What Home Automation can do...........
*Turning lights off and on automatically when it’s light or getting dark.
*Opening and closing curtains or blinds remotely.
*Timers that can switch appliances on and off automatically.
*Motorised windows and garage doors that open and close at the flick of a switch.
*Fingerprint recognition door locks.
*Taps that turn themselves on remotely and then off before they overflow a sink or bath.
*Fridges that re-order food when you run out.
*Robotic vacuum cleaners and lawn mowers.
*Fire and carbon monoxide detectors that can set off sound or flashing alarms.
To begin to automate your home, you will need to think about installing an intelligent system. This normally consists of a main hub that is programmed to suit your requirements. It can be installed to control anything in your home from the lighting to entertainment systems, heating, appliances, and security and safety features.
These systems can also use remote access so you can dial in when you are away and get a TV program recorded, or switch the oven or kettle on so it’s ready when you get home.
Depending on your budget, you can have a system like this that controls everything possible or you can have a system for each of the utilities, which you can add to over time.
Automation is about making life in the home easier and safer
For example, it is possible to have all your lighting automated so that when you arrive home the drive lights come on. Then you press a remote to open the garage door, which switches another light on. Once you’ve left your car, the lights show you the way to the front door. By the time you have unlocked it, the lights switch on as you move from room to room.
Alternatively, you can have your entertainment distributed around the house with multi-room audio visual system. Music and TV can be downloaded from the internet and sent anywhere around the home, or to a hand-held device, such as an I-pad or games console.
A more elaborate system can play the same music, film or TV on monitors and speakers in every room (or allow you to choose different tracks, music or programs for each room from a central set of controls). It can even be programmed to follow you via a detection system which notices when you move from room to room.
You might be tempted by an automated cinema room with a projector and screen that come down at the touch of a button, as well as lighting and blinds or curtains that adapt to your chosen settings.
Remote home automation
If you have a second home, or are away a lot, it may be worth considering improving your home to increase security, ensure your garden is always well watered and that in freezing weather, you can turn on the heating to avoid burst pipes.
This technology works by installing software on your mobile phone to access appliances in the home. If you have a security system that alerts you to someone ringing the doorbell or trying to get into your home, you can tune into the security camera and see what’s happening. So you know whether it’s a false alarm or time to call the police.
Alternatively you can access your control systems from the internet. Typically the networking software installed in your home allows you to operate the systems from a website.
Automation isn’t just for indoors – it can help to keep your garden in shape, too. Look at fitting an irrigation system linked into your home network. Rain water collected can the take care of your lawns, containers and hanging baskets though a network of hidden pipes throughout the garden.
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