Home automation is no longer a luxury reserved for the ultrarich. It’s now an affordable, intelligent and connected lifestyle that provides peace of mind and convenience in everyday life.
Even though it might seem like a complicated process, setting up your smart home is actually easier than you might think. The process will only get even simpler as time passes.
Home automation solutions are perfect for people living alone or with limited mobility and they can help save money on your energy bills while monitoring your home from anywhere.
Home automation systems can control many devices in your house at once — lights, heating, ventilation, security cameras, locks and more. Each system has its own pros and cons but all of them have one thing in common: They’re easy to set up if you know where to start!
In this guide, we have tried to narrow down the entire journey into four easy-to-follow steps.
Step 1 – Understanding your home automation options
All the home automation systems out there mainly fall into three categories:
Wi-Fi-based: Wi-Fi-based systems are the most common type of home automation system. A Wi-Fi-based system will use your Wi-Fi router to create a signal throughout your home. Wi-Fi signals are not as strong as a wired signal, so keep that in mind if you have thick walls.
Hub-based (Z-Wave, Zig-bee): As the name suggests, Hub-based systems have a central hub for unifying all the smart home gadgets within the system.
Wired Systems: If your Wi-Fi router is far away from where you want to control lights or appliances, you can use a wired system where you have in-wall wiring running to control lights and appliances. Wired systems can be expensive but they are very reliable.
Hybrid systems: You can also have a hybrid system that combines Wi-Fi and wired systems. For example, you can use a wired system for your doorbell and security cameras but use a Wi-Fi system for your lights.
Step 2 – Finding the right devices for your home
Once you have decided on the right automation system for your home, it's time to look at what devices you want to automate. Here are some popular devices that most people integrate with your smart home system -
Lights: For lights, you can use traditional light bulbs or smart bulbs. Traditional light bulbs can be controlled by smart switch controllers and are an affordable option. Smart bulbs are harder to control as the physical switch has to be always on. You can also use bulbs with a smart dimmer switch or an app on your phone.
Heating and cooling: You can control your heating and cooling systems using a smart thermostat. These thermostats can connect to your WiFi and control the temperature of your house.
Security cameras: Security cameras are an important part of any smart home system. You can use security cameras to monitor what’s happening at home while you’re away.
Locks: Locks are a necessity for any smart home system. You can use smart locks to remotely unlock the door when you’re away from home.
Home appliances: You can also control your appliances using your home automation system. This can be helpful if you have a smart home assistant like a Google Home or Amazon Echo or HomePod mini.
Step 3 – Install the devices yourself or hire help?
Most smart home devices come with easy-to-follow installation instructions. If you’re comfortable with a screwdriver and reading a wiring diagram, you can install these devices yourself.
You can also hire an installation professional to install your devices for you. They will charge a fee for their services but it’s completely worth it if you’re not comfortable with the installation yourself.
If you do go for the second option, here are a few tips to make your job easier:-
Find common ground on the automation system: Select the type of system you want to use and then hire help who has worked with your system of choice before. If you’re not sure which system to use, ask for advice from the pros.
Do your research: Before hiring an installer, make sure you’ve done your research. Check for reviews online and ask for references from friends and family. This will make the hiring process easier for you.
Communicate clearly: Make sure you communicate clearly with your installer. If you have specific needs, make sure to let your installer know. This will make your job easier and your installation more effective.
There are many home automation ecosystems available out there today — Google Home, Amazon Alexa, Apple HomeKit and Samsung SmartThings - being the most prominent ones.
All of them have their pros and cons but one thing is for sure — each of these platforms requires a certain amount of effort to set up.
Here’s what you need to know about these home automation platforms -
Google Home: Google's smart home ecosystem uses Google Assistant, a voice-activated virtual assistant, to control your smart home devices. You can also use Google Assistant to access information and manage your everyday tasks. Google Assistant is available on both Android and iOS devices.
Amazon Alexa: Amazon Alexa is another voice-activated virtual assistant that you can use to control your smart home devices. Alexa-enabled speakers like the Echo series can act as your own personal home manager.
Apple HomeKit: Apple HomeKit is the most secure and private home automation ecosystem on this list. It ensures data protection and keeps your home truly private and safe.
Samsung SmartThings: Samsung SmartThings is the lesser known among these four. Their core offerings are also a bit different from the other three. Samsung predominantly introduces SmartThings enabled devices in the home appliances segment - like smart ACs, refrigerators etc.
Home automation is here to stay. The faster you adopt, the further you'll be ahead in integrating smart capabilities into your home.
It’s easier than ever to find the right system for your home and install it yourself. But if you feel you need any sort of help at all, we're here for you.
Click on this link and drop your number to avail a free smart home consultation.