Making your home more enjoyable and raising its resale value used to mean installing new windows or adding a deck. Today, buyers want a smart home. That means a house chock full of home automation gadgets for a DIY home automation.
How do you get that, though? What does it really mean to automate your home? What areas can you automate? We’ll explore all of those questions and provide a few of the top product choices for DIY home automation in this article.
What is Home Automation?
The term home automation refers to a technological system enabling you to automate electrical, electronic, and technology-based tasks that involve living in your home or the home itself. You don’t need the technological systems to all come from the same manufacturer. You don’t need to install all of the pieces at one time. Like a jigsaw puzzle, you can add a piece at a time. You can add to the system on your own schedule. The DIY home automation system consists of a device controller like Amazon Alexa or Google Assistant, appliances, electronic devices, and software. Two other terms refer to home automation – domotics and smart home.
Processes in Home Automation
What makes a smart home, well… smart? Its home automation system brings together diverse devices from the fields of automation, electronics, IT, and telecommunications to control the most frequently used systems within the home. By doing this, the homeowner maximizes efficiency within that system. The home automation system controls the following areas of your home:
- Heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC) systems,
- Internet and network access,
- Security systems, include network-enabled surveillance cameras,
- Lighting fixtures and electronic appliances.
These devices can interconnect via a wired or wireless network. The home automation system requires the appliances and devices. It also requires software to manage the system, controller installation, temperature, and motion sensors. In some cases, it may require other components, too.
These systems control your appliances from your smart refrigerator to overhead lights and lamps. You can also control other electrical devices and audiovisual equipment, plus household appliances with your DIY home automation system. Typically, these systems also let you manage the thermostat, alarm systems, sprinklers, and other security and safety devices.
Why Automate Your Home?
Automating home functions makes your life easier. You can turn on the lights in a room with the sound of your voice, which makes it simpler to enter your home with both hands full. For that matter, you can open and close your front door with a voice command. You can also use your voice to turn on the TV, radio, or computer.
Home automation also helps improve efficiency. Your new thermostat can help you maximize the efficiency of your HVAC by creating timers that turn the system on and off at specified points. The system can also help you choose the optimum temperature for each season and ensure that your HVAC system only heats or cools to that temperature. You can optimize the operation of your freezer, refrigerator, and water heater, so they each operate at a cost-efficient temperature that still provides the needed operations.
Your DIY home automation system also helps the diverse equipment work well together. Your security system might come from Ring, while your thermostat might come from Honeywell. Those two systems can still function on the same larger interconnected system by using a third-party software or hardware solution.
This makes the operation of all systems simpler for you. You can control all of the home’s gadgets and systems from one software or hardware interface. That means that you can use one program on your computer to design all of the efficiency operations for your thermostat, as well as, setting up efficient operations for your appliances. You can even add sensors to your windows and doors to automate their use. Integrate your lights into the system so you can turn on a reading lamp or the overhead lights. You can have a device like Alexa that controls all of the computers and automated functions. Devices like that can access your music on Spotify or movies and shows on Hulu.
Methods of Networking
You will have a choice between three methods of networking. In some cases, you can mix the network types:
- Wireless network technology
- Wired network technology
- Line Carrier (CPD) technology
You probably understand the wired and wireless options.Chances are that you likely use WiFi on a daily basis. You probably used wired tech before you used it wirelessly. CPD includes cable networks and powerline technology. The former uses provide energy impervious to electromagnetic disturbances. It works best in new construction settings, otherwise, you will have work crews in your home for a longer period of time. The latter technology uses household outlets to transmit information. Each outlet receives the specific information intended for it. When you move, you can take the information with you to a new location, but this option produces more electromagnetic pollution.
Getting Started with Home Automation
Your home doesn’t have to start out as a smart home. You can purchase a single device to start the process of home automation. This won’t cost you much and it lets you customize the options by starting with what you want the most or the automation with which you feel the most comfortable. Here are a few ideas:
- Robot vacuum for hard to reach places
- Smart air purifier to reduce allergens
- Security/pet camera, so you can monitor your home
- Alexa, Google Home, or Amazon Echo Dot to run essentials like lights and order groceries
- Smart air fryer that notifies you when it preheats.
Ring Smart Lighting System
You can ensure you come home to a well-lit yard by creating a security lighting network for your home’s perimeter and walkway. All of the items in lights manufactured by Ring work together, including its spotlights, floodlights, pathway lights, and step lights. You can add to the system as you desire, so if you find that the floodlights do not provide enough illumination and you need step lights to easily see each stair, then you can add those weeks or months later. These battery-powered devices also provide an easy-to-install system.
Each motion-activated light functions independently, but you can connect them using a Ring Bridge. That lets you control the lighting system using Alexa voice commands or via the Ring app on your phone. You can connect these with a Ring security camera, such as its Stickup Cam Battery, allowing your system to record video at the detection of motion. You’ll pay about $20 per light and between $99.99 to $179.99 for the camera.
Ezviz Wi-Fi Video Doorbell
Perhaps you just want to know who rang the doorbell. The Ezviz DB1C Wi-Fi Video Doorbell offers an affordable solution for less than $100. The camera delivers an HD video picture, and you can choose a wide-angle. The HD camera comes with options for both local and cloud storage, voice control, and you can network it with third-party smart devices. You’ll pay about $99.99 for this doorbell camera.
Google Nest (Formerly Known as Google Home)
Starting at $49, you can set up your home as a smart home with the Google Nest Mini. The full version costs $99. Both devices work with more than 5,000 smart devices. You can connect your entertainment systems, Android and iPhone/iPad devices, security systems, thermostats, and many other items. You can’t control your lighting with it, but you can protect your privacy. Current generations of the devices have a manual microphone switch, so you can shut off Google’s ability to listen in at any time. You can also delete your Google Assistant history whenever you like.
Echo Powered by Alexa
If someone says they own an Alexa, they mean an Echo or Echo Dot. Alexa is the name of the artificial intelligence (AI) character you speak with, much like Cortana on Windows and Siri on an iPhone. It does all the same functions as a Google Nest with a starting cost of $34.99. Its devices range up to $249. It has always used the mic shut off and provides a method to turn off its motion sensors and a camera shutter on its high-end models with a video screen.
Samsung Smart Hubs
Samsung offers smart hubs, too, so if you want an electronic gadget from an electronics company, you might try one of these hubs. The entry point cost of $49.99 remains affordable and costs range up to $99 for the fanciest device. You get the same set of controls as the other gadgets, but Samsung makes such high-end devices that you’ll have a tough time nabbing one. They often sell out in retail outlets and in the company’s online store.
Getting Help with a Full Home Automation System
Maybe you do not want to DIY home automation, or you need a little extra help with your system. Turn to ONIT Home for help with your home automation installation.
Partnering with ONIT Home gives you access to top equipment, inside deals, and bundling specials that span across your whole household. To find out more, visit us online today or give us a call at 1-833-433-0331.