While artificial intelligence (AI) has become a mainstay of popular culture, practical AI is still a work in progress. Home automation is one area of technology that is starting to see practical applications of AI, from thermostats and lights that remember your prior settings to smart fridges that keep tabs on your calories.
Home automation also gives you remote access to programmable devices, such as thermostats and sprinkler systems, from your mobile device anywhere in the world. The system can also be applied to lights, electrical outlets, appliances, doors, windows, locks, smoke detectors, etc. Its two main functions include:
• Wireless Remote Control – Enables remote access to your connected home appliances and home automation systems from smartphones, tablets and computers.
• Programmability – Allows you to program your connected home appliances and home automation systems to perform functions based on preset conditions. You can have lights on or off at certain times of the day, set the HVAC to fine-tune the temperature of the house depending on when family members are at home, or program all lights to turn on if security alarms are set off.
Today, the adoption of home automation systems is driven by a number of factors, such as desire for convenience, energy efficiency and home security. With that in mind, what are some factors to pay attention to when selecting out of numerous providers? To start, we need a simple understanding of the components of the system.
Home automation requires at least two, but typically three components to function properly:
• Control Software – Home automation systems used to be discreet, often wall-mounted control devices. Today, they are software applications that turn your smartphone into a control device or a remote control for a separate control device, to communicate with wirelessly connected smart household appliances.
• Control Device – Many home automation systems still include a control device.
• Smart Appliances/ Peripherals – These are the end devices that are automated and communicate wirelessly with the control device. Peripherals include automatic door locks, thermostats, cameras, speakers or even smart electrical plugs that are programed to shut off at certain times during the day.
In general, the average HAS ranges from $5,000 to $15,000, depending mainly on the characteristics of your property. You may also want to start with a few peripherals at a time to avoid a large upfront investment. For example, installing 10 smart lights would cost roughly $600 dollars.
There are several home automation systems on the market today, all with different functionality, compatible peripherals, help & support, home control technology and supported configurations. A great provider to starting your exploration is Control4.
Control4 puts lighting, shades & windows, climate and home entertainment at consumers’ fingertips with the integration of home automation. Whether it’s waking up, traveling, movie time or retiring for the day, they strive to assist you throughout each part of your day and to personalize each aspect to your needs.
The home automation market is in a state of flux now that Google, Amazon and Apple are releasing Voice recognition HUBs for the home. Currently, these system really only control lighting, HVAC, locks and a few other features. They do not control TVs, surround sound systems or whole home media systems. But the cost and self-programming features may be worth the wait. If you are in the market for a full smart home now, brands such as Control4, Crestron and Savant may be the route to go. These systems do require an “authorized” dealer to program these systems and make any future changes.
Home automation is making its way into more and more homes, providing an easier way of life, reducing utility costs and offering homeowners peace of mind. If you have any thoughts or questions on a system that you own or are looking into, feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 404-303-7280.