10 Most Important Features of a Home Automation System What should a true custom home automation system do?
Introduce 10 Most Important Features of Smart Home and top 10 Smart Home Technology Features
As you probably know, smart home gadgets and home automation are getting a lot of attention these day by large companies like Samsung, Apple and Google. But there can be a wide gap between the ability to link DIY gadgets together across a wireless network and a true custom home automation system. Choosing the best smart home system takes time and research.
The ability to manage your home’s electronic systems from one main control system can make your household run smoother, feel better and save energy. The trick is to find a solution that will meet all the demands of your household, now and in the future. Most custom home automation systems can be tailored by a professional to provide all the benefits you desire, but there are some key features that will make the job easier and your interaction with your system more enjoyable.
The beauty of an automation system is its ability to tie diverse electronic devices together so they can perform as one unified system. Getting these devices to work cohesively can be simple or complex, depending on the “openness” of the automation system. The more open a system is, the easier it will be for the lights, thermostats, audio/video equipment, security devices, motorized shades and other electronics to communicate with each other. A good example of interoperability is having the lights turn off, the thermostats set back when you press a “goodbye” button on a keypad or when a motion sensor notices that you have exited a room.
To support interoperability between multiple electronic devices, manufacturers of home automation systems often form connectivity partnerships with other manufacturers. For example, Control4 has partnered with more than 60 other companies to ensure its line of automation products can communicate seamlessly with a wide variety of other systems—from architectural lighting and irrigation, to multiroom audio.
Another way automation manufacturers are fostering interoperability is through adherence to technology standards. For example, many manufacturers have embedded Z-Wave wireless control technology into their automation products so those products can network easily with other Z-Wave enabled products.
The more connectivity partners a manufacturer has formed and standards it has adopted, the more choices you’ll have as a consumer. More importantly, says CE pro Bill Charney of Advanced Home Audio, Shelton, Conn., “It allows installers to select the best suite products for their clients.”
2. Remote Access
“Automation is all about being able to control things in your home,” says Jay McClellan, president of Leviton Security & Automation, “and part of that is being able to change the settings quickly and easily if your plans change.” More often than not, plans change when you’re not at home, so being able to communicate those changes to your home automation system remotely is one of the most revered features of an automation system. Remote access capabilities allow you to monitor your home’s environment and alter the settings of the lights, thermostats and other gear if necessary all from your laptop, cellphone or iTouch. McClellan believes that remote monitoring should be a service manufacturers and installers provide free of charge. “Why should you pay $30 a month to access your automation system when you’re already paying for broadband access?” he suggests.
Remote access also allows your installer to tweak your system without having to make a house call, which is always cheaper and more convenient.
The way you live in your home five years from now will probably be much different than the way you live in your home today. Moreover, technology will continue to evolve, introducing a completely new generation of products to the marketplace. In the future, you may also want to add new rooms—like a recently finished basement or an addition off the back—to your automation network. Or, you may simply want to start out with just a few features when you first put in your system then add new capabilities later as you have the money. For these reasons, it’s important that a home automation system can be easily expanded vertically to incorporate additional products and horizontally to support additional rooms.
Manufacturers can support vertical and horizontal expandability by designing their systems to speak a common network language, like IP (Internet Protocol), and by offering wireless retrofittable products that can communicate via a home’s existing network of wired products.
Those touchscreens and black boxes may look impressive, but it’s what you don’t see that holds the true power of an automation system. Software is the driving force of an automation system. The more sophisticated that software is, the more the system can do. As technology changes, so must the software. Before you buy any system, be sure the manufacturer (or your CE pro) will be able to unlock and download software updates automatically.
5. Variety of User Interfaces
There are a number of different ways you can control the electronic systems in your home: by pressing the buttons of a handheld remote or wall-mounted keypad, by touching colorful icons on a portable touchpanel or by sliding your finger across your iTouch. Depending on your family dynamic, budget and preferences, you might like to utilize a variety of different controllers (most people do, says McClellan), so make sure the automation manufacturer offers a wide selection of user interfaces.
No one, except for serious early-adopters, likes to be the guinea pig, so choose an automation system with a proven track record. Same goes for the person who installs the system into your home. You should be able to gather some historical background about manufacturers and installers from their company websites.
7. Strong Dealer Network
“You can have great equipment,” says Jeff Singer of automation system manufacturer Crestron, “but you’ll need a highly trained and certified installer in order to get your money’s worth.” Good home automation manufacturers go above and beyond to create a strong dealer network, by offering continual education and training and by supporting multiple dealers in a single geographic area. For consumers, having more than one dealer to choose from is important. When more than one dealer carries a particular product in your area, pricing is more competitive and should one dealer go out of business, there’s someone else you can call to pick up the pieces. (To protect yourself from the possibility of your initial dealer closing up shop, demand that he provide access to your project file, advises Eric Smith of home automation manufacturer Control4. You’ll have all the documentation you need should you ever need to hire someone else.)
8. Energy Management
One of the hottest topics in the consumer media is energy conservation. Automation systems can help save energy by turning off electronic devices automatically, and some do this better than others. Be sure to check out the energy-saving features of a system before you buy.
9. Layers of Protection
Everyone always wonders what happens to an automated house when the power goes out. Does the system forget how to operate the lights when power is restored? If an automation system has the appropriate back-up protection, you won’t have to worry about that.
10. Works for YOU
This goes both for the installer and the manufacturer. Automation is only beneficial and practical if it fits your lifestyle. Since everyone’s lifestyle is different, the manufacturer should provide its installers with the tools to customize the system to your specific needs. System that force you to modify the way you live are not truly custom. If there’s something that you want your system to do and your installer says it’s impossible, either he or the manufacturer has failed you. Keep looking.
Top 10 Smart Home Technology Features
Technology is reaching further into every corner of consumers’ lives, and one of the areas Coldwell Banker recently focused on was smart home technology. After conducting a survey among American buyers, Coldwell Banker released a list of the most important smart home technology features as specified by survey participants. These are 10 examples of top picks.
1. Kevo Smart Lock Americans can do just about everything with their phones, and unlocking doors can now be added to the ever-growing list. With this technology, people can specify times for unlocking the door remotely. This allows realtors, cleaners, neighbors and other permitted parties into a house at a specific time without a key.
2. Nest Learning Thermostat This intuitive new device learns a home occupant’s daily routine over time. As it learns the routine, it adjusts the temperature accordingly. For example, the temperature is higher when the occupant is resting and lower when the occupant is moving around or working out. It is also designed to be energy-efficient enough to save homeowners about 15 percent on their heating and cooling bills.
3. Canary While the main purpose of Canary is security, it has the ability to analyze air quality. It also controls temperatures and humidity by analysis. With an affordable price tag, it is quickly becoming a popular item with many consumers.
4. Iris Safe And Secure Lowe’s and Iris teamed up for this smart system. It includes a self-monitored home security system where users receive notifications on their mobile devices after alarms are triggered.
5. Nest Protect As another great Nest product, this device combines the capabilities of a smoke detector and a carbon monoxide detector. If smoke or CO are detected, a human voice alerts home occupants and specifies which room the threat is in. The voice also lets occupants know if they are in danger and what to do. Since CO is odorless and is considered a silent killer, this detector is an essential smart product for any home. Read more: Smart Home Solutions
6. Lutron Caseta Wireless This product saves home occupants who are perfectionists about lighting plenty of time. It controls battery-operated shades, temperatures and lights for optimal distribution. The settings are based on home occupants’ preferences and can be specified for certain times during the day as well. The best part is that all settings can be controlled and changed via a smartphone.
7. LG Studio Appliances These premium appliances combine top quality with modern design. Ranges, microwaves, ovens and refrigerators in this line are all designed to offer digital features for safety, comfort and ease of use. Users often say that these products are almost as helpful as having an extra hand in the kitchen.
8. Smart Duet Laundry Machines Whirlpool’s new Smart Duet machines offer superior control for every load. Users can wash everything from hand-wash-only items to heavy-duty textiles. They are also compatible with the Nest Learning system. For people who often leave while laundry is still in the washer or dryer, the system will adapt and take steps to keep the laundry fresh until the owner returns.
9. TCL Roku Television Television lovers who want more for their money are flocking to buy this device. In addition to offering over 2,000 streaming channels, the features are easy to use. Many consumers are also pleasantly surprised at the affordable price tag for the comprehensive features that this television offers. Refer to nha thong minh da nang
10. Sage Home Automation Sage is expected to be one of the most popular home automation systems. The entire home is connected and managed through televisions or mobile devices. Home occupants can see what is happening in another room, find out who is ringing the doorbell and adjust the temperature without having to get up. These are just a few of the many technologies in existence to help homeowners and renters make life easier and stay safer. To learn more about smart home technologies and insurance, discuss concerns with an agent. Read more: lap dat nha thong minh da nang