Anno 2016 we hear more and more about smart homes, but in online shops, you also see terms such as home automation regularly used to describe of products. In this article, we explain what home automation actually is. With home automation, it is intended to automate the processes in a home by the use of electronics.
What is Home Automation?
Home automation should ensure that processes in a home or building can be automated through the use of electronics. In the house of the future, we no longer ignore can ignore the term. Such a house where automation is used is equipped with the necessary comforts. Also, such a house is often safer and more energy efficient than homes in which you don’t encounter any home automation. Home automation makes a house or a building “smart”. Devices should be able to communicate with each other via WiFi and Bluetooth. Also, there is still work going on on new means of communication, including WiFi HaLow.
There are plenty of facilities that can work together with automation. These include heating systems, air conditioning systems, shading, lighting and security systems. Appliances must also be linked, which include coffee makers, refrigerators, microwaves, and ovens. All these devices must be, for example, controlled via a smartphone and tablet, where it does not matter where you are. Home automation can also go a step further, with sensors know when a window is open so that the heating is automatically lowered. In the latter case, you don’t have to take any action.
Home automation is also useful if you are not at home
Home automation can also lend a hand if you are away from home. If for example, you installed a security system, you can let the system turn on all the lights in the house if there are signals that something is not right. There is often also the possibility that you will receive an alert on your smartphone as soon as motion is detected around the place at which a security is addressed. Another example is that with a smart thermostat, you can see how hot it is in every room of the house, from anywhere in the world.
Retrofit and automation
At the time of writing, the use of home automation is becoming a little more popular. But not everyone is equally prepared to replace their equipment and facilities with smart devices. In that case, retrofit is a convenient solution. This means that you don’t replace all of your old appliances, but instead finds a solution to the smart devices. In this way, your new technology works with the devices you already have.
A good example of this, for example, is a little camera of Smarter that can be placed in a refrigerator. Once the refrigerator is opened, you will receive a photo on your smartphone. From that moment, you always know what you had in the fridge when you opened it for the last time. Very useful if you often forget what you need to buy from the supermarket. Such a small camera shows exactly what retrofit is. With new technology, you ensure that your ‘old’ device is made smarter. And without the need to buy a smart refrigerator.
Another example of a retrofit is a smart outlet. You could operate your not smart lighting remotely because the power outlet has been made smart. It is clear that you save a lot of money that way because smart devices are usually still considerably more expensive than devices that are not smart.
The necessary protocols to connect your smart home devices together are now available. Often it is per device depending which protocols it may or may not support. A number of protocols used in automation are Z-Wave, ZigBee, Thread, WiFi, and Bluetooth. If your appliances are not all support the same protocols, it is sometimes difficult to make sure that all devices can communicate with each other. TP-Link is currently working on a universal router for that.
Home automation and the future
It’s possible that such a router can help, because who the winner of the protocols battle is, is certainly not yet known. It is clear that the development of new automation is not yet finished. Not only because of the luxury it is important that attention is paid, but also because of the fact that such devices could prevent energy waste.