Home automation means controlling devices in your house without any physical human intervention. It combines both hardware and software to control appliances and devices in your home.
Technological breakthroughs keep making life easier. Just when you think you’ve seen a lot, new innovations prove your thoughts wrong.
And then, there is home automation. Well, this is not so new but it is still making waves today. I mean, how does it feel like to control your lightings, regulate temperatures, and use your appliances from the comfort of a spot with your remote?
Sounds interesting, right? Yeah! Talk of convenience at its peak. There is a lot you may want to know about home automation. What does it mean? And how does it work? This article tells all you need to know.
What is home automation?
Home automation is not hard to understand especially if you are going into the nitty-gritty of how the wires connect and the central control system sends messages to the devices and appliances.
Of course, home is your house where you live and have your gadgets and devices in place. You can program devices to carry out certain functions at specific times. This is called automation.
Home automation refers to the ability to dictate the time the devices and appliances in your home perform some functions from a central control system.
Devices such as electrical outlets, cooling, and heating systems, appliances, lights, etc. are controlled from a single system.
In some cases, it includes safety devices like smoke detectors, alarm systems, surveillance cameras, and other security devices that can be remotely controlled as well. In some homes, parts of the house like the windows, doors, and locks are also remotely controlled.
Home automation is also referred to as ‘domotics’. If you have an automation system in your house, then your house will be referred to as a smart home
Development of home automation
What we refer to as home automation today has something of the sort before now. However, automation was restricted to big and expensive houses and commercial buildings. However, today, home automation is popular and many people prefer using it in their houses.
Another development in this technology is its coverage. It was mainly for cooling and heating systems and lighting. Recently, automation has developed to include home safety devices and lots more.
In the recent past, building automation served to control and monitor functions. It also scheduled the functions. But, it has moved from these basic functions.
Before now, building automation could only be controlled within specific control areas in the same building. However, with automation, there is a larger control area.
Home automation connects smart devices and appliances to a local area network. This works like the internet of things where every device or appliance has an IP address assigned. These devices and appliances can be easily operated remotely.
Presently, home automation is more versatile. With the use of apps and smartphones, smart homes are improving.
Components of Home Automation
Home automation covers devices with binary operations. Devices such as electrical power outlets, lights with “on and off” operations. It also includes devices with two states “open and close” like security sensors.
Home automation also includes internet-enabled devices that can be connected to the computer.
However, giving the trend of technological improvements and inventions, home automation may work with applications operated from smartphones and computers with internet sources.
A challenge to home innovation is the way in which some smart devices are made. Home automation works like the “internet of Things” where everything is connected on a smart network. But if the devices are manufactured to function in specific ways, that may be a challenge.
However, there is an improvement in technology and things are getting smarter. A central network can be programmed to control devices across the home.
How does Home Automation Work?
There are some processes involved in home automation from the design to the implementation and even the maintenance. These processes are easy to understand. They include:
Installation of ventilation and heating and cooling control systems: Computers are installed to take care of these functions.
Access to the installed equipment and components: Control systems like the internet, network, and remotes are connected to allow for easy control from diverse locations.
Safety measures are ensured: Safety and security systems and network-enabled surveillance cameras are installed and maintained for safety purposes.
Linking to a central system: Electronic appliances and the electrical systems and fixtures are controlled from a central system. The management and control of the systems are linked to a central system.
The devices and appliances connected in the automation system communicate within a wireless or wired network. This enables them to respond when operated from the central network. This is possible through the workings of software and hardware for controlling the devices and appliances. Other components like temperature are also installed.
What Home Automation Can Do for You
The purpose of home automation is to have things done more conveniently. Its usefulness is seen in such areas as:
Programing your devices
Utilizing the technology of home automation, you can program your devices and appliances to perform some functions at specific times. For instance, you can have your lights turn on and off at whatever time you deem fit. You can have this setting changed each day.
You can program just about anything in your house to function as it pleases you. You can have your window close at specific times every day. You can have your door open and close at specific times or when you step close to it. You can achieve this by motorizing your devices into a smart outlet and program them.
You can set your devices to respond to automatic controls and triggers. For instance, you can have your lights turned on when your security alarm goes off.
One essential thing about home automation is that there is no limit to it. Some time ago, it may not have covered the areas it covers today. This tells you that it can always get better. If you can imagine areas of your life that can be more convenient with home automation, then it can happen. You can think of areas to help you and make your life easier and possibly proffer creative ways to help you.
Advantages of home automation
There are several advantages to home automation that will make you want to have a smart home. Some of them are;
You can control your devices and appliances from the comfort of wherever you are. For instance, rather than having to walk to the switch and turn the lights on or off, you can use your remote control to do that. Also, you can even program your curtains to close at certain times as you please.
Home automation makes your life easier and less stressful.
You can set your home entertainment working without having to stress yourself. You can be on your bed and have your favorite station entertain you. You can be on your sofa and entertain yourself from your comfort zone.
You can regulate the temperature of your home from your location. If you are working late into the cold night, you can turn on the heating device in your house and set the room warming before you step in. if you are out in the hot afternoon weather, you can set your home’s temperature so that you walk into the perfect temperature for when you arrive home.
- Time management
Home automation lets you get things done in record time. the time it would have taken you to walk around and get things done, you save and get them done almost instantly. For instance, you can open your door and close it even if you are not close to the door.
- Remote control
While you are away, you can relax your mind knowing that you have everything under control. Things have gone beyond the limited one-way monitoring we thought was amazing. Things are more amazing today. You can connect with the network in your home and have your devices and appliances under your control at all times. Presently, distance is not a barrier.
- Enhanced safety
Perhaps one of the most important advantages that home automation serves is the safety of our homes. Not that you cannot leave your house and meet everything intact. But, it is safer when you can tell what is happening in your house at any time you want. There is the assurance of improved safety when you can check your home’s security status from where you are. You can know if your door is locked or not. If someone opens your door, you know and can make necessary moves. You can get a real-time video feed on your home.
- Improved productivity
Giving that you have a machine doing small things for you, you can channel your attention to other things. This makes you more productive. For instance, knowing that you can monitor your home from wherever you are, you can focus more on the work at hand.
When you arrive home and the water is already heated to your satisfaction and the house temperature is what you want, it is easier to take your bath and do more work. If you are well settled in and comfortable, you are more productive and handle more work.
The comfort of your home directly impacts your psychological health and disposition towards things. With home automation, your home is more comfortable and you are in a better frame of mind to handle things.
- Saves Money
Home automation lets you save some money. You can regulate your energy consumption thereby saving you some bucks from the bills. For instance, you can regulate your lighting. You can simply off the light or turn it off completely when it is not in use.
If you forgot to turn off the lights, you can simply do that from the comfort of your location. This will save you some money.
You can also regulate your cooling and heating systems to save some energy. You can program your adjustable thermostat to your home’s suiting. Home automation can even learn your home preferences and adjust accordingly. It can adjust the settings to suit specific times and temperatures during the day.
Since you do not use your devices and appliances often because they are set to function when you need them to, they will last longer. Your home automation can extend the lifespan of some devices. This will automatically save you some money in repairs and replacements.
In spite of these interesting developments, there is no limit to what you can have. Manufacturers are making more smart devices and appliances to make life easier and better for you. As time goes on, we are sure to get more devices into our home automation.
Disadvantages of Home Automation
Giving the beauties of home automation, you may wonder if it has some disadvantages. Well, there are areas that may give you concern. Some of them are:
- Online Vulnerability
Giving the dependency on home automation in networks, there is the risk of online vulnerability. Cybercrimes are real and hackers are everywhere. It will be best to save your passwords and mind with whom you share some information. You have to keep your computers safe and secured.
- Internet connection
Home automation depends on a strong internet connection to function to capacity. Also, it depends on a reliable power supply. In a situation where any of these is not available, string, or reliable, there might be challenges.
- Financial Considerations
The cost of setting a home automation naught deter some people from enjoying this level of security and comfort. Some of these services have subscription charges. The money involved in home automation might be on the high side for people with tight budgets.
The comfort and sophistication of home automation are enticing. Giving the advantages and disadvantages of ‘smart’ homes, you may want to set up yours.
There are advantages and possible disadvantages of home automation. You will have to consider the cost and requirement edible for making a move.