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What is Home Automation?

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In this weather it seems like everyone is outside working on home improvement projects ranging from reseeding the lawn to updating worn out old windows. But for some, the biggest project of 2018 involves a different set of hardware, and a whole lot more technology.

Home automation and Smart Homes have been around for a few years, but with fast-selling systems like Amazon’s Echo, Google Home, and Apple’s HomePod—along with any number of integrated home security systems—the technology is making an increasingly mainstream impact. Essentially, a smart home is one where many household devices or functions are networked and programmable, and typically controllable through the internet.

The possibilities are varied and many, ranging from lights that work on voice command, timer controlled, or controllable over your tablet; to automatic coffeemakers; internet connected refrigerators; and front door locks you can open remotely and monitor through webcams.

So where do you start?

The most popular areas for home automation include thermostats, light bulbs, outlets, appliances, and security systems, with many different products and strategies for outfitting each. Which area you dig into depends on your situation and interests—and the payoffs can be awesome.

Take front door security systems, for instance. Package theft is a nuisance for many West Michigan communities—especially around the holidays when internet retailers and mail carriers are working overtime. Equipping your front door with a smart lock and a camera system can generate an alert that goes to your smartphone whenever someone is at the front door, so that you can view the visitor (be they a mail carrier, family member, or dog walker) and open the door remotely—or simply check footage if you’ve had a theft, break-in, or someone snooping around.

The same goes for your garage door (did you really close it when you left this morning? Just check your app!) baby monitor (is she still sleeping? take a night-vision peak!), lights (“Alexa, turn off all lights”), TV (disable the outlet for the kid’s homework time) and more. With a good hub that integrates the protocols of the different devices you’re using, it all flows and works seamlessly.

At its simplest, home automation is about convenience. It’s about peace of mind. It’s about that WOW factor your visitors will get when you can control everything with a spoken command. It’s just that cool.

If you need help affordably improving your home and adding outlets, lights, cabinetry for your electronics, or other structural changes to help you update and automate, contact Amber Valley Construction. We’d love to help!

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