Home automation is much more than just a highly targeted system capable of demonstrating just one trick. Its functionality and possibilities are almost endless. Home automation application ideas can be listed around the clock. Every homeowner knows what he or she needs and what can make their life better in terms of practicality, performance, quickness, and ease.
We just can not miss such a chance to use automation for ourselves while viewing the constant development of the latest automated technologies. Some years ago it seemed that home automation could be affordable only for wealthy people, but today we can observe a lot of examples when common families implement interesting smart projects for their homes. One of such cases is, for instance, a motorised standing desk everyone can construct online and order in accordance with their unique design. There are hundreds of smart home ideas you can use today, and all of them are combined into separate groups as the following:
- Smart lighting ideas;
- Regular messages and warnings
- Ideas for entertainment automation
- Climate control ideas
- Smart security system ideas
- Automation solutions for energy saving, and others
These groups can comprise up to ten or even more options of smartening up your home and there is more to come.
- What do I need to turn my abode into a smart space?
- A little about the video monitoring
- TOP-4 automated technologies to enhance your living space
What do I need to turn my abode into a smart space?
To turn your living space into a smart home, you will need additional devices. Most of the low-cost solutions on the hardware market today involve a similar option for integrating components. The necessary set of sensors and a controller are installed inside the house, the controller is connected to the router via cable or Wi-Fi, the sensors are connected to the controller via the Z-Wave radio protocol.
The user monitors the operation of the devices using a gadget from a special mobile application.
Let’s outline what devices you might need?
- Central controller: the “brains” of the smart home. It is the device that connects individual devices into the system controlling the behaviour of sensors, thermostats, etc. For the controller to communicate with, for example, a door sensor, both devices must use the same protocol. Perhaps, the most common is the Z-Wave protocol: it is designed specifically to control devices that make up a smart home. When choosing a controller, it must be borne in mind that a high-quality device can be easily controlled through a mobile application or web interface.
- Smart sockets know how to turn devices on and off on a schedule. With a smart socket, you don’t have to worry about, for example, turning off the air conditioner when leaving the apartment, and the device can also turn on the light or music automatically (this is useful if you are away on vacation or a business trip). When choosing such a device, keep in mind that smart sockets can be classic (wall-mounted) or overhead. An overhead socket is simply inserted into a regular one – it is convenient, but you cannot “hide” an overlay socket from children.
- Gas, smoke, water leak detectors: they will give a signal when danger arises and the control device will send a message to the owner of the house. When choosing such devices, we advise you to pay attention, first of all, to the range of the sensors (devices must respond to potential danger that has arisen at any point in the apartment). If the sensor is plugged into an outlet, it is important that the device can operate on a battery too: what if the power goes out?
- Sensors for opening doors and windows will alert you when strangers enter the apartment. Here we also pay attention to the protocol used – some manufacturers use their proprietary designs instead of Z-Wave, which allows the sensors to work only with some controller models. Typically these sensors operate on batteries, so a low battery indicator may be helpful. Its presence will allow you to replace the battery in a timely manner and not worry that the sensor will not work in a critical situation.
It’s necessary to point out that in some cases, you can independently select ready-made components even if they are produced by different manufacturers and customize them. But it is often easier to buy a ready-made set of a controller and several sensors. The basic set includes a controller, a motion sensor, and a door and window opening sensor. The extended kit also includes smoke detectors and water leakage detectors. All devices can be easily controlled using a mobile application; sensors and controllers use the Z-Wave protocol, which is convenient and quite versatile.
A little about the video monitoring
Talking about automation systems for houses and apartments, it is necessary to remember about video surveillance. The need for video surveillance can arise quite often and in a variety of situations. Some users use ordinary webcams connected to a PC for video monitoring. This inexpensive solution has several disadvantages:
- The built-in optics of relatively inexpensive webcams do not allow obtaining high-quality images in low light conditions.
- Software that detects motion in the frame often has to be purchased separately and set up independently.
- It is far from always possible to conveniently control a webcam from a smartphone or tablet.
The aforementioned inconveniences have led to the proliferation of IP cameras that can be plugged into an electrical outlet or USB. These devices are often controlled via mobile applications, and video recordings can be stored in the cloud (disk space is available at an additional cost). In this case, the camera is connected to the router.
What to look for when choosing an IP camera for a smart home?
Video surveillance will allow you not to worry about your property. You will always know what is happening in the apartment even if you are at work or on vacation. Before buying such an important device, please take into account the following key points:
The availability of infrared illumination: the camera will be useless in the dark if such function is not included.
Concerning the maximum camera resolution: it should not be less than 1280×720 pixels (HD quality), otherwise, the picture quality will be unsatisfactory.
These recommendations will help you to choose a high-quality camera for ideal video monitoring.
TOP-4 automated technologies to enhance your living space
Have already had a nice apartment or home but want additional functionality? This information about the exact and popular today automation solutions will allow you to rethink many common things and start to consider a new plan of smartening up. Do not put it away for later, learn more about home automation and add your abode to new features and design. Look through these four good ideas for home implementation and get inspired.
Automated Desk solution
When working or learning we need to think not only about our professional skills, devices to facilitate the process but also to care about the workplace itself to make it healthier. Due to the latest technologies, it becomes possible to pick up an eligible variant with the required specifications. What makes an automated desk so popular and desired today in the world for office and home space?
This is a simple construction made of high-quality materials with specially integrated linear actuators and a control panel. Having this smart piece of furniture, you can get healthier conditions for work: adjustable columns, perfect tabletop with seamless control to allow the user to sit and stand conveniently.
TV lift system
TV lift mechanisms have been designed to turn the traditional TV screen into a more interesting way to increase space around and improve your interior design through the absence of massive electronic devices and various gadgets we currently use so excessively. Installing one of the chosen TV lift systems you can enjoy more comfortable screen positioning letting your television drop-down, flip-up, or pop-up when you are ready to watch something.
Motorized windows with electric actuators
The issue of energy efficiency is one of top-priority today, and the application of automated windows is directly connected with this matter. You can save on ventilation, cooling and even heating when your windows know how to operate in different conditions. Is it difficult to install such an automated system? No, it is very easy to integrate into any home (only the type of available windows matters) in combination with outdoor sensors and automated shades, you can get a perfect result.
Automatic kitchen cabinets
Need more uncluttered space with a clean worktop and kitchen surface like in an interior design magazine? You can have the same picture just by implementing a simple automation idea with small linear actuators and hidden compartments beneath to hold everything you need. You press a button when it is necessary and get the stuff popped up you need for cooking and setting the table. Isn’t it fantastic? It’s great!
Moreover, the system itself operates seamlessly without any irritating sounds or other unnecessary distractions. Using automated kitchen cabinets, you will get the constant ordering of kitchen things and a comfortable cooking zone for the most sophisticated and delicious experiments.