Before you rush out and buy the first home automation system from your local big box store, take some time to determine what you really need out of your home automation. What features would help your family the most? How would you like to operate those features? Perhaps most importantly, how do you expect to install, set up, and test your smart home options?
AUTOMATED LIGHTING SYSTEMS
Smart lighting was one of the first automated options available to consumers with the introduction of the Intermatic Time-All in 1952. We’ve come a long way since this plug-in version that families used to switch on the living room lamp to give the illusion of being home while on vacation.
Today’s smart lighting is connected by WiFi or Bluetooth and can be controlled by app or by voice. You can create schedules, set up motion detectors, or just ask for a little more light wherever you need it. Your smart lighting can be installed in a single room or throughout the entire house. You can even connect outdoor lighting for security or a little ambiance when entertaining.
AUTOMATED HVAC SYSTEMS
When it comes to automating the climate within your home, the most popular products may not necessarily be the best for your specific needs. The latest automated thermostats offer a wide range of options, from voice control to remote access through smartphone apps. You can set up schedules for warmth or air conditioning at various times of the day, save energy by manipulating the temperature through the app while you’re away on vacation, or even call across the room to adjust the heating when you don’t want to walk across the cold floor.