Home Automation Guide
What is Home Automation?
An Automated Home is one filled with ‘smart’ technologies that automatically adjust to your lifestyle or can be controlled remotely via mobile Apps. Ranging from ‘learning’ thermostats to ‘smart’ smoke alarms, these devices can improve the security and safety of your home while increasing comfort and reducing energy bills. Many Home Automation products can also be controlled with a remote control or through a simple Web portal – ideal for those without an App enabled device.
What could I do with Home Automation?
Home Automation devices enable you to fully control all your lighting, heating and appliances with the touch of a button, all from one device. Costly and energy-wasting functions like heating no longer become a matter of guesswork with ‘smart’ thermostats and radiator valves – these clever technologies learn your daily routine and only heat your home – or specific rooms – when you need the warmth. Your heating system could even learn the details of your home, like which rooms take the longest to heat and where you have a draught. A ‘smart’ home automation heating system would then take this knowledge, as well as external factors such as the weather, into account when heating the house so that your home is always at your ideal temperature exactly when you want it.
Using innovative Geofencing technology, your heating, lighting and security systems can sync themselves to your phone’s location and only become active when necessary. For example, you can choose for your heating system to turn off and your security camera to turn on as you leave the house. Once you’ve set these preferences, you’ll never have to worry about your Home Automation again – these ‘smart’ devices will automatically adjust depending on your location, no matter what the change of plan.
Many Home Automation products are also pre-set with ‘IFTTT’ (‘If This Then That’) technology. This allows you to connect any enabled ‘smart’ product to whatever websites or apps you like, personalising appliances to your every need. You can get your greenhouse heater to turn on if the weather predicts a frost, set your kettle to boil 3 minutes before your mobile calendar expects a guest or even make your TV turn on every time there’s a breaking news alert in a sector you are interested in. With ‘IFTTT’ Home Automation products, the only limit is your imagination.
Home Automation can also be used to improve the security of your home; many people leave a light on for the entire duration of a holiday, but this façade doesn’t replicate your daily routine and often does not deter potential thieves. An Automated lighting system can continue turning your lights on and off as you would do at home, making it look as though you’re home. Not having a light continuously on would also save you money!
How else can Home Automation save me money?
Being able to closely monitor the functions of your home not only improves your comfort while reducing hassle, but is also a great way to easily save money on energy bills. Many people waste energy by heating their whole house with one thermostat, meaning they heat unoccupied or unnecessary rooms. A ‘smart’ home automation heating solution like MiHome Wireless Radiator Valves allow you to control each of your radiators individually from a mobile App so that you only heat the rooms you need. Since the thermostat controls half of your energy bill, a green energy saving solution like an automated heating system is ideal to save you energy and money.
Worries about Home Automation
Many people avoid Home Automation because they worry the devices will be too complicated, or that they will need constant maintenance. In reality, Home Automation devices are designed to run with minimum user input, automatically learning your routine and adjusting their schedules depending on your location or any manual adjustments. Home Automation devices aim to be as user-friendly as possible, with many devices being accompanied by a simple-to-use App. These Apps only send you notifications when there’s something you should be made aware of, like a problem in your home. Overall, Home Automation devices are designed to be as unobtrusive as possible while maximising the comfort, security and energy efficiency of your home.
Expense is also a common concern with Home Automation. Though some devices may have a large upfront cost, the energy savings made as a direct result of the product often results in a quick return on investment. Independent researchers for Nest concluded, after installing the Nest Smart Thermostat – priced at £249 – families from 41 states in America saw a return on their investment in under two years.
What are the most popular Home Automation products?
An energy-saving ‘learning’ thermostat that automatically creates a personalised heating timetable based on your schedule. The Nest Thermostat also adjusts your heating system based on the weather and the season, all without user input. Controlled either manually or via the Nest App, this ‘smart’ thermostat closely monitors the workings of your heating system and will instantly send you a notification if anything is wrong. Geofencing and IFTTT enabled.
The home security device that allows you to live stream its view to your mobile in 1080p HD from anywhere in the world. Features include instantaneous motion and sound notifications to your phone, advanced night vision and 130° wide camera angle. With Nest Aware, the Indoor Cam can continuously record its footage 24 hours a day, edit, save and share clips to Facebook, Twitter or YouTube and even make a timelapse of your entire day. Geofencing and IFTTT enabled.
‘Smart’ radiator valves that allow you to control your radiators individually as needed from anywhere in the world via an App. Easily see which radiators in the home are on and adjust the temperature of each room separately. Manually create heating timetables for your MiHome Wireless Radiators Valves or let them heat automatically depending on your location with Geofencing technology. IFTTT enabled.
The simple installation that enables you to manage all your existing lighting from on the go. MiHome’s Light Switches can be controlled via the simple MiHome App or manually using the button on the Light Switch’s casing. Easily see which lights in your house are on, adjust their brightness and set timers through the easy-to-use App or let Geofencing technology automatically adjust your light based on your phone’s location. IFTTT enabled.
Benefits of Home Automation
Complete control over heating, lighting and appliances
Adjust all aspects of your home from anywhere in the world
Geofencing and IFTTT enabled to tailor your technology to your needs
Easy to use
Saves energy with quick return on investment