Smart home automation is one of the most exciting advancements in residential real estate for decades! Casual homeowners and extreme enthusiasts alike are all trending toward living a fully automated lifestyle, and it’s easy to see why!
Smart home automation systems significantly improves the resale value of your home, while also being something you can reap the benefits of while you are still living there. Things like automated lights and window and door sensors improve security, while whole home audio and temperature control improve your comfort and convenience.
Continue reading this article to learn more about smart home automation and how it can benefit you and your home, media room or home theater systems.
What is Home Automation?
Smart home automation is the system that connects Internet of Things (or IoT) devices throughout the home to automate processes around the home that were once manual. The goal is to create a home that is more efficient, comfortable, and secure.
What are Internet of Things (IoT) Devices, Anyway?
Internet of Things is a phrase that is thrown around quite frequently, but if you don’t know what it means, it can become pretty confusing. IoT refers to a network of devices (“things”) that are interconnected through sensors or software across the internet. These devices can speak to each other to do basic tasks, like turning on a light, to more complex tasks like running a warehouse.
You probably have a few IoT devices in your home already without even realizing it. In fact, according to Oracle, the total number of IoT devices is expected to grow to 22 billion by 2025. Some everyday IoT devices include:
- Laptops and Computers
- Smart TVs
- Amazon Alexa or Echo Dot
- Front Door Cameras and Doorbells
- Gaming Systems
Anything in your home that connects to the internet is a part of the Internet of Things.
How Does Home Automation Work?
A home automation system uses a combination of sensors, controllers, and actuators – all connected via the internet – to monitor and manage your home environment. All of the information these devices collect is synthesized and made easily accessible to you through an easy-to-use control device like your phone or laptop. If you have certain triggers set up, the automation will execute without your input. However, if you want to adjust something yourself (like the temperature, for example), you can do that straight from the control device.
The 2 Parts of a Home Control System
Sensors: Sensors track changes within a particular unit to ensure the correct status is being maintained.
For example, outdoor lights can have sensors that will track when the sun is setting. Once the sun has set, the sensor will send an alert to the controller that it’s time to turn your porch lights on.
Controllers: Think of controllers as the “command center.” This is the brain of your home automation system and will typically be found on your smartphone, tablet, or home panel. From the controller, you can set up automatic processes to be executed, or you can manually change the status from your connected systems.
Once your controller has received an alert that the sun has set, it will compare that to its already established automation. Since we’ve set up the porch lights to come on when the sun goes down, the notification will alert the controller that it’s time to pass the information on to the actuator to turn on the porch lights.
What Home Devices Can Be Automated?
We’ve reviewed some pretty basic automation in this article so far, but the truth is that almost any system or unit in your house, including various home devices, can be a part of your interconnected smart home! Devices designed for a home automation system not only bring convenience but also enhance the security of your living space. For example, did you know that you can put sensors on your water system? These devices will monitor your pipes and alert you if there is an issue with them. If a burst pipe is detected, you can use your smart home system to take control and shut off your water, drastically reducing the potential damage from a leak.
Moreover, as you explore the site of any home automation system retailer, you’ll find that the protocols for connecting and setting up these devices are now more user-friendly than ever, making it nice and simple for homeowners to integrate new products into their systems. This ease of design allows even the most novice users to enjoy the benefits of a modern, automated home.
Another example we love is a smart stove, which is one of the innovative smart devices that can transform your kitchen experience. If you’re standing in line at the grocery store, ready to begin cooking dinner the moment you get home, use the smart home controller (a.k.a. your phone) to tell the oven to start preheating so it will be ready to begin cooking your gourmet meal the second you get home (or frozen pizza – we don’t judge). With this kind of control, users can manage their home’s appliances efficiently, saving time and energy.
Do you have a home theater or media room? These are great places to add automation to your home as well! Implementing advanced networking in your media room allows all your devices to communicate effectively, enhancing your entertainment experience. Moreover, with the right setup, security can be integrated into your system, ensuring that all your devices are safe from unauthorized access while you enjoy the ultimate comfort and convenience.
Home Automation Examples
When it comes to home automation, you are only limited by your own imagination. Below are some of our favorite examples of home automation:
Temperature Control: Temperature controls usher in the next level of comfort and sustainability. Set your home thermostat to automatically adjust when you are at work or asleep, saving you money on your home electricity bills while ensuring optimal comfort. Feeling a little too cold on the couch? Increase the temperature straight from your phone!
Whole-Home Audio: Take your audio listening to the next level with whole-home audio. You can play music or podcasts through the entire home or in particular rooms of the house. Our favorite hack for the school year? Schedule your children’s favorite music, calming nature sounds, or upbeat tunes to start playing in their rooms when it’s time for them to start waking up for school in the morning. This will get them moving and help the mornings run smoother.
Automated Indoor Lights and Shades: Automated lights and shades are the perfect addition to any smart home system. Along with scheduled music in your kids’ rooms, you can also schedule the blinds in their room to open or the lights to come on – reducing their resistance to waking up in the morning. In fact, you can actually schedule your shades to match our bodies’ circadian rhythms for better sleep for the whole family.
Automated lights also make it much easier to ensure all the lights are turned off when people leave rooms. You can also sync them up with your home theater or TV to set the mood for a fabulous movie night. Finally, if you’re heading out of town, schedule your lights to turn off and on at random intervals to make it look like the house is occupied, even if it isn’t.
Automated Outdoor Lights: Outdoor lights are a great addition to any home. They increase your property value, allow you to enjoy more of your property for longer, and improve your overall security. You can set your lights up to automatically come on at certain times of the day. You can also set up motion-activated outdoor lights to improve the security of your property.
Energy Monitoring: Are you looking for ways to reduce your ecological footprint? Use a smart home automation system to track your energy consumption and find ways to reduce your usage. This includes turning off devices and lights in rooms you are not occupying or scheduling when certain appliances are in use.
How to Automate Your Home System
There are two routes you can go when you are automating your home – DIY or hiring a professional. We typically recommend hiring a professional because many smart home applications require access to your home’s electrical systems. Working on those systems without the proper training can create safety issues. Furthermore, making a mistake on one of these systems can cause damages that would cost more to fix than hiring a professional would cost in the first place.
Professionals have the expertise to integrate smart devices effectively throughout your home. They understand how to network these home devices to ensure they communicate and control various functions seamlessly. Additionally, they will be able to advise you on how to expand your smart home in the future, adding new devices to enhance automation and control. With the right setup, all your devices can work together, providing convenience and energy efficiency.
The Pros of Hiring a Smart Home Automation Professional
Smart home automation professionals are experts in their field and have seen just about everything related to homes and their automation. That means they will be able to help you figure out the best way to automate your home. They will know the best technology to help you achieve your goals (and will probably have ideas you never even thought of), including the integration of smart devices that can enhance your living experience.
Another benefit of hiring a smart home automation professional is that they will know how to fix your system if anything goes wrong. They can also integrate a home assistant that acts as a central point of control for all your automated tasks. Moreover, they will be able to provide regular maintenance updates to your system as updates are released. Just like your phone needs updates from time to time, so does your home automation technology. The experts will help you make that process a breeze, ensuring your IOT gateway, which connects various devices in your network, remains secure and functional.
Additionally, with their extensive knowledge of home networking, these professionals can optimize your system to communicate efficiently, ensuring a seamless smart home experience.
Managed WiFi Will Take Your Automation to the Next Level
The one key to making sure your home automation system is operating properly is having a strong internet connection. All of the wonderful devices that take your home to the next level need WiFi in order to deliver the automations of your dreams. If you’re relying on your current internet, you might run into some problems with bandwidth. That’s where managed WiFi comes in. Enjoy consistent, enterprise-level wireless internet with managed WiFi services from Total Home Technology.
Smart-Home Technology Companies in Austin, Texas
If you want smart home automation to elevate your home, look no further than the trusted experts at Total Home Technology in Austin, Texas. We are from Austin for Austin, so we know the Hill Country better than anyone. This allows us to create a smart home system that takes things like the local weather, the Austin lifestyle, and individual regulations into account. Don’t just take it from us – hear what our customers have to say:
“Ryan and team are dedicated to completing the perfect job. They are professional, dedicated, knowledgeable, honest, and will stick with you no matter how long or complicated the job. They know their craft perfectly and more.”
Ready to learn more about turning your house into a smart home oasis? Contact us today at (512) 333-0243. We are ready to translate your dreams of home automation into a tangible reality.