Home automation is a great way to cut some stress out of your life and save money at the same time. The technology available today makes it possible to automate just about everything in your home from your door locks to your media devices.
There are a lot of benefits to making these changes. So read on to learn more about your home automation usage options and what kind of benefits you can expect from them.
Because smart home technology is a relatively new player in the market, there are a lot of different automation interfaces available. An interface is what allows you to easily control your various devices from your smartphone or on the web (meaning you can use any web-enabled device to access your interface).
It’s important to select the interface you use carefully and make sure that it is compatible with your devices. You also need to make sure that your devices are compatible with each other so that they communicate with each other.
Many devices will come with their own interface in the form of a remote control, touchscreen, smartphone or tablet app, or web-based interface.
Energy management is one of the best usages of home automation. With smart heating and cooling systems that allow for better climate control, smart irrigation systems, smart water systems, and so on, you can start using a lot less power and saving money on your energy bill.
How exactly does home automation help with energy management? Here are a few examples:
- Smart thermostats can be retrofitted to just about any heating and cooling system. They can be programmed or automated so that they automatically turn off when you aren’t home or go into an energy saving mode when your desired temperature has been reached and simply needs to be maintained.
- Smart windows will soon be able to block out heat in addition to light so that it takes less energy to cool your home in the summers.
- Smart appliances and devices can often recognize when you aren’t home and will automatically turn themselves. They can also keep themselves off when not in use so that you aren’t wasting energy (and money) on keeping your appliances on standby power for no reason.
- Smart control lets you control all of your smart devices from your smartphone, tablet, or PC. So even though most will automatically turn off, you can still make absolutely sure nothing was left on after you leave home.
You might be surprised just how much money you are spending on unnecessary energy usage. Simply forgetting to turn off the thermostat before you leave for work in the morning can suck up a lot of power that is wasted on heating or cooling an empty home all day long.
The control and efficiency you get from smart devices will help cut away all that unnecessary energy usage so that you are only using energy when you actually need it.
This is better for you since you get to save money without having to overstress yourself about manually turning off every single device or appliance in your home. And it’s better for the environment since your home is using less power.
Lighting systems also help with energy management since they can be turned on and off from your phone and often are able to automatically turn themselves on and off. Another advantage of smart lighting systems is that you usually get a longer life out of them because they are more energy efficient and because you aren’t leaving lights on in empty rooms.
Some other features you can enjoy from a smart lighting system include:
- Timer and scheduling which let you decide when your lights are on and off. They can also be programmed to gradually turn on in the morning to help wake you up gently.
- Dimming allows you to adjust the intensity of your light. Keeping it at a dimmer setting when you get home in the evening uses less power while also making it easier for you to fall asleep in the evening (bright lights keep you awake).
- Changing colors lets you set the mood or even set up cool light shows for parties. They can also be used to alert you to specific things. Some lights will even alert you when you get a phone call or text.
- Anti-burglar modes on some lighting systems allow lights to randomly turn themselves on and off to give the impression that someone is at home while you are away.
- Automatic functioning on some lighting systems uses sensors to recognize when someone is in a room and when they leave. Your light will automatically turn on when you enter and automatically turn off when you leave—not a single wasted second of power used.
Lighting systems throughout your home are a great way to cut down on your energy usage and enjoy other daily benefits in the form of gentle assistance with waking up in the morning and fun color changing features that you can play with.
Coordinate your lighting system with a smart entertainment system and your parties will be the envy of all your friends. The audio/video possibilities with smart entertainment devices are growing more and more impressive every day.
Here are some of the coolest devices that can form part of a smart home entertainment system along with some of our favorite perks that come with each one:
- Home theater: you can go piece by piece or get a complete all-in-one package deal for the best speakers, subwoofers, and connected entertainment devices. Connect all your TVs together so that you can have your favorite show follow you from room to room. Set up multiple room audio so that you can have your music follow you from room to room (or individually control the music playing in each room).
- Smart speakers: you can get smart wireless speakers that connect via Bluetooth. That means you no longer have to deal with tangled wires and you can easily take it from room to room depending on where you want the music. Some are even voice activated and will even help you check the weather or buy things online. Plus, they also happen to be exceptionally high quality speakers.
Wasted water is another big problem for home owners. It’s bad for your bill and bad for the environment. Because of this, engineers are developing innovative ways to help you eliminate water waste without having to sacrifice shower time or obsess constantly over your water usage.
- Smart irrigation systems check the weather and your location in order to determine the best times to water your lawn. Never have your sprinklers go off in the rain or start watering in extreme heat when most of it evaporates anyway. You can also control the irrigation system from your phone and often it lets you monitor your water usage. This is far better than a simple timer irrigation system that goes off at the same time no matter what.
- Smart shower heads can prevent water waste by not releasing water until it has reached your desired temperature. That feature alone saves gallons of waters from each shower taken. They can also adjust the water pressure based on what you are doing. For example, if you are far from the shower head, soaping off, it will go into a low pressure mode since you don’t need so much water at that time.
- Smart faucets automatically turn on and off by sensing when your hand or another object is beneath it. This is great for the many of us who know we should turn our faucet off while brushing our teeth or soaping up our hands but just find it too inconvenient to do. This simple addition alone can save as much as 20 gallons a day.
Combining all three of these options will save you countless gallons of water waste each month which translates to a much cheaper water bill. Along with your cheaper energy bill, those savings are going to add up quickly.
In addition to energy management, home security is one of the best usages of home automation. A smart home security system will provide you with so many more options than a standard home security system.
Here are a few of the different components of a smart home security system and some of the advantages they come with:
- Smart cameras that keep an eye on things while you are away and allow you to check their feeds from your phone or online.
- Smart motion detectors that detect any suspicious activity and can even be programmed to ignore your pets to avoid false alarms.
- Smart locks for doors and gates that can be locked from your phone and give you complete control over who has access to your home.
- Smart garage doors that can be opened from your phone or put on a schedule.
- Smart alarms that send alerts to your phone when they detect smoke, fire, carbon monoxide, or leaks.
You can choose between buying a smart home security kit or buying each device individually. If you choose the latter, make sure that you get devices that are all compatible with each other.
Access control is one of the coolest options available with smart gate and door locks. You can get locks that only open for you and anyone else that you specifically authorize. If someone is not on your authorized list, they cannot open the lock, even if they have a physical key.
If someone unauthorized tries to open or tamper with your door lock, you will immediately get an alert sent to your phone.
This is a great way to prevent unwelcome intruders. It’s also great for stopping unwelcome visits from exes and other people you don’t want coming into your house unannounced.
With more control over who has access to your home, you can feel safer and more comfortable while you are at home and when you are away. Combine this with all of the other features of a complete home security system and you will feel much safer.
With smart surveillance, you get so much more than just a camera or motion detector or audio recorder. You get devices that coordinate with each other, learn your schedule, and work with you.
Check in on live feeds of your home whenever you want. If you get an alert from your smoke detector, you can check the live feed of the room the detector is in to see what triggered the detector.
If your motion detector alerts you to suspicious activity, check the nearest camera to see who is there.
Record and store footage so that you can provide better evidence to police if you ever need to report a break in or theft.
There are so many ways to use home automation to your advantage. But the ones that are most important for you will depend on your needs and priorities. Do additional research on whichever category (or categories) above struck you as the most beneficial for your home and find out how you can best install and start using these smart devices.
Although many of these can seem like a pricey investment, their money saving abilities will pay for themselves in no time. It’s definitely an investment worth making.