The “smart house” was merely a concept just two short decades ago. An expensive proposition before the invention of wifi, smartphones, and devices, wiring your house for automation was only for people with a vast amount of disposable income. Now, however, everyone from apartment dwellers to high-end homeowners can automate their house for very little cost and without much knowledge needed. The best part about home automation is that you can do it on your own. Whether you just want something to turn your lights off for you or you want your home to run completely automatically, there is no shortage of Winnipeg home automation options.
Do you need a hub?
The first decision that you have to make for your home automation options is whether you want to use a “hub” or not. You can use automation devices around the house with separate outlets without a problem, but many customers are choosing a central location to integrate all of their smart device products in a central “hub.”
Hub options typically include the necessary software so that you can install them on your mobile devices, smartphones, and computers, which allows you to command the automation system from several different components. Some advanced systems allow you to use voice command to entirely automate your home.
Whether you decide to use stand-alone systems or you go with the hub ecosystem, make sure that the technology that you choose is communicable with whatever device you intend to use. Although wifi and Bluetooth are pretty standard on home automation devices, there are still some that use other network protocols like Zigbee or Z-Wave. If you want to stay cutting-edge, the automation world is advancing fast and the hub system is likely to overtake the market. So if you start with the latest, you won’t find yourself having to upgrade quickly to get up to speed.
Most home automation networks use multi-purpose hubs that can network many devices at once. They can not only automate your home; they can also stream live music, provide you information from the internet and even read you books. Most of them come with voice activation, so all you have to do is say what you want, and voila, there it is.
Appliances with home automation
Many appliances are coming complete with built-in automation, but if you want to get a leg up, products like the Wemo Switch Smart Plug can turn any appliance in your home into an automated one. It works by turning them on and off with a touch of one central button, and it can pre-schedule preprogrammed routines to cut back on energy costs.
For the latest in appliance automation, products like the Samsung Family Hub Smart Fridge or other automated appliances allow you to do everything from order milk over the internet when you are running low to keeping an inventory of what is coming in and out of the refrigerator. A great time-saver for busy families, having someone placing orders instead of making shopping lists is an amazing feature.
Door and security home automation
Security systems in the past were expensive, and you had to have someone install cameras and a monitor. New and simple “smart” locks and home automation doorbells allow you to see the perimeter of your home completely wirelessly and without ever having to go to your door. The systems can sense when things are approaching and alert you if someone is trying to break in.
Home lighting, heating, and cooling automation
Smart bulbs and switches can control all the lighting in your home through your smart device. You can adjust the light levels, change the colors, or even schedule when you want the lights to come on or go off. Some security systems even integrate sensors, so that when you leave for work, they know to turn the lights off and turn them back on when they sense you arrive home.
The same goes for heating and cooling. As a great way to cut down on your energy usage, heating and cooling are completely automated and programmable from your smartphone or mobile device. You can schedule when to turn heat on or to cool off, and set up zones that will shut off when no one is around.
Entertainment home automation
Perhaps one of the biggest luxuries in home automation are the whole-house entertainment systems available. Hubs like the Logitech Harmony Hub can even integrate with other automation devices like your lighting and music systems, so when you walk in you can be greeted with your favorite song.
Home automation used to be just for the rich and famous. Now anyone with a smartphone, laptop or a mobile device can turn their home into an automated house, literally with the touch of a button.