Growing up, I heard promises of a great “Jetsonian” future: lives would be simplified by the use of automation. Devices in homes would work in harmony, performing mundane tasks so that people could have more time to enjoy life. Alas, the year 2000 came and left. Promises of flying cars were broken. Simple-to-use home automation was nowhere to be found, until now.
Finally its here! But what do I choose?
There are many choices in automation. For the sake of simplicity, the four major players are: Crestron, AMX, Savant & Control4. Prices vary, dependant on the preferences and the complexity of the setup. Control4 is my personal favorite recommendation for majority of our clients, based on good price, simplicity of use and performance ratio.
So what will home automation do for me?
Simply put, home automation will allow you to use your smart phone, computer or a portable touch-screen panel to:
- Play different music in every room.
- Control your lights or put them on a schedule while you’re away.
- Schedule air conditioning and heating or remotely adjust temperature.
- View interior/exterior of your house while on vacation.
- Automate food dispensing for your animals; open & close pet doors.
- Simplify your home theater with one touch control of multiple devices.
- Control your home’s security system.
- See who’s at the door from any where in your home.
- Open your door without going downstairs.
- Adjust blinds or curtains based on time of day.
Note: The major advantage of including a control system in your home before it’s built is that a system can be easily integrated thus reducing the price of the system. You can start small and as you learn the system you can easily expand it.