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Home Automation Systems

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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.

Automation Options

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 automate.

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

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.

Adam Mandelbaum  Posted by Adam Mandelbaum on January 7, 2013

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