Home automation was once a thing that only existed in movies. Then it became
available only for the rich. That has all changed--as time goes on, home
automation is quickly becoming a commonality. It's possible, and now affordable,
for you to control almost everything in your home from a single panel or remote.
Nearly everything in your home that's electronic can be
automated. When putting together your own system, you'll need to decide on how
much you want to spend. Then you can choose the things you want to
Here's a list of some options:
- Lights - You can program your lights to turn on and off at different
times of the day, or program them with presets for different occasions. For
example, if you're having a party or watching a movie, all you have to do is
push the "party" or "movie" button to get the perfect lighting.
- Music - Choose and control music from multiple sources (e.g., CD
player, MP3 player, or satellite radio). This is a fairly standard feature in a
home entertainment system, but home automation could allow you to control music
all over the house, even playing different music in different rooms.
- Home theatre - With the touch of a button you could close the blinds,
dim the lights, and start a movie.
- Home computer network - You can create a complete home computer
network. In addition to connecting your computers to the Internet, you can
connect them to each other, to other devices like printers, and even to your
home entertainment system.
- Climate control - You can preset programs for your heat and air
conditioning to follow. You can even program them remotely through the Internet.
- Others - Other things you can automate include garage doors, drapes,
sprinklers, fountains, hot tubs, and pools.
Unless you're an expert, installation of a complex
home automation system will likely need to be taken care of by a professional.
Coordinating all the elements of such a system would be difficult without some
prior experience or training. The ideal situation would be to have installation
done as part of the construction of a home--this would make running wires
through walls significantly easier.
Wireless automation is another option if you're
adding the system to an already existing home to avoid the hassle of running all
those wires. This is also a good idea if you want to take on your automation
project slowly. For example, you might want to start out by merely automating
your home entertainment system and leave other aspects of your system to a later
date. Going wireless will eliminate the need to drill holes in the same walls
over and over again.