Often associated with the “home automation” systems, “internet of things” has grown tremendously in the last few years.
This technology trend stands for the centralized management of the household’s appliances and other features (temperature, music, lightning, etc.) through the internet, whether the owners are in the house or hundreds of kilometers away.
This concept also applies to commercial premises, as business owners are henceforth able to remotely monitor snd control their offices.
Advantages and popular features
The biggest advantage of those systems is that users can monitor their domestic or commercial activities from a diversity of devices or control them: computers, tablets, smart phones…
Another great and popular asset of home automation and internet of things systems is the variety of equipments and configurations users can manage from one unique device:
- Home entertainment system, TV set, computer, stereo…
- Specific disposition such as the amount of sunlight given to plants, or allowed in certain rooms…
- Saving on energy bills by controlling Rooms’ temperatures, level of sunlight or artificial lightning…
They also feature the remote control of alarms, cameras and security systems.
In fact, it offers system owners/individuals the possibility to check that what is important to them is safe anytime, anywhere, as well as the peace of mind that goes with it.
How to choose the home automation system YOU need?
1) What to automate?
In order to get an exhaustive list of what your automation list should be, take the time to seat in each room of your house and ask yourself this question: “what do I want to automate?
Depending on the room you might want to be able to modify:
- The ambiance: the lightning, the temperature, the music
- The activity setup: home theater system, electronic devices
- The security system setting
- The energy spent by the household depending the time of the day
2) How to automate?
Now that you have your automation list, you get to choose the type of trigger you want to use for each of them:
- Manual switch:
Control at your finger tip.
- It’s … o’clock:
Get the atmosphere and the security settings you want in your household at the time you want it.
- Daylight level:
This is the best energy bills saver: it enables you to customize the light level within your household depending on the outside brightness.
- Honey I’m home!
Motion sensors can turn the lights on when you are home and arm the security system / turn off the lights when you leave.
- We’ve got visitors!
Whether your friends are ringing the bell or a burglar tries to break in, home automation system can be coupled with your lights and alarm system to set the alarm off are get the lights on.
- Follow my voice:
Commands like light or music switch can be activated through voice recognition.
- As easy as a phone call:
Coming home soon? You can access the home automation system with a phone call and get the heat and music on for a relaxing home return.
- Make it your way!
Get the light switched off when the sun is out or the thermostat down when the temp reaches a certain level in your bedroom.
3) Choose controller
Now that you have a better idea of what your home automation system should look like, now it is time to select the technology that will make it happen.
From the simple “hardware” to the complex “hybrid” systems, via the intermediate “software” based controller, the technology you choose should follow the automation picture you just draw in the previous sections:
Hardware controllers are reliable well designed and can be installed into a basement or utility closet. The downside would be the installation of a small central processor (CPUs) which limits the number of automation triggers. Therefore, such “brain” is recommended for simple home automation structure.
Software based controller are ideal if you want your system to be flexible and evolving with the technology capacity and if you are thinking about adding more triggers along the way.
The only tool such a system requires is a dedicated personal computer.
- Hybrid (hardware/software) controller:
If your home automation dream system is a mix of several triggers cited above, you need a reliable system, able to manage and centralize all sorts of signals and functionality. You need to get a hybrid controller.That way you will get the best of both worlds: the flexibility of a software-based system with the stability of a hardware-based controller. The downside is their price relatively higher than the other 2 as they are more powerful processors and can handle complex triggers as voice recognition and are connected to the web.
4) Test the companies’ systems
Many companies offer starter kits and free ‘trials’ versions of their systems. That’s THE occasion to bullet proof the home automation structure you imagined earlier and determine what controller you will actually need.
Also, don’t be shy! Ask your friends and family insights. External advice is always beneficial!
Remember, you will use the system on a daily basis for several years so don’t hesitate to do as many changes as you feel necessary at the beginning so you’ll be sure to make the most out of it.
5) Select the dealer/distributor
As you are refining the system that fits your needs, do not hesitate to contact the service provider and ask question. This is a great test as you don’t want to partner with a company that doesn’t support you along the way or is reluctant to replace defective parts.
Finally, beware of the market pricing policies as the cheapest does not always offer the best value for money.
Contact Us today for a free consultation and get the latest technology to protect what is important to you!