Home automation, an introduction
Who doesn't like a little bit of hacking. Everyone desires a little bit of automation in their homes to make their lives easier. Home automation is a generic term for controlling + automating various features of your home ( like lighting, appliances, heat, water usage, etc) electronically, often using an on-location hub – which may or may not depend on a cloud service – for connectivity and control, and interfacing to humans through a smartphone or web interface.
Lets master the theory !
Home automation is comprised of two basic concepts: “Control” + “Automation”.
- Control - the home network and devices using various modes, like a remote, voice command to alexa, a smartphone app, web interface etc..
- Automation - tasks can be clubbed together to automate your home. Like turn off the lights, increase the air conditioning and switch on the projector when you say "Movie time"
Understanding the hardware !
Today, a smart house generally comprises of switches and sensors connected via various protocols to a central hub , with a human interface through a smartphone app or the web
- Switches - As the name implies can be turned on / off remotely. (Your smart plug is a switch too)
- Sensors - can be remotely monitored, and using a smartphone to interact with electronic devices
- Central hub - A device with a radio that can connect to all your Iot (Internet of things) and your home wifi. The hub is the central controller and must remain inside the house and should be turned on all the time for the devices to talk to each other
Done with the theory, what next ?
The easiest way to set up home automation is to start with stand-alone Wi-Fi or Bluetooth friendly products. Present market has many consumer products which come with pre-existing Wi-Fi modules.You can use smart mobile apps or connect the products to a wireless gateway to communicate with them to start you home automation journey.
Often, The best place to start is at your personal pain point and starting small. For many people, the most obvious pain point is their heating or cooling bill, so their first home automation product is a smart thermostat. From there, they might move on to controlling lights, or installing whole-home audio, building up a system piece by piece.
Hang on ! we have great guides coming up to inspire you on your home networking journey.