Things Homeowners Should Know About Smart Homes
Many years back, home automation seemed more of a far-fetched idea. Just something imaginary that would probably never happen. But as people are getting more “smart”, they are also transforming their ways of life. They are inventing ways of managing almost every activity in a home or building from a centralized control system. Analysts estimated home automation market to be worth around $3.6 in the year 2012. According to the recent projections, the value will rise to about $16.4 by 2021.
What is a Smart Home?
It is a building whose appliances and other device are connected and managed centrally by use of an instrument. The security surveillance system, locks in the house, lighting, and an array of other importance things in the house are automated. It enables the owner of the house to control/monitor the home the touch of a button without waking up from the coach or even remotely i.e. far from the home. The occupants of the house can program all the appliances in the system connection, just by giving a command.
Smart homes technology has brought several things on board. They range from the security system, entertainment, temperature, lighting to a landscape.
The home automation today is in such a manner that you can easily use a smartphone or a tablet to switch on, switch off or even adjust the brightness. All that while still seated on the couch or remotely.
Locks and Security System
Automating your home helps you to check and reinforce where necessary, the security of your home. Remotely, you can examine the lock status and even the surveillance system.
If you are in a house and have an oven, you can easily adjust the temperature of the oven as you continue doing other activities like watching a movie with friends. A smartphone is all that you need for that task. A command does the magic, thanks to the wireless technology.
The home entertainment system could also be well integrated into the home automation system. It allows you probably to record, manage your recorded programs. You have the freedom to watch them either on your phone or PC.
Temperature and In-House Climate
The home automation system allows you to adjust the temperature accordingly depending on what you prefer. Thus, you gain maximum comfort. Lowering the temperature a few degrees also helps you to reduce your energy bills.
Carbon Monoxide Detection
The home automation system can be such that it can detect a rise in the level of carbon monoxide in the air. The system understands this to mean danger, and it sets off an alarm. You can be sure that this method is more reliable compared to the other detectors from the hardware.
Getting Started with Home Automation
Hang on a little. Home automation is not just about acquiring an app. It demands a bit more than just that, to get started.
- Secondly, access to a network is necessary. It helps you to send messages from the control to the devices and appliances at home. Most homes use WIFI and Bluetooth connection. The main downside with using Bluetooth is that it requires you be at home. WIFI, on the other hand, can be utilized for those who aim to use remote control.
- Firstly, you need a controller. A smartphone or a tablet is all that you require as the control point. However, some systems demand you to install a centralized control panel at some strategic point in your home.
- There are devices with no inbuilt ability to receive instructions. That means that you have to find means of integrating them. For example, you need to acquire smart light bulbs. You can save yourself that trouble, though. Just go for devices and appliances that come with the with connectivity capability.
Benefits of a Smart Home
The connectivity brought about by technology comes with more convenience. Convenience means doing the same things you have been doing manually but with much less effort. For instance, one can adjust the music system, unlock the gate, and switch off the lights in the house almost simultaneously and without the need to move. That is what convenience is all about.
It’s economical since you do not need to employ or enter into a security contract that requires you to part with money on a monthly. Automation gives you the ability to open or lock the doors and gate at will. Also, in case there are unusual movements noted at your home, you can trigger the siren. You can monitor every corner even when you are on a holiday very far from home.
You can prevent the occurrence of dangerous happenings in case there are leakages. An example is a leakage in pipes that may get spilled water where it is not wanted. You quickly rectify it before it becomes a mountain. You do not need to suffer massive damages for you to learn the importance of installing your home with danger detectors.
And that is not all. You only set a schedule for the appliances such that certain activities happen at specific times without the need to give them commands later. Some of them even learn the schedule. It eventually reduces the amount of time required in managing any task around the house.
Efficiency is also another benefit that comes with home automation. A perfect example is a thermostat in the house that learns how you like your house heated and cooled. After some time the systems can adjust the temperatures depending on your preference without the need for you to key in commands all the time. That unique special feature would mean saving on the energy. Once you have left the house, it goes into the ‘Away Mode’, which further cuts down the bill. Other smart home automation systems memorize all the actions that you take and can give suggestions on how you could use your appliance more efficiently.
Other than controlling devices and appliances and ensuring security at home, you can also monitor your children when you are far from home. That is how to make sure that they do not close certain limits where there can be dangers.
Below Are the Things You Need to Know Before Automating Your Home
It’s a Bit Complex to Build or Change Your Home to Become Smart
You need to understand that it’s not easy to build a smart home. It is not always a do it yourself thing if you are not a professional. There are even no set protocols of doing it since most devices are still in the developing stage. Creating devices with the ability to interact or communicate is an involving undertaking. It requires time, a lot of research and a lot of resources.
The WIFI Router May Fail
These days, manufacturers of the device are developing and marketing with claims that they can save time, energy and perform better. But do not forget that they require the internet to stay connected. What if it fails? How about the WIFI details itself? It means taking eternity reconnecting several devices, which is a waste of time. So, ensure that the router is always on for non-stop communication.
Not Every System Can Work with your Appliances
If you decide to import a device from another country, it may fail to serve you. Most of these have a design that only allow them to service their home markets. Before making any purchases, it is ideal to make sure you understand what you are getting into yourself
When buying appliances and devices at home, ensure that they are all from a famous manufacturer and are mainly the same brand. That is so because it is easier connecting devices from a single company using an already established protocol. There are those manufacturers that have gone a notch higher. They simplify connectivity by developing apps that act as hubs for connecting all the devices affiliated with the company. The only disadvantage with dealing with a single company, though, is that they live you at their mercy. It means, therefore, that if devices from the company fail to function properly, then you will experience a lot of trouble.
Smart Homes are Not 100% Secure
Imagine a situation whereby an attacker manages to infiltrate the security of the control system of your house. That would have far-reaching consequences for a house where almost everything depends on this technology. It means security breach since even unauthorized people could easily find their way into the residence without the need to use force.
You Require an Expert
Getting somebody with the expertise in the automation is not a choice but a must if you have no skills in home automation. Creating or transiting into a smart home is not a do it yourself affair if you are looking to keep yourself secured.
The Future of Smart Homes
Internet pundits have coined up a term for automation of homes dubbed the internet of things (IoT), which you probably have come across. It is a trend nowadays to fix devices with chipsets and microchips. That way the connection can be in a network to allow devices to interact. With IoT, it possible for the washing machine in your home to send a notification to the cell phone alerting you to move the clothes to the dryer.
According to analysts, the number of devices connected to the internet may reach 30 billion6 by the year 2021. You will manage to accomplish most basic tasks by acquiring more and more IoT-ready items.
The future looks bright with smart homes. Home automation will guarantee more security and convenience and efficiency in all home affairs. Consider home automation and stay smart in all aspects.