Thinking about automating your home? Early planning will make your smart home projects more successful, so do some research before you start buying.
Today’s technology has advanced to the point where anyone can install smart home technology – no wires required. The ease of home automation projects can create the illusion of simplicity, but don’t be fooled. You’ll need to do some pre-project planning if you don’t want to end up wasting money on appliances and accessories you don’t need, or can’t use. Also find some interesting things about smart home on this website on this website.
Smart Home Controllers
A smart home controller integrates all the ‘smart’ devices in your home through protocols such as X10 and UPB. Want to make sure that your automated appliances work together? You’ll need to check to make sure that they’re all compatible with your home control unit before you buy them. Want to make it easier in the long run? Choose a home controller that is compatible with appliances and accessories that you’re going to want to buy, whether it’s right away or sometime in the future. Keep these criteria in mind as you choose a home controller:
- How easy is it to purchase accessories and appliances that are compatible?
- Are compatible appliances available through a single retailer only, or multiple outlets?
- How expensive are the compatible devices, compared to other home-automation devices?
- Can you install the controller unit yourself, or does it require ‘expert installation’?
- Is there a service plan, or are you on your own once you purchase the unit?
- How expensive is the control unit?
- Are the devices that you will want in the future compatible with the home controller?
Home Automation Devices
What kind of home automation devices will you be using in the future? There’s really no way of knowing for sure, but you can take a tour around your home, and think about the different smart home appliances that you might want to use. Examples include:
- Entertainment center
- Control of blinds and other window treatments by remote
- Sprinkler-system automation
- Thermostat control
- Energy use monitoring
- Lights and fans
Coordinating for Scalability and Cost Effectiveness
Don’t forget to think about the future when you’re venturing into home automation. Scalability, the ability to add in more devices without compromising the viability of your home network, is critical when creating a smart home setup. The cost of the devices, as well as the control unit, is also important, if you don’t want to get stuck in mid-installation. When you plan ahead, by choosing the devices you are most likely to install in the future and comparison-shopping, your home automation project has a much greater chance of success.