In some form or another, smart home automation technology has been around for some time. Rudimentary timers, motion detectors, security systems linked with third-party service providers – all staples on the scene for several decades.
But what makes today’s take on smart home automation different is two things. The first of which is the incredible sophistication of the technology available, benefiting homes and businesses in ways that go far beyond the rudimentary. The second is the availability and accessibility of the technology, which has become more affordable than ever before.
What Is Smart Home Automation?
The smart home automation trend corresponds with the way most people have become reliant on their preferred mobile devices. We live in a world where we expect to be able to access anything and do just about anything at the touch of a button.
Increasingly, developers are focusing heavily on the connectivity of their products. As a result, almost every essential household device can now be upgraded to a ‘smart’ alternative.
Lighting systems, thermostats, security cameras, entertainment systems, kitchen appliances, curtains and blinds are all compatible with smart home automation systems.
Such systems enable the user to control and interact with these devices via a single centralized hub. Some prefer to use their smartphone (with a corresponding app) to control their homes, while others enjoy hands-free interaction using smart assistants like Amazon’s Alexa.
Either way, smart home automation allows for a greater level of control and convenience than would ever have been possible in the past.
Improving Your Home with Smart Automation
Of course, there will always be those who write off smart home automation as little more than a gimmick. They may appreciate the novelty value of the idea, but cannot see the more practical benefits of smart technology at home.
Eventually, a time will come when smart automation becomes a standard feature in all homes and businesses. Until then, early adopters are tapping into the surprisingly broad benefits of home automation, which include the following:
- Centralized control and interaction. The convenience of a smart home automation system has to be experienced first-hand to be appreciated. Integration of smart technology into the home allows for a multitude of devices to be controlled centrally – either from a connected smartphone or by using a smart home assistant like Amazon’s Alexa. With the latter, you can literally tell your home’s smart automation system what you want it to do, and it will do it.
- Flexibility and scalability. Smart home technology systems built around popular protocols can be extremely flexible in terms of the subsequent integration of new devices and controllers. Today, installing high-quality hardware is no more difficult than swapping out a conventional light switch. The more flexible and scalable the system, the more you stand to benefit from it long-term. Scalability should therefore be carefully considered and prioritized before deciding which type of smart home automation system to go for.
- Improved home safety and security. You do not necessarily have to bring an advanced smart surveillance system into your home in order to step up safety and security; something as simple as an automated lighting system can make a huge difference serving as an effective deterrent for would-be intruders. A smart lighting system can be automated to turn specific lights on and off at certain times, or be linked with motion detectors indoors and outdoors. There really is no more effective deterrent than giving the impression your home is occupied at the time.
- Remote access from any location. Being able to access your home’s smart automation system remotely can also be surprisingly useful. For example, you can check whether you have accidentally left any lights on, and turn them off at the touch of a button. You can see whether any of your lights may have been triggered unexpectedly by a motion sensor, and you randomly activate/deactivate lights to give the impression you are at home. If you have a more extensive system of smart devices and controllers, you can access everything from live security camera feeds to real-time information on temperatures and even air quality from any location in an instant.
- Increased energy efficiency. Most smart devices are engineered with improved energy efficiency in mind. They’re designed to function while consuming as little energy as possible, while making it easier to reduce energy consumption. With a smart home lighting system you can adjust the intensity of the illumination with pinpoint precision in order to avoid wasting energy. You can also ensure your lights are only ever activated when they are being used at the time, as opposed to being accidentally left on.
- Longer appliance lifespan. It stands to reason that the more efficiently you use an appliance, the longer it will last. This is something that applies to all electronics and appliances around the home, from light bulbs to refrigerators to central heating systems. Smart home automation enables the efficiency with which your electronics are used to be stepped up significantly. For example, your lights are only used when they are needed, their intensity is carefully controlled to regulate energy use and they can be programmed to shut off at all other times. Along with reducing energy consumption, this carefully regulated use can significantly boost the lifespan of the appliances and accessories in question.
- Intelligent home management. Smart home devices connected to a corresponding mobile app can provide access to some surprisingly eye-opening insights. For example, you could monitor how much time each day your lights are switched on, how much it is costing you to heat your home or even how much TV your kids are watching. This is all the kind of information that can be great for making more informed home management and general lifestyle decisions. If there is something you can do to improve your home’s efficiency, you will have all the information you need in the palm of your hand.
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