October 4

What can I automate in my home? (Tips from the automation experts)

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Home automation is rapidly becoming more popular in Melbourne homes due to the convenience of being able to remotely control multiple elements of your household. Not only does this enhance your lifestyle with infinite possibilities, but it is the perfect way to increase your sustainability and save on energy running costs. Below our automation experts outline which household functions may be automated, along with some helpful tips to assist you in deciding a suitable level of automation for you and your household.

Firstly, what can be automated in my home?

Lighting:

 

  • Motion sensors with timers, that allow your lights only turn on when you arrive home, or when you enter a room. This way you are not wasting energy during the day when they are not required. Motion sensors with timers are great for a family that often forgets to turn off the lights, or as added security at the entrance of a home.
  • Remote lighting control allows you to control the lighting in each room with the tap of a button on your smart device or via a wall mounted touchscreen or remote.
  • Automatic lighting schedules are perfect for convenience and security. Frequent travellers can make it appear that someone is home when they are away, automatically shut down all of the lights at 8am when you take the kids to school, or switch on your garden lighting at sunset for a few hours each night to enjoy the serenity.
  • Save themes to compliment your lifestyle. You may want to save a “party scene” so you don’t have to waste time playing with the lighting whilst entertaining. Or perhaps you would like to save a “bedtime scene” where all the lighting in your home is dimmed to set the perfect atmosphere. The possibilities are endless.

Temperature control:

  • Schedule your heating and cooling so they automatically create the perfect comfortability at different times of the day. Perhaps it is set to turn off when you leave for work and switch back on before you arrive home.  
  • Schedule your blinds and drapes to automatically open when it is best to take advantage of the sun, and close when you want to keep the heat out.
  • Schedule your electric fireplace to switch on at a convenient time each day. Set it up to turn on after dinner and turn off before bed time.
  • Smart-device reminders can be used to remind your fridge to prepare more ice

Security:

  • Install cameras and touch screens so you can see who is in your driveway from anywhere in the house, via a television, touch screen or smart device (such as an iPhone)
  • Create security alerts to your smart device when doors and gates are left open for a specified period of time, or when your cameras detect motion
  • Alarms, lighting and automatic locks if there is a security breach.
  • Create individual codes for different family members and friends to use as entry to your home.

Music:

  • Control music and volume across any room in the house
  • Combine stored music from different sources to play throughout your home. Spotify, Youtube, Itunes, CDs etc. Anything is a possibility!
  • His and hers playlists can be scheduled for convenient times of day
  • Link musical instruments to the control system so you can share your songs with other rooms in the house, or with friends around the world.
  • Program the radio to stream when you are in the shower in the morning.

Audio Visual and Home Theatre:

  • Set minimum and maximum volume controls
  • Remote locating – Don’t ever lose your remote again by setting up a finder system where it will beep when called.
  • Create a cinema experience by setting up automatic rules for your home when you start a movie. Perhaps your lights dim, your screen enlarges, your blinds close and your doors lock.
  • Compile multiple sources of entertainment into one manageable system. Foxtel, media computer, kids gaming system, golf simulator and DVDs all accessable from one touch screen setting.

Pool and spa:

  • Pool lights that switch on at a specified time, and can be accessed remotely
  • Control your pool pump to ensure your pool is always clean and you are minimising your energy usage
  • Automatically dose your pool with the right chemicals and salts to keep it healthy.
  • Setup alerts to notify you if a pool fence has been opened when you aren’t supervising, or to let you know if your pool health is subpar and requires attention.

What are my different control options?

Home automation products and devices can all be setup on a common system that may be controlled independently via a control. There are three kinds of controls available:

  • Voice control: activate any of your automated products and devices via a voice control system such as Google Home.
  • Smart device: activate any of your automated products and devices via a smart device such as an iPhone or tablet.
  • Touch screen or wall remotes/panels: activate any of your automated products and devices via a panel, remote or touch screen located on a wall.

It is also common to have more than one method of control, but it is best to know your intended control outcome(s) before selecting your products.

What automation products are most beneficial for my home?

The objective of automating your devices around your home is to make your life simpler.  We suggest asking yourself to explore the depths of what you really want. Are you looking for an improved level of convenience? Would you like to improve your device usability so it is just easy? Are you looking to improve your energy efficiency? Do you desire a whole smart home experience to envelop your home?

Once you decide on your intent, you can begin to plan specific products that benefit you.

At Serity (link to home page), we spend time with each client to capture the current usage model for your home, and gain some insights about functionality requirements. We then combine this information with your level of comfortability with technology so we can recommend the right products for you.

Home automation design can often deliver an outcome that is too smart or not smart enough. We believe it is more beneficial to provide products that can be used with ease, rather than a complex system that is too difficult for your level of understanding around technology. We recommend taking your time finding a solution that is fit-for-purpose instead of simply fitting.

How do I know if my home is automation-ready?

With so many automation options readily available for your home, it can be difficult to decipher what would actually work with your existing home. Of course, it is always possible to update the technology in your home at any stage, but it is best to design your automation systems before building or renovating your home to save costs, time and headaches.

Home automation involves a series of interconnected devices, which generally require certain levels of power, distance, internet and/or Bluetooth. Although cables are less important than they once were, their location still needs to be considered before installing your electrical products. If you can manage to create your automation plan before building, you won’t have any existing household structures blocking your way and installation will be a breeze. If you aren’t sure whether your home is automation-ready, contact our team of automation specialists today for a free consultation.

What should I look for in an automation product?

Like any product for your home, you should purchase a product that can stand the test of time. This often isn’t the cheapest option, but it will save you money (and nightmares) over its lifetime. Consider a product that is durable, modular and future proof.

There are automated products that are designed to be integrated with the Internet of things (IoT) and some that are not. Manufacturers often advertise their products as “modular” meaning it can be integrated with other products and systems, but you must do your research before you purchase to ensure your products will work seamlessly together. There are so many products available with varying levels of integration and future-proof capabilities, so it is always best to speak with an automation professional.

Automation in your home is not as simple as purchasing a smart tv. It involves integrating multiple devices and technologies into one simple to use solution. With an abundance of options comes a range of considerations, so if you would like to learn more from a home automation company on the Mornington Peninsula or surrounding suburbs, please contact us today. At Serity we pride ourselves on delivering fit-for-purpose technology solutions that make your life better, or simpler at the touch of a button.


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