Home automation is a fairly new development, but when you have the ability to seamlessly integrate all of your devices – why wouldn’t you?
There are so many things that you can automate nowadays, it’s hard to know where to start. This guide is intended to help you get setup, and introduce you to some of the more simple home automation possibilities available.
At the end of this post, I’ve included a handy infographic to give you some more information. (Original post)
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Ok, so what is home automation?
Home automation is the practice of using various electronic devices in your home to make your life easier. For example, you could set all your lights to turn off at a certain time at night, i.e. when you regularly go to bed. Maybe you want to keep your kids off the wifi after hours – well you could automate rules for your router too – the possibilities are endless!
The popularity of home automation was spawned by the success of the “Internet of Things“. The IoT (for short) is basically a reference to the fact that all of these “things” (devices) connect to the internet to complete tasks, but use the internet in a completely different way to how you or I would.
That about sums it up, so let’s talk about how you can use home automation.
I just mentioned it, but you can use home automation to control the lighting in your house. As I mentioned, you can schedule lights to go on or off, and even control them by each individual bulb.
Bulbs like the Philips Hue range, also allow you to also control the color of the light your bulbs emit – that’s pretty cool!
You can control devices from your smartphone, or you can also use services such as IFTTT to setup automated rules for your devices.
You can do simple things like control security cameras and view live streams or recordings, but you can also connect to many modern security systems that will send you notifications on your smartphone.
Everyone can relax a little more, knowing that when they’re away from home, everything and everyone is safe and sound. I live in a nice (enough) neighbourhood so I’m not too concerned, but honestly I use my home cameras to do silly things like double check that I didn’t leave the oven on – trust me, that’s a life saver when you’re already an hour into a road trip and suddenly panic on the highway!
I also use my cameras to keep tabs on my pets while I’m at work – the cameras I use have two-way audio, so I can give them a “good dogs” or “bad dogs” as applicable.
Every household fights over the heating and cooling – right? By automating your thermostat, you can win the battle and ensure your entire family is comfortable.
You can control most modern smart thermostats from your smartphone, and complete tasks such as changing the room temperature from the comfort of your couch, or upping the temperature on those chilly winter mornings before getting out of bed.
This one has also come in handy when heading out on a road trip – we don’t need to heat the house when there’s no one in it! It’s nice to save a few dollars on that bill.
This was just a quick summary of home automation and a few of the things you can do with it.
What do you think? Are you going to try to setup any of these systems?
I’ll be back soon with more advice!