You’ve heard a lot about home automation recently, but most of the buzz is around ‘how’ to do it. For those who have not already dug in, the question of ‘why’ may be lingering.
The main reasons people typically embark upon home automation projects are security and safety, comfort, and efficiency. Let’s explore those, as well as a few other benefits that might cause you to consider home automation.
1. Home Automation Security and Safety
Security is one of the key drivers for home automation. Home automation can help you control and monitor access to your home. You can ensure that all your doors are locked, either when you leave for the day or when you go to bed at night. You can easily see what is happening with security cameras, monitor locks and control access via all the doors and windows in your home. You can also keep an eye on what’s happening in your home from afar, which may be especially important to you if your children get home before you do.
Safety is related but a little different: when you come home at 9PM and start up the front steps, you can ensure that your path is lit. Have the lights turn on automatically and then set them to go off after 5 or 15 minutes of no motion detected. Better lighting, whether for a small task or a large project, can also increase safety at home, where most accidents happen. You can also ensure that appliances are turned off so they don’t short out and spark a fire while you’re away. You can automate CO2 detection systems to ensure that carbon monoxide is never an issue. There are several other kinds of detection devices you might consider to increase household safety in many ways.
2. Comfort, Effortlessness, Convenience of Home Automation
Many tasks that are repetitive in nature can be accomplished automatically or with fewer steps using home automation. Increase comfort and convenience at the same time by setting temperature, lighting, blinds, and music at the levels you want, automatically. If you always turn on the fan and turn off the A/C when you open the windows, that sequence can be tied together and automated.
When you go into the bathroom at 5PM, you always want the lights on at 100%. When you go in at 2AM, you want the lights on at only 20%. That doesn’t change, so you can automate the light level that is triggered by a motion sensor and have it set differently based on the time of day.
Instead of turning off or dimming four different lights when you want to watch a movie, home automation allows you to accomplish this task with a set of rules which you might call “movie mode”. With that one setting, the home environment is automatically converted to the atmosphere you enjoy when viewing a film with your family.
3. Efficiency of Home Automation
Home automation can also benefit you financially by saving money on your monthly gas, electric and water bills.
Based on recent advances in lighting technology, we're already reaping the low-hanging fruit of efficiency gains with LED lights. With smart thermostats we no longer have to worry that we forgot to adjust our thermostat when leaving for work in the morning. Home automation turns off lights and lowers blinds to lessen the loss of either heating or cooling (depending on the season).
There are major wins still to be had in water conservation with smart devices. Home automation can include the scheduling and automatic operation of watering your lawn. You can automate leak detection and prevent flooding if a pipe were to burst because your home automation system triggers a notification that can be sent to your phone.
All of this has the potential of ultimately lowering your overall utility bills significantly, by 10% to 25%. The efficiency angle is actually so compelling that new home construction builders are beginning to offer home automation options, enabling homeowners to take advantage of cost savings built in from the start.
If your goal is to save money and lower energy usage, monitoring consumption can be a way to see which devices are using a lot of power, especially when idle, and further increase your savings. Using smart switches can turn these phantom power stealing devices off when not in use, or even set up timers so that things like tablets or laptops are only allowed to charge during certain times of the day. For example, you can set up a rule to charge when the solar energy is at a peak (if you have solar panels) or when power rates are cheaper (overnight when demand is lower).
4. Peace of Mind with Home Automation
All of this adds up to increased peace of mind. For those who habitually worry about whether or not they have taken care of everything at home before leaving for the day, or before leaving on vacation, a home automation system is a perfect investment. Stop worrying about your home while you’re away. With a robust, local home automation solution, you’ll have the comfort of knowing that your home is safe and under control, even when you’re away.
5. Control Over My Castle with Home Automation
In addition to all the benefits listed above, the most important reason that we hear about from our customers is control over domain.
A recent survey by Finn Futures showed that 86% of consumers "are confident they know what it means when someone says they have a smart home" -- which is a huge leap in awareness over the last three years. Sabrina Horn of Finn Partners says, “Emotion plays an important role when it comes to consumers’ willingness to adopt connected technology. People want to feel in control of their lives and of their loved ones’ well-being, so it isn’t surprising that we always see peace-of-mind as the top motivator” in the adoption of home automation technology.
We enjoy that proverbial "I have the power" feeling that comes with being able to turn off the lights with a voice command or see that all home’s doors are locked without walking around the whole house. Control over your home can be very satisfying indeed.There are numerous reasons people take up home automation: these include security and safety, comfort, convenience, efficiency, peace of mind, and overall control over your home. Whatever the reason that compels you to get started, you are beginning an adventure that will ‘elevate your environment’. Enjoy!