Home Automation seems to be the new buzz word amongst home owners, but do we understand exactly what this means and its capabilities?
In a nutshell, home automation enables you to control the devices in your home at the touch of a button using your smart phone or tablet. For example, it can be your TV’s, Foxtel etc, CCTV and security system, access control, lighting, heating & cooling, home theatre or irrigation to name a handful. Generally, if it can be cabled, then there’s a good chance it can be automated.
Automation in this instance, means the ability to program your devices so they automatically do certain things at certain times; an “if this, then that” mentality. Let me give you an example:
It’s late at night and you pull into the driveway with your family. You push the Home button on your phone; the garage door opens and sets the lighting to 30% brightness, so as not to wake the sleeping children. You carry them to their beds where their favorite bedtime music is softly playing in the background, creating the perfect sleeping environment.
You climb into bed exhausted after a hectic day and press Goodnight mode on your phone. The house is automatically locked and secured downstairs and the lights are switched off. The blinds are automatically drawn and the air-con is set to a comfortable sleeping temperature.
You’ve organised for the boys to come over to watch Friday night Football. The beer is cold and you settle back into your favourite armchair. The blinds automatically roll down, the lights dim, the footy appears on the big screen and speakers automatically adjust to create the perfect football atmosphere.
With the introduction of smart phones and tablets, it has also enabled us to connect with our homes and receive information even if we’re away.
Remote access means that we can log in and view our CCTV cameras around the home at any time of the day and review footage that happened the week before.
We can also schedule certain tasks to happen while we’re away: water the gardens, operate the pool pump, turn lighting on and off to give out that ‘lived in’ look. The scenarios are endless.
Is it expensive?
With home automation, you can do as much or as little as you like and build upon it as you please. This makes it suitable for the budget conscious home owner.