Steps on How to Pick a Home Automation System

A smart home system isn’t necessarily for high-end homes. Here are some tips in putting automation into your home.

You may have seen the homes of famous celebrities on lifestyle shows. Their so-called smarthome, with remote controls for the lights, heating, and cooling, wireless alarm system, home theater system, and even window curtains, have truly amazed us. Though home automation may appear pricey, it doesn’t necessarily mean that only celebrities can take advantage of its futuristic features. Here are some tips on putting up your own home automation system without breaking the bank.

First and foremost, as a reminder, each individual system, such as the lighting, home security systems, home theater system, and heating and cooling, is a subsystem in a general home automation system. As much as possible, install your automation system when your home is still in the building or remodeling process. By doing this, you can save money on rewiring and remolding needed for your system’s peripherals.

Steps

1. Come up with ideas. Go online or check lifestyle magazines and see what’s new and available in your area. You may also look at yellow pages and price shop on services of a Contractor, Plumber, Painter or Electrician.

2. Brainstorm on what you’d like to automate. You may just start small, maybe with just the lights. From there on, you can expand by adding other functions. Aside from lighting and heating and cooling, security cameras for home can be linked with your home theater system, giving total control on your fingertips.

3. Know your budget. Prices can range from a few hundred dollars for a basic system to thousands of dollars for a more sophisticated whole-house automation system.

4. Be sure that the system you’ll go for will work with your existing furnace and other electrical appliances. You may, however, need to change your light switches, alarm and thermostat controls.

5. Position the master control panel in a convenient location, where everyone in the house has easy access to.

6. You may go for a system that utilizes powerline or radio frequency controls if you’re automating an existing home. These can save you money from extra wiring installation for controls. However, these systems tend to be less flexible than systems that function with low-voltage wiring.

7. Pick a system that you can monitor and control remotely. These modern innovations that you’ll surely benefit from can give you the power to shut down the house as you leave and check its status when you’re away. Remote access can usually be achieved through the telephone or internet-based controls.

8. Wireless controllers are also available. Present controllers are usually touch-screen and are programmable. These controllers make perfect sense, especially for senior citizens and physically challenged individuals, since they work anywhere in the house.

9. Partner your system with an uninterruptible power supply to maintain convenience even if the power goes off.

10. If you’re planning to pair products from a variety of companies, be sure that they’re compatible with each other. Choose a system that gives you maximum flexibility.

Linux Home Automation Systems – The Phoenix Of This Era

Home automation systems have become highly popular and are widely available today. The home computer can be used to control the devices and gadgets in the home, by installing the necessary hardware and software. The Linux software allows you to hook up every electronic device in your home to it.

The X10 is one of the first, well known home automation device that is compatible with Linux software. X10 are devices that you may plug into the electrical outlet that allows you the control of the different electronic devices that are plugged into the module. These X10 devices can even be integrated into the light switches to enable you to control lights in the various rooms, remotely. Some may even be set up in climate control devices for automatic operation.

The Firecracker is a device that allows you to control all the X10 devices through a serial port of the home computer. Bottlerocket and GtkX10 two Linux programs allow the control of the X10 modules via the Firecracker device. This is a Linux add-on that costs only $5.95 and consists of a receiver, lamp module and a remote control for operation of the X10 devices. Some manufacturers are developing devices that are compatible to any version of Linux software. These will enable you to control all the home automated devices through Linux software installed in your home PC.

Linux is the best program to be developed to act as a server and for internet connectivity. Therefore, Linux can be deemed to be the best choice for controlling home automation systems. A single click of the mouse will enable you to control the home automation system. Remote control programs can be installed for Linux, thus making it possible to remotely access your PC through internet connectivity. This means that you can remotely control the lights or the security system through the internet.

Automated features can be scheduled with the help of Linux. Scheduling of the lights to switch on or off can also be programmed with Linux. This means additional security for your home or office. You may preprogram the climate control device or the audio system to start at a particular time. You no longer need to struggle with the switches once you reach home; it is already taken care of by the home automation system.

The Linux system is the cheapest home automation system and you can easily install one with the different program versions of Linux and add-on devices. Linux software can be used to gain access to the electronic gadgets and equipment in your home.

With Linux system, home automation is a cheap and affordable convenience. All you require is the software and hardware to be installed in your computer to control all the devices in your house. Life becomes a bit easier and comfortable with home automation systems and using Linux makes it affordable to many.

Home Automation Technology: How It Can Benefit Our Lives (and Pocketbook)

When it comes to the question of whether or not you should invest in a solution for home automation, price is no doubt an important factor. And that is especially true, given the current state of the economy. After all, with unemployment being as high as it is, and people tightening their belts and struggling to make ends meet, you might think that the last thing on peoples’ minds is home automation. Price points may justifiably make it out of reach for many people, as the use of this type of technology is considered by many to be a frivolous luxury.

Their argument is that who in their right mind would want to control a toaster oven, a vacuum cleaner, or a coffee maker from their computer anyway? They posit the question that have we become so lazy and have we geeked out so much that we can’t simply just control our appliances the old-fashioned way. But what these people don’t realize is that while it is true that for some people, it is just a luxury that they can do without out, there are many others who can actually benefit from and may actually even need home automation. Price is not an issue, when you look at the issue through the lens of someone who actually needs and is dependent on this technology in order to function, or from the perspective of someone whose life could be improved or could operate more smoothly with the implementation of this technology.

Let’s take a look at some practical applications of the use of home automation technology and how it can benefit our lives:

  • Physically challenged people are perfect candidates for home automation technology, and could stand to greatly benefit from it. Whether you are handicapped or you are elderly, you can leverage the use of home automation technology to make the job of managing your household easy to do with a few mouse clicks. Simple tasks that many of us take for granted can be automated so that people with physical impediments don’t ever have to worry about them. Such tasks include: * Opening and closing window blinds * Regulating or operating room fans * Programming thermostats * Timing and automating the locking and unlocking of doors and windows * Managing the general security system * Programming lawn water sprinklers Using a state-of-the-art home automation system, each of these aforementioned functions, and many more, can be centrally managed from a computer.
  • Can you ever put a price tag on your personal security? When it comes to home automation, price should not trump your safety and security. Safeguarding your property and your person takes priority over all else. A home automation system can provide an all-inclusive, complete security solution that includes the management of windows and doors, locks, gates, garage doors, motion sensors, motion-triggered lawn lighting, surveillance cameras, alarm systems, and 911 emergency notifications. Home automation systems can be retrofitted for both home as well as commercial properties.
  • Child-proofing is a common problem that millions of parents have to deal with as their toddlers learn to walk and interact with their environment. Child proofing is yet another practical application of home automation. Price should never be a constraint when it comes to keeping your children and your household safe. If you find that your toddler is constantly getting into things or fiddling with appliances that he or she should not be, then you can manage your home’s child-proofing needs centrally from your computer. Managing electrical appliances and the locking and operation of windows, gates, door locks, and blinds is easy to do with a home automation system. Keeping your children out of harm’s way is every parent’s primary responsibility. Keeping your home secure and safe is the first step in managing risks. Home automation can bring you peace of mind.
  • Many cost-conscious homeowners would be happy to know that there is yet another very practical application of home automation: Price control over out-of-control, skyrocketing utility bills such as electric, gas, water, and sewage. Home automation systems can be leveraged to help you conserve energy. The automation of windows and blinds to allow sunlight in, or to keep cold or heat drafts from coming through is one example of how it works. Other examples include thermostat control, as well as the heating and cooling of water and the shutting off of unnecessary appliances during the day when nobody is home.