The idea of bringing in automation to control and monitor different aspects of your home sounds extremely lucrative to homeowners. Whilst home automation systems may largely vary in scope, functionality and scale, these intelligent units provide countless lifestyle and economic benefits to family members, including convenience, security, energy efficiency, and remote monitoring. Nevertheless, a wide variety of systems available in the market can make deciding the right one for your home an overwhelming experience.
Most of the modern home automation solutions feature three crucial components: a central hub, also known as a primary interface; control devices, which can range from your smartphones and tablets, to remote controllers and desktop PCs; and lastly the peripheral devices that receive signals from the central hub. The peripheral devices include plug units, light fixtures, wireless remote light switches, dimmers, photo sensors, IP cameras, motion detectors, smoke detectors, wireless thermometers and wind meters, amongst others. What generally makes one system different from another is how the central hub communicates with the other peripheral devices.
Before you start weighing each alternative against the rest, it is imperative to be thoroughly certain about your home requirements. Whilst this may sound cliché, homeowners can easily get clouded or influenced by an array of choices in the automation and home control sector and may overlook their primary needs. To choose the system that is an ideal match to your automation needs, it is important to gain clarity on the following points:
1. Size of Your Home:
Needless to say, the size of your home will have a bearing on the home automation system you should choose. In the case of mainstream 2-bedroom apartments, the primary automation requirements may just be to control the lights, heating/cooling and entertainment systems. On the other hand, automation and control for larger luxurious homes will entail systems that are scalable and compatible with third-party peripherals. In addition to this, automating large homes would require intelligent sensors for light, motion detection, smoke/fire detection and temperature sensors that activate devices, such as lights, sprinklers, thermostats, IP cameras, doors, and awning blinds, amongst others.
2. Number of Home Subsystems to Be Controlled:
A setup required to just manage lights and heating in-house would differ as compared to an integrated home automation system that is capable of controlling and remotely monitoring lighting, door/window sensors, multi-room air conditioning, outdoor/indoor security, window blinds, and emergency alerts (smoke, fire, and leak detection). Having a clear picture of the number of appliances you wish to automate will help eliminate choices that are more expensive than your budget and more complicated to suit your requirements.
3. Number of Devices that will Control Your System:
If you wish to remotely monitor and access your home for any intrusions or emergency situations, you will need to choose a home automation system that can be managed not only using remote controllers and in-house panels but also other devices, such as smartphones, tablets, laptops, and desktops when away. If remote monitoring is important, choose an automation system that supports web-based and app-based configuration and access.