Benefits of Home Automation

Discover the benefits of using home automation smart devices. Learn about buying smart lights, security thermostats and converting old devices.

Home automation allows you to control electrical devices in your home remotely. These devices are either controlled with an app or program, or if you are inside of your house, by voice commands. You can also program your devices to automatically trigger at set times. For example, a smart thermostat will automatically turn your air conditioning on and off based on the temperature of your home. You can also set your lights to automatically turn on or off at select hours. Home automation is primarily used for convenience, but you can also use automated control over your electronics to help reduce heating, cooling and electricity bills.

Automated devices connect to the internet using Wi-Fi and Bluetooth connections. There are three different categories for automated devices. Monitored devices let you remotely view a feed, such as a security camera. Control refers to any smart device you can turn on or off or change settings using an app. Automation is any device with customizable settings, such as your living room lights turning on when the front door opens.

Advantages of Home Automation

There are many benefits to home automation. For many homeowners, the biggest advantage is convenience. Smart devices are designed with compatibility in mind, allowing you to keep all your technology connected through a single interface. Not only are the devices easy to access, but you do not have to worry about learning multiple systems or compatibility issues. Another convenience factor comes from flexibility. Not only are all current smart devices compatible, but because they are built off of the same system, new technology remains compatible.

Home automation makes your house more comfortable, but it has practical uses as well. With monitored devices, you can keep an eye on your home even when you are out of state. You can further improve your security with automated door locks and other devices. These allow you to contact emergency responders for immediate assistance. There are also some convenience factors as well, such as being able to remotely unlock the house while at work if a family member forgot a key.

Smart devices keep you from using too much power by automatically turning off at scheduled times or if they are not in use. Even when the devices are on, they are more energy-efficient compared to older devices, which provides further savings. Many devices even include pre-programmed modes, so you do not need to constantly change the controls to get the perfect settings.

Alexa and Google Home

There are several hubs you can connect your smart devices to, but Alexa and Google Home are considered the largest. In addition to connecting your devices, both products feature speakers, allowing you to listen to music or audio books and perform online searches. With basic voice commands, you can perform a number of basic tasks, such as ordering food, getting news updates, setting alarms and even paying your bills.

Ecobee SmartThermostat

Ecobee is one of the top produces of smart thermostats, with their latest model building off the success of previous products. The most unique feature of the Ecobee is the remote sensor, which detects both the current temperature and the number of people in a room. The thermostat provides greater precision and temperature control, making adjustments not only based on the number of people in your home, but where they are located.

It also includes many extra features. Through the Ecobee speakers, you can connect to Spotify and play music. It also includes a home security camera with a 180-degree field of view. As of writing, the latest Ecobee thermostat costs $220.

Philips Hue White A19 Starter Kit

With so many smart lights to choose from, it can be intimidating to select which set to use. Philips is a good choice if you want customizable lights that are also compatible with other devices. Using the Philips app, you can connect your lights to another system, such as a television or computer. When you are using a connected device, the lights will automatically change to a new setting. Not only can you change brightness settings, but you can make the lights flash or change color based on the music or movies you are watching. The starter kit has a greater price variance based on where you shop, costing anywhere from $85 to $120. A standard kit comes with two bulbs, but more advanced kits contain extra bulbs. You can also purchase individual bulbs, up to a total of 50.

Vivint Home Security System

Vivint sells multiple security devices, but the most cost-effective option is to purchase a security system. The security system includes an outdoor camera, doorbell camera and a smart lock. The doorbell camera also contains a speaker, allowing you to communicate with anyone outside of your door. The camera will automatically send an alert if the sensors detect someone lurking around your home. You can configure the exact time settings to avoid false alarms if you know someone will be outside, such as a landscaper working on your yard. Advanced packages also include a car guard and additional cameras. Because the packages are customizable, you must contact Vivint directly to get a quote.

Amazon Smart Plug

Some homeowners are picky about the type of devices they use in their home. Even if a smart device is technically better, it can be difficult to upgrade. If you do not want to upgrade to a smarter device, you can partially convert an older device using the Amazon Smart Plug. When you plug an older device into the Smart Plug, the Smart Plug allows you to remotely active or deactivate the device. The device is compatible with Alexa, so you can use both an app and voice commands to turn the device on and off. You are unable to access any other controls on the device. Many homeowners use the Smart Plug to turn their older lights into a smart system, allowing them to keep the lighting system they are comfortable with. The Smart Plug is designed with affordability in mind, costing only $24.99.