Home automation is a great way to make your life more convenient and make managing your home a more intuitive and stress-free part of your day.
Home automation usage is growing quickly as more and more homeowners are realizing just how much time and money they can save by incorporating smart home tech into their home.
In this quick guide, we’ll walk you from room to room to show you how home automation tech can be integrated in your home to make your life easier and your home more efficient and comfortable!
In the kitchen, just about everything has become smart. With a fully outfitted smart kitchen, you could enjoy a lot of benefits as some of the most tedious daily tasks in the home are in the kitchen.
You could wake up in the morning to the delicious aromas of freshly brewing coffee from a machine that not only knows how you like your coffee but can coordinate with your alarm to wake you up only after there’s coffee waiting for you.
Doing the dishes could be as easy as loading a dishwasher. You don’t even need to turn it on. It will wait for you to leave the house and run the cycle while you’re out so you have clean dishes waiting for you. Or it can switch to a longer, quiet cycle to do the dishes while you sleep.
Your fridge can keep track of each item of food in it. And it can use that information to give you recipe ideas, warn about foods that are about to expire, keep track of who is eating what and how you are doing on meeting your nutritional goals. When shopping, you can pull up an app and see live video of what’s inside your fridge right now—no shopping list necessary.
Your slow cooker could send you messages on your phone and let you check up on how your food is doing. If it looks like it’s cooking too fast, adjust to a lower setting without even having to leave your desk.
Now, stepping into your living room, there’s a lot of potential here as well. From smart light bulbs to super cool home entertainment systems, you can transform your living room into the ultimate sanctuary for when you get home from work. It will take relaxation to a whole new level by automating the process so that you don’t even have to lift a finger. Just walk in the door, sit on the couch, and let your house take care of you:
With a smart thermostat, your home will learn what your preferences are so that it can create the perfect climate for you while you are home and then turn things off as soon as it sees that you leave so that you save energy (which also means saving money on your power bill)!
So not only do you get to enjoy perfect comfort but you can do so without worrying about your power bill because your house has maximized efficiency to keep you comfortable while keeping your wallet full. How’s that for helping you relax after work?
There are a lot of cool smart audio/video solutions out there. Whether you get a full suite of home theater technology or just get individual pieces, you can create the ultimate home entertainment system.
In combination with a voice activated smart home hub, you can turn on your smart TV by talking to it. You can even tell it what you want to watch or do. Leaving your hands free to reach for your well-deserved post work snacks.
Smart speakers can mimic 360 degree surround sound even if you’ve got a tiny room and can only afford one sound bar. Your smart TV can also act as a command center for you to manage your home, displaying all your connected devices and apps in one place so that you can seamlessly manage each one without having to leave the couch.
With smart lighting, not only can you save money by using low-energy dimming settings and motion detectors that automatically turn the lights off when you leave, you can create a variety of different moods.
For a relaxing night of binge watching your favorite show, dim the lights and change them to a warm reddish shade. These warmer tones not only help you relax and wind down but will mimic a sunset which can actually help trigger your body to become sleepy in time for going to bed.
If you’ve got a long night of studying or finishing up a project for work, turn the lights up and go for cool, bluish tones that mimic daylight and keep your mind alert.
For parties, sync your lights up to your music and let them create a light show that will get everyone into party mode.
When it’s time to hit the sack, lie down on a smart bed that not only adjusts to the right firmness but suggests what firmness setting you should choose based on what it learns about your sleeping habits. It can even suggest how many hours of sleep you need each night to be rested.
Schedule your lights to mimic a sunrise in the morning that so your boy is naturally and gently woken up the way it would be woken up in nature. Combine that with that coffee smell coming from the kitchen and the alarm clock playing the exact right sounds to help your brain gently move from sleeping to awake. You will feel more refreshed than ever!
The bathroom doesn’t have quite as many devices for it yet but you can install smart flow detectors that monitor your water usage and let you know about leaks as soon as they start. And your shower head can give you warnings in the form of changing LED lights when you are nearing the target water usage you set for yourself.
Head out to your backyard now and imagine your smart irrigation system that sets its own schedule based on daily weather data and seasonal changes. You’ll never waste water by having your sprinklers go off in the middle of a rainstorm.
And your sprinklers can identify the perfect time of day in summer to water the lawn without water being wasted from heat evaporation before it can absorb into the soil.
As you leave to go out, you can be assured that as soon as you turn your key to lock your front door, your smart home security system will automatically kick on. Your other appliances will turn off or go into a low-energy away mode.
Your doors and gates will be secured with smart door locks, smart cameras, and motion sensors that can learn to ignore your pet so you don’t keep getting sent false alarms. Even your garage doors will be secured with a smart opener that you can check from your smartphone.
Get notifications if a door is opened or even tampered with. Get notifications if a window is opened. Get sent live video feeds from cameras that detected suspicious activity. If someone rings your door bell, you can answer it with your phone, see a video of who is on your porch and even talk to them, no matter where on the planet you are.
If your pet breaks out of the yard, their smart collar will alert you immediately and show you a map that is tracking their movement with the GPS locator. You won’t have to skip a beat or print out hundreds of “lost dog” posters. Just follow the GPS tracker until you see your troublemaker pooch.
The present possibilities are already brighter but the future is looking even brighter. Let’s take a look at some of the changes and developments you can expect to see in the future:
Smart home system protocols like Z-Wave and ZigBee have been dominating the market because they are the most secure, the most energy efficient, have the widest signal range, and can handle having a large number of devices in their networks as the same time.
Wi-Fi and Bluetooth have fallen behind because, even though there are more devices that work with them, they either aren’t strong enough, use up too much power, or can’t handle all of your devices being in the network at the same time.
But things are going to be changing in the future. Wi-Fi is developing low power solutions. Bluetooth is developing a mesh network similar to what Z-Wave and ZigBee is using to extend its signal range.
If and when they manage to perfect these systems, it could potentially transform the market. Suddenly, those millions of devices that are already Wi-Fi or Bluetooth enabled can be seamlessly integrated into your smart home without the issues that have been holding the two back.
This could be bad news for Z-Wave and ZigBee who don’t have nearly as many products using their system. The secure footing they currently have as the major players could be lost if they aren’t already working on strategies to keep themselves competitive.
For you as a consumer, whatever happens here will ultimately mean there’s a lot more devices that can be put into your smart home network and, more importantly, it could get much more affordable.
Right now, the potential threat of a security breach in your smart home system is higher than it should be. While there are steps you can take to make your system more secure like using Z-Wave or other protocols that are more difficult to break into, the bulk of the responsibility lies with the companies that are developing these devices.
And they are becoming more aware of that need. So you can expect to see smart devices with better integrated and stronger security built into them so that you don’t have to worry as much about doing the extra work of keeping your system secure.
Right now, the Amazon Echo is the leader in terms of super cool gadgets with what seems like an endless list of features that are both practical, entertaining, and sometimes a little weird—robot therapist, anyone? And while we can definitely expect the Echo to continue surprising with new, cool features and skills, the competition is going to get fierce.
The new Google Home, for example, already boasts a voice-activated software that can hold more natural conversations than the Amazon Alexa software. It’s able to pick up meaning from contexts so that even if you don’t phrase your question or command in exactly the right format, it can still understand what you want. It’s far from being as natural as talking to an actual human but it’s got years of google search requests and data to help make it surprisingly human for a gadget.
Basically, we are seeing a trend toward devices that are as intuitive and easy to interact with as another human being. This requires powerful processing and complex software. But that is developing fast.
As you can see there are so many ways to benefit from home automation. It has uses in every room of the house. We hope that this guide has helped to inspire you to start thinking about how home automation technology can help you in your home and daily life. Start doing more research on the devices that caught your interest!