New home technology is making automation an easier process that is less costly. The number of options used to control a house continues to increase with smartphones becoming a central key to the process. Although choosing a home automation system and hiring a contractor is still a popular choice, this is not the only possibility.
Use a Simple Gadget to Control Individual Items
For budget conscious homeowners, investing in simple gadgets to control individual items in the house may be a simpler and cheaper option. The WeMo from Belkin offers this type of solution by allowing users to program through a switch. They can control items such as lamps by plugging them into the switch and using a free app to set their schedules. There are also motion sensors that can be used in conjunction with the switches.
Use Kitchen Controls
Homeowners interested in automating the kitchen will discover that it can involve several processes including controlling appliances, creating shopping lists and instantly linking to recipes. There are apps that can scan barcodes to keep track of purchased items and send reminders to buy more. In addition, a smart fridge from Samsung with an LCD screen can keep track of food freshness, and it can keep track of groceries for upcoming shopping trips.
Use Temperature Controls
An advanced system can be used to automatically control temperature in a home. The latest technology goes beyond simple thermostats that can be scheduled around a family’s needs. For example, the Nest thermostat is capable of programming itself by studying patterns in the house and automatically making adjustments to save energy.
Use a Smartphone to Automate a House
The smartphone is giving homeowners more options for how to automate a home. Loxone makes an app that can be used to control multiple aspects of a house ranging from closing the blinds to turning on the heat. The app is available for smartphones and tablets. HomeSeer offers a similar solution with apps that can be used to manage appliances, lighting and other features. Some users have also developed their own systems by combining the power of Siri with Raspberry Pi.
Use a Complete System to Control the Entire House
Traditional automated home systems that require installation are still available. However, most programs can be managed using computers to make the process easier. X10 offers the ActiveHome Pro Complete Suite with the ability to control items ranging from coffeemakers to outdoor lights. Insteon relies on a mesh network to manage the house. Home Automation, Inc. (HAI) has several systems that can automate multiple features including entertainment options and indoor temperature.