Picture of Home Automation Devices Communicating

What is Home Automation?

Home automation is part of "The Internet of Things," also known as IoT. The way devices and appliances can be networked together to provide us with seamless control over all aspects of your home and more. Home automation has been around for many decades in terms of lighting and simple appliance control. Recently technology caught up with the idea of the interconnected world at the touch of your fingertips or a simple voice command to Alexa, Google Assistant, Siri, and Cortana. The dream of making your home smart is now a reality. Smart Home and home automation are quite interchangeable, in fact, if you research what is a smart home most of the same results will appear.

With home automation, you can dictate how a device should react, when it should react, and why it should react. Set a schedule to determine when you want devices to turn on and off. Based on your personal preference you can control time, money, and convenience.

New home automation technology can send alerts to your smartphone and notify you about unforeseen events while you're away from home. Such as water leaks, visitors at your front your door, and even remotely turning on lights while you're on vacation, at work, or anywhere else.

Grab your iPhone or Android to remotely control and change the settings in your house through a home automation app. Right now, there is an automation frenzy and more than one-third of US consumers own two or more smart home devices, and it's growing.

The Automation Frenzy

When Alexa or Google Home arrives on the front doorstep, you open a world of endless home automation technologies and techniques.

In the tech world of endless possibilities; you can automate lamps, wifi thermostats, light switches, light bulbs, locks, home security sensors, life safety sensors, video cameras, doorbells, speakers, and more.

Smart Home Automation Definition

Smart Home Automation Definition

Smart home automation is the era of smartphones and AI communicating to automate your home to be interconnected. Recently, voice assistants such as Amazon Alexa and Google Home allow users to connect with home appliances. With a command of "Alexa turn on the bedroom light."

The term smart home and home automation are quite interchangeable. In fact, some users call it smart home automation.

The terminology of smart home refers to interconnected home consisting of devices that run off WiFi to Increase user experience. For example Smart light switches, security systems, electrical appliances, and other devices that communicate with one another.

Home automation is the process and a small feature behind what a smart home or interconnected home really is. A smart home usually runs off a hub connected to the internet, and sends waves of communication to other devices.

How Does Home Automation Work?

How Does Automation Work?

Saving time and money, smart home products give you the ability to control your home, lighting, appliances, and some decor from a smartphone, an Apple watch, and even voice control.

Remember those lights you can turn on with the sound of a clap?

If you're like me, I have a very tough time waking up in the mornings. My lights are set to turn on at 4:58 AM as a two-minute warning. At 5:00 AM, the Alexa alarm sets off and tells me to wake up. At 5:05 AM my bathroom light turns on, then I start my morning routine. Smart home devices are customizable to your schedule or morning routine.

Some people even set up Alexa in their kitchen to make them a cup of coffee in the morning. Here are some other ways to connect Alexa in the kitchen.

Smartphone & Apple Watch

Smartphone & Apple Watch

Pull out your smartphone anywhere in the world and control your home. In a majority of home automation apps, you can set schedules when you are on the living room couch or millions of miles away thousands of miles away. Over 1.5 million people have an apple watch. From your apple watch you can also control smart home products.

Home Automation Apps

Home Automation Apps

Remember the saying "There's an App for that?"

Home automation apps allow a smartphone interface to control devices wherever there's connection.

A few smart home applications are Insteon, Nest, Honeywell, Ring, Philips Hue, WeMo, and SmartThings.

Top Home Automation Apps

Top Home Automation Apps

Nest

The Nest App allows people to control the Nest Learning Thermostat, Nest Secure Alarm, Nest Cam and other "Works with Nest' products. The Nest application also tracks the thermostat and temperature preferences and programs itself accordingly to work for you. Users report the Nest App is easy to use.

Insteon

Using the Insteon Home Automation App requires the Insteon Hub. However, the app makes adding customizable control to your lighting appliances throughout your home. On the app you can remotely control your entire Insteon network, receive cloud-based emails and text alerts, run timers, set scenes, and do this all from your mobile device or apple watch. Insteon also integrates with Alexa, Google Assistant and Cortana.

How Does Smart Home Technology Work?

How Does Smart Home Technology Works

Smart home technology is based on the idea that communication signals can be sent between devices to make something happen - like pressing a button on a remote control lights or on your smartphone to have a light turn on or off or dim.. There are various technologies used to make this happen, some use existing you home power lines, somme using radio frequency, (RF), some using Wi-Fi, and some using a combination of these. Technology Explained:

Wi-Fi Only

Wi-Fi technology can be really fast and super simple to set up. Typically, home automation devices using Wi-Fi for communication can be quickly setup using an app, and will not require a hub or other interface for remote control from a smartphone or voice control - as the communication comes straight from your Wi-FI Router to the devices. There are limitations to the numbers of devices on Wi-Fi network, so if you don't plan on having a significant amount of home automation products, this is a good fit for you.

Z-Wave & Zigbee

Z-Wave and Zigbee are the two most popular wireless technologies, using RF to communicate between devices. These technologies are licensed out, meaning any number of companies can create their own products using Z-Wave and Zigbee technology. As a result (for the most part) all Z-Wave devices can work with each and all Zigbee devices can work together - regardless of brand. A Hub, or other Z-Wave interfaces will be required for smartphone control or voice control of Z-Wave products.

Insteon

Insteon technology uses power line and radio frequency to communicate and transmit signals. The Insteon Hub is required if you'd like to control Insteon devices from a smartphone, voice control, or to set schedules. Insteon products run of their own special frequency allowing older generations of the product to work with new ones through the Insteon Hub and home automation app.

Which technology works best for you?

The dual mesh network Insteon products use to make it a great choice for those who want the best combination of reliability and affordability - and have the potential for a whole home full of devices to connect.

The Perks & Benefits of a Home Automation Solution

The Perks and Benefits of Automation

If you're on a tropical beach in the Caribbean, on the way home from work, or don't want to get out of bed, home automation products make life simple.

Give Alexa or Google a voice command to turn on the air conditioning or open up your home automation app and turn on the lights while on a vacation.

Home Automation Perks Convenience

CONVENIENCE

Control and automate just about every device and appliance within your home makes life easy. We've all gotten used to controlling our TV from the couch; just wait until you are able to dim the lights or turn on the a/c without getting up.

Imagine adjusting the temperature from your bed or controlling the volume of your whole-house audio system from any room. Or imagine having a the heater in your bathroom turning on automatically 5 minutes before the alarm goes off. It makes the chilly mornings much more bearable.

Home Aautomation Perks Safety

SAFETY

Always on guard and ready, a home automation solution can also provide security and safeguarding for your home. From a wireless security camera keeping an eye on things to a water sensor that will alert you of a possible costly leak, an automated home keeps your property under surveillance so you can react at a moment's notice.

We're all used to opening the garage door from the car, but you'll be surprised how much safer you'll feel coming home to a lit home and even turning on more lights before you enter. With a couple of basic products, you can have your whole house light up like Fort Knox when there is motion detected at any corner of your house.

Imagine your receiving an email if there is motion when there shouldn't be any. Or receiving a call if there is a window or door that is opened when you aren't home. The preference is truly yours!

Home Automation Perks Energy Savings

ENERGY SAVINGS

Home automation works efficiently for you, saving money on your utilities. Automating your home grants the ability to perform tasks simultaneously, without thinking. Smart thermostats and smart light bulbs save energy but only operating when you want them to.

Home Automation Perks Fun

FUN

Home automation gets you involved. Set your personal preferences and actions, then sit back and enjoy using the latest in home automation technology. Though such technology might seem complex, it remains completely flexible and user-friendly making for a fun experience. Whether viewing visitors at your front door on your TV or tuning your stereo by using voice recognition, you'll find home automation surprisingly enjoyable. When it comes to impressing the friends, you'll be happy to show off your newfound applications.

Home Automation Perks Customization

Customization

The many conveniences of a smart home rely on the freedom to do what you please. Set schedules when you would like air conditioner to turn off or on, when you want the lights to turn on and to what brightness. Label lights using a home automation app for your devices, and use your voice to tell them when you want them on or off.

For Example:

I have, what I call "party lights" in my backyard. They are string lights with bulbs but I enjoy the term party lights. When I have friends over, I give the command "Alexa, turn my party lights on" a simple response of "okay." It always gets a chuckle or how did you do that?

Now, you can customize things in any room of your house. Automatically regulate and control the devices that you normally turn on and off every day. With a home automation system, you can do it. When you're out of the house and wondering if you remembered to turn off your lights, your smart system will be there to answer the question.

The Smart Home Market

The market for smart lighting, in particular, is expected to grow the fastest. One of the reasons that people continue to embrace smart home technology in their lives is because companies are taking the initiative to educate their customers about what options are available. The benefits that home automation can offer are incredible and the potential value these systems could add to homes is unparalleled.

As the category continues to grow, some consumers want help with how these systems work and contribute to their lives.

While the smart home technology market was previously filled with small companies offering their individual products and services, these days many of these companies are operating under larger umbrellas. This shift has helped with the compatibility of home automation products and has made them more accessible and affordable.

Product purchases are increasing

As a result, smart home technology is now commonplace as people have accepted and adopted home automation as part of their lifestyle. Just as mobile banking and other technology-oriented services became easier to navigate and trust over time, smart home products are already starting to win over consumers.

According to a recent study, after buying one smart product, 70% of those consumers buy another smart product.

This, combined with decreasing prices, will help bring even more innovation to the home automation space. Companies will have more capabilities to experiment and improve their product offerings, especially in regards to integration with other smart systems and networks.

We have said enough about what a home automation solution can do, now it's time for you to get started. Below are some product recommendations.

Get Started With Home Automation Products

  1. Start with Voice Products
    Alexa kitchen

The main voice products are Amazon's Alexa and Google Home.With both products you can do things like:

  • - Shopping lists
  • - Calendar control
  • - Reminders
  • - Questions
  • - Jokes

And commands such as:

  • - Play a song on Spotify
  • - Listen to Ebooks
  • - Order something on the internet

We recommend looking into our pages that allow combinations with ecosystem. The list is scraping the surface of what voice assistant products can do.

If you'd like a more in-detail guide on Alexa check out, Guide Master.

  1. Look for Home Automation Starter Kits
Alexa kitchen

Philips Hue Smart Bulb Starter Kit

The Phillips Hue starter kit is easy as 1,2,3 to install in your home. No need to call an electrician, install with ease and enjoy custom lighting anywhere in your home. Control the Phillips products from virtually anywhere and create any mood or setting the heart desires.

Download the Philips hue app and start your light schedules to suit your needs.

Smart home starter kits and hubs allows any individual the ability for a DIY solution. Now getting started with a home automation solution is more efficient, easier, and cost-effective than ever.

Most home automation kits you just have to plug in, connect, and enjoy. We will recommend a couple of products that make it easy for anyone to begin their journey towards home automation.

Easy set up, and no need for wires, an electrician, or installation. You simply plug into the wall, connect to wifi, then dim lights to your liking. Connect your smartphone and control your lights wherever you are on the globe.

Are you a heavy sleeper? Set schedules to turn the lights on for the extra push to get out of bed.

The Phillips Hue starter kit is one of the easiest start pack to set up. It's easy to set up doesn't scrape the surface in comparison to how cheap and effective the product is to purchase.

Insteon Plug-In Starter Kit with Amazon Echo Dot

Insteon Starter Kit

The Insteon in-wall Starter kit with Alexa is a bang for your buck. The simplistic setup, voice control, and ease of use are the perfect segway to home automation. However, you must install the Insteon Hub to interface the Amazon Echo Dot and is compatible on all insteon devices.

Start your journey to home automation with the Home Remote Starter Kit, which includes the Insteon Hub and 2 lamp dimming modules. The starter kit is a great way to test if you'd like to automate your home and control from a smartphone. We talked a little bit about the Insteon hub. Remote control lighting is controlling your products via smartphone, laptop, apple watch, home assistant, and more

You can control all Insteon products from smart light bulbs, wall switches, outlets, thermostats, and receive an instant text or email alerts from motion sensors, water leak sensors, door sensors, and smoke sensors.

The simple, easy set-up requires 3 minutes of your time and offers live status updates for connected items.

Final Thoughts

Smart Home is your trusted home automation adviser providing reviews to products we know and love. Turn your house into a home with home automation today! Did we miss something? Think we should feature a different product? Let us know on our smart home social media page!

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