Design a Simple Home Automation System with These Tips

homeThere is one good reason why people seek automation: efficiency. Take, for example, a thermostat. A thermostat is a household device that regulates both cold and hot temperature. The programmable ones can be customized according to your desired coldness and hotness. Once such level is breached, the thermostat then “communicates” with the heater or air-conditioning unit to do its work.

However, because thermostats are very sensitive to any change in temperature, there are times when it activates the connected devices even when it’s not supposed to do so, and it can happen when you’re not around. Moreover, perhaps you’ve just completely forgot to turn the device off. Without your knowledge, you’re increasing your utility bill.

By using an automated thermostat system, such as the one from Nest, you may be able to control the device directly through your phone or wirelessly, allowing you to save money in the process.

Efficiency may also be measured by the amount of effort you put to perform a certain task. While manually inputting numbers or settings to a thermostat doesn’t really constitute a lot of work, automation still makes the process faster, easier, and more convenient.

How to Design Your Home for Automation

1. Know your objectives. You can always automate for some random reason, but doing so is simply wasting money and time.

There are many ways automation can help you, including:

  • Feeding your pets at a certain time
  • Turning the lights on and off when you want them to
  • Brewing coffee first thing in the morning
  • Cooking food before you get home from work

When you know what you need, you know what kinds of home automation technologies for look for.

2. Start simple. Since you’re new to home automation, it’s always best if you begin with simple systems first, then add more modules as you understand how it works and you’re more prepared to deal with its complexity. Today companies such as WeMo sell starter kits. This saves you the hassle of figuring out how to make these various components “talk” to one another.

3. Choose a good brand. To make automation truly successful, it’s highly advisable that you stick with one brand only. This way, you’re assured that these devices are compatible with a certain networking protocol, and they can seamlessly work together.

4. Connect them with your phone. Home automated systems work in so many different ways, depending on their networking protocol. But you may want to make the most of your mobile technology by using a system that lets you control devices wirelessly or via smartphone, tablet, or laptop. For example, a WeMo Light Switch can be turned on and off as long as your phone is Wi-Fi-enabled or running on 3G or 4G. You can also download an app that details how energy is used and how much power is consumed.

5. In time, consider a central hub. The hub is basically a device or platform that connects all your devices. It improves control and efficiency significantly.