. You can make your home look inhabited by putting up a user timer on the lights or the television, when you are not in the house. This will give you the peace of mind as the home automation system provides the security to your home. The wireless or hardwired security systems can be utilized for the safety and security of the house. The hardwired security system is cheaper but the installation is time consuming; it is difficult to conceal the wiring for a neat look. The hardwired security system can be installed in new construction systems and is more reliable than the wireless system.

The wireless security system however, is easier to install and has flexibility of control. The use of wireless receivers, transmitters and controllers makes it very convenient to operate. The sensors can thus be put in areas out of the way or those which are difficult to access, without installing new wirings. Wireless systems do away with confusing wiring and are thus becoming quite popular.

The home automation system is tool to control the devices in the home and easing the tedious day to day tasks. It makes life more comforting and relaxing. In future, these innovations will cater to the more complex requirements of the modern world.