Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Home Automation....Here to Stay???

Every day, home automation becomes more and more common place. It started decades ago with the clapper. Then it grew in sophistication to include motion sensor lights and pressure sensitive alarm systems. Now, you can control just about anything you want in your home through your smart phone, thanks to innovations that have emerged from Vivint home automation systems and other pioneers. So what does all of this mean for you?

The first thing people think of when they think of putting automatic systems into their homes is their home’s security. These days having at least a basic home security system in place has become common. But what if you could control and see everything from your smart phone? This is what companies are offering you now—whenever one of the sensors gets triggered, an alert gets sent to your phone. You can then log in, see what’s actually going on and, from your phone, decide whether to sound an alarm, flash lights, call the police or fire department or, if it turns out your cat has found a new place to bathe itself, do nothing at all.
Automation can apply to more than your home’ssecurity. It can also apply to your carbon footprint and energy consumption. You can install systems that will allow you to turn off every light in the house by pressing a button on your phone. You can set your thermostat to a specific temperature and have the system make sure that the heating and cooling appliances do what they are supposed to do. Some of the home automation systems are even intelligent—they learn the family’s routine and adjust the system programming automatically. Some are even built to be able to detect when the house is empty.

This is where things get especially interesting. If your system knows when nobody is home, it can regulate the temperature; adjust the operations of your major appliances to use as little power as possible, etc. You’ll never have to worry about whether or not you left the oven on when you go on vacation again because the system will make sure it gets turned off. If it’s your home security you’re worried about, program the system to turn certain lights on and off at different times of the day to make it look like someone is home.
Right now this probably all seems like an expensive luxury. Over time, though, particularly because of the savings that are involved, you’ll see that this is a luxury that everyone will be able to afford. Many companies, including Vivint, are actively working to make these new automation systems affordable for the average family. The money they’ll save in energy bills will more than pay for the installation price and the long term saving benefits are abundant. Before you know it, nobody will be going home to a cold house because the automation system, knowing your schedule, will kick on the furnace before your arrival to get things warmed up.

It all sounds very sci-fi, like something you’d read about in a Ray Bradbury or Orson Scott Card novel. But, really, doesn’t that make it more exciting? Living in the future is fun!

*Guest post contributed by Becky W*


  1. This is a great home automation system for the price. For someone who is just getting into (basic) home automation, this is a great unit package. It has a number of features and I found it fairly easy to setup. My main focus was on automating the lighting in my home and this unit does the job. I have installed several Intermatic dimmer switches (CA600), on/off relay switches (CA3000), on/off outlets (CA3500), and scene controllers (CA5100). But all perfectly working.

    Tawny Cypress.

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