It’s quite an exciting time in the home automation industry. When we talk about home automation, the possibilities can be awe-inspiring.
Home automation helps with some of the tedious and avoidable household tasks. It can help you handle almost all the chores in the house without lifting a finger or moving an inch.
For everyone, growing old in an environment that is safe, comfortable and easy to work around all depends on independence, dignity, and freedom. Technology has been placed to provide the means to live our lives in a more simple way to enhance our quality of life.
By now, most of us must have heard of Google Homes and Amazon Alexa, but have we considered home automation options? Here are a few home automation ideas that can improve our lives.
Smart Security Systems
Current trends in the home automation sector allow for escalation and popularity in the smart home security market. No one wants to experience mishaps or be victims of criminal behavior, and with the advances in smart home security systems, we could witness a decline in such offenses.
The whole idea of building a smart security system for homes is to provide protection and peace of mind in the homes. As far as we know, a system keeps an eye on our property; it increases our sense of security over our lives and our loved ones. Here are some reasons to put smart security in place:
- Burglary protection
- Home monitoring
- Protection of personal belongings
- Carbon Monoxide outbreaks
- Fire outbreaks
These plus other ideas make a home smart security system a smart consideration. Here are a few home automation ideas.
Smart Cameras and locks
Smart cameras and locks are often included in your smart home security kit, and there is a wide variety out there. With your smartphones, you can control these devices through a mobile app, and if you forget to lock your door, open the application, and handle it.
You can also set up notifications to get an alert if unwanted or suspicious activities are occurring in your house or office. This is especially true for smart cameras, as they provide videos or screenshots captured when its motion sensor id triggered.
Audio and Images are transmitted in real-time to your smartphone in case there is a situation to respond to. The smart cameras can be easily positioned throughout the home with smart intercoms located at the front door. This enables you and your loved ones to see and speak to visitors at the door, directly from a smartphone or tablet before letting them in.
Smart Water Sensor
Smart water sensors might not be one of the first things that come to mind when you think of home automation ideas; still, it can help the house. They can come in handy in alerting you when there’s a water leak, thereby preventing flooding. The device is usually installed and connected to your home automation system or your wifi network and sends you an alert if it senses water or moisture. Here is a DIY approach:
For leak detection and mitigation, the approach is simple; you just have to get a water sensor and place it where there is a leakage. For instance, you can set it near the washer, the basement, bathroom floor, or garage.
It basically sends a notification when there is a water leak, and you can also solve part of the issue by turning the water off. You can shut-off the water when you aren’t home with a Smart Water Valve.
Utilizing a reliable, robust, all-in-one smart fence system can be a security bonus for residential and industrial purposes. You can use smart fence security in several ways, including access control, to address perimeter intrusion, pressurized gas and liquid system monitoring, and cable reinforcement. You can choose between solar power fencing or a traditional fence power by a 110-volt connection. Regardless of the one you choose, you’ll provide additional safety and security for your home or business.
Smart Smoke Detector
Installing a smart smoke detector in your home can help you prevent and stay ahead of fire outbreaks. The device alerts you when it detects smoke or when carbon monoxide reaches a harmful level. Most smart home smoke detectors have a built-in sprinkler that goes off when it senses a high amount of smoke in the air.
With a video doorbell installed in your home security system, you enjoy an added layer of convenience and protection. From the comfort of your bed, you can see who is at the door. With functional connectivity, you can view your front porch through your smartphone. Some smart doorbells come with an audio device, so you can talk to the person at the door if necessary.
There are several options to select from when choosing a smart home security system, and many of them can be personalized and customized to fit the needs of your homes or family. A video doorbell it comes to protecting yourself and your loved ones.
Several people spend most of their home time in the kitchen or the living room if they aren’t sleeping. That’s why smart appliances in the kitchen are becoming more popular with each passing day. As home automation moves forward, kitchens are beginning to emerge as a primary focus for brands in the home automation sector.
The idea behind smart kitchens is to connect appliances and devices to the Internet of Things. It could be a stove that can be set to preheat as you head home, a refrigerator that knows what food it contains, or additional sensors and interfaces that make kitchen life more manageable.
The Voiced Controlled Lighting is a home automation idea is especially an excellent investment for the elderly and disabled. While lights in the house may be located apart and far away, or a bit tricky to navigate with mobility conditions, voice-controlled lighting can reduce most of the environmental factors that are responsible for falls.
Smart Lighting systems from tech manufacturers such as Control 14, can use pre-existing wiring from traditional dimmers and switches and replace them with the modern smart lighting controls. This allows for lights in the house to be grouped or create “scenes” according to the homeowner’s request. Also, when installed with a voice-automated device like Amazon’s Alexa, you can “ask” for any particular room to be lit instead of fumbling around trying to find get the switches in the dark.
Smart Lighting Keypads
Smart Lighting keypads can turn some specific features on and off automatically at particular times of the day. For instance, you could activate your hallway lights to a better level to make night trips to the kitchen or bathroom safer.
If well-programmed, smart lighting can also serve as a useful reminder for the elderly or disabled. You could set the kitchen lights to flash when it’s time for medication or when there is mail delivery.
Lights and Blinds
Regularly turning off the light is not considered a task, but it can be a little uncomfortable to stand up and switch off the light and blinds. It can also create large expenses in the long run. It costs an estimate of $0.75 an hour to leave the lights on. This could add up quickly. Maybe you are always too busy getting ready for work that you usually forget to turn off the light. With time, you realize the energy bill has risen surprisingly.
All this can be fixed today by installing smart lights throughout your home. Everything becomes automated, and you won’t have to bother.
Smart Garage via Motion or Door Sensor
This is another handy home automation idea but is best used in a garage or basement. When you open the door of your garage or basement, you can as well turn on the lights automatically with a motion sensor or door sensor. However, most people prefer to use the door sensor as it is generally known to be more active and reliable. Sometimes, motion sensors don’t detect motion immediately. They are best for smaller rooms, and for larger areas, a door sensor is more recommended.
When you add a motion sensor in a room, you should check to ensure that there are no movements for a particular time, then you turn off the lights automatically.
Use LUX Level to Control the Lights Automatically
The typical light automation control systems are Google Home and Alexa, but you can also use your smartphone for this. However, some motion sensors can only read out the level of LUX (light) in a room.
The major advantage of using the LUX level in a living room is that with its automation feature, it never goes dark in the house. Also, on a rainy day, the lights will automatically turn on. You can as well use the level of LUX to turn off the lights in the morning. Also, as expected, the lights can go off earlier than on rainy days.
As smart devices and home automation continue to expand and develop, smart home entertainment has started offering a connected viewing and listening experience via immense technologies. These are devices that help provide a full-blown connected entertainment experience, and it becomes easy to see how this technology is only going to get better in the future.
Smart Speaker System
If you are the type that enjoys high-quality sound and video, then a smart speaker is perfect for your home automation system. Whether you are listening to music, watching a movie, or just hearing the current news and weather, you’ll need a smart speaker that provides you with the best user experience.
When decide to get the perfect speaker for your home, you need one that will offer you the wireless capability for playback and control. Ideally, you can find one that offers various forms of applications based on voice controls. As an audiophile, you’ll also need to make sure that you’re getting a smart speaker with high-quality sound.
Voice control is most likely the most popular home automation idea and increasingly being installed in different homes and offices across the world. The voice control focuses on controlling your automated features through voice command instead of the traditional tapping of the screen. This is extremely helpful in the household in ways such as determining the weather before you go outside, waking you up by opening the shades, control the lights the in the house, or even to ask random questions that could be answered in split seconds.
Installing Control 14 helps with mainstream voice recognition devices on the market and will connect all these techs to your smart home features.
Other fairly inexpensive smart home solutions help improve the entire home automation experience. Intercom systems are more straightforward to install and depending on your preferences can be installed outside or in any room in your house.
The voice control, when installed, picks up and transmits any programmed command to any of your rooms when you choose. This can either be done with the Smart Home OS Tablet or your smartphone. It is useful when you have someone at your door, and you don’t want to go to the door. It also helps you check on others in your home when you aren’t around.
Also, if you want to summon the family for dinner or an announcement, you can call everyone through the intercom instead of the typical yelling method.
A universal remote is best if you choose not to control your smart entertainment or smart home using voice control, smartphone, or tablet. A universal remote is mostly for the entertainment centre. However, it can still control every automated device in your house of you prefer it wired that way.
With this, whenever you want to have a movie night, you can close the shades, dim the lights, choose a movie, and turn up the sounds all with a single remote.
In-door Climate Automation
A smart in-house Thermostat helps control your air conditioning and heating system. However, if you already have smart humidity sensors, fans and carbon monoxide & smoke detectors, you can do much more with it!
Smart Thermostats provides comfort for the elderly by maintaining preferred temperature settings throughout the house automatically. There’s no need to start thinking of pressing a button to press. If anyone in the house is feeling cold or too warm, they can easily adjust the Thermostat’s settings from a tablet or smartphone.
A smart in-house Thermostat also saves you from energy bills. Below is one of the major benefits of in-door climate automation:
Keeps the House Cool at Night
With a smart ventilation system, you can keep your house cool at night. Based on the temperature inside and outside, it can let in cold air into your home while you sleep comfortably. An example of this smart ventilator is the Ecobee 4.
Nevertheless, this is something any other smart sensor can do; you can get any smart sensor and install it in your house to detect the temperature.
Smart Bathroom Fan
Whenever you enter the bathroom for a shower, the bathroom fan can automatically start based on the humidity of the bathroom. And when the humidity goes below 80%, it turns off automatically. Also, if there is no humidity sensor in your bathroom, you can get a water sensor and place it in the shower. With this, the fan will run for an extra 15 minutes when the water sensor doesn’t detect water.
Furthermore, you can do without a smart fan if you have the typical fan on a switch, you can simply replace the switch with a smart switch to turn on or off the fan.
Smart Bathroom and Hallway nightlights
Going to the bathroom in the middle of the night is something we should always prepare for. When you wake up disoriented, you don’t want to end up slipping and falling on your way to that bathroom. With a door sensor or motion sensor, you can make night trips to the bathroom a lot more safe and pleasant.
With the smart lights, the hallway to the bathroom turns dim so to help your eyes adjust easily as you make your way to the bathroom. But in the morning, the light will turn bright.
Smart Laundry Reminder
Forgetting to take out the wet laundry from the washing machine is something that could quickly happen to anyone. Many of us have the washing machine stuck away in the basement, washroom, or the garage. With the machine far away from the living room and other rooms, it can be difficult at times to hear the machine buzz, coupled with our busy life. You might forget to take out the washed clothes.
However, with a Smart Laundry Reminder, you can get notified immediately the washer is done with your laundry. The smart laundry reminder is a DIY (Do it Yourself) approach for home automation.
For the dryer, a power consumption sensor works best. All you need is a smart plug that measures the used power consumption. When it gets below 2 watts, the dryer is done!
As for the washer itself, it can be a little tricky. You can attempt to measure power consumption. Still, modern washers are very energy efficient, and with the varieties of routines the washer follows, it can be difficult to tell when it’s done. The best option is to use a vibration sensor.
This is more like a DIY smart home automation idea. Most cities have an online trashcan calendar. Some of these calendars can be read with an API to pull the trashcan calendar from the site. But if that option doesn’t work for you, you can always program it yourself. There are specific days the trash is usually picked, so you can create a routine that notifies you in the morning to take the garbage outside.
Vacuuming the house – one of the jobs we all can’t avoid. With an automated vacuum device, you can finally have your home vacuumed with less bother. And with a smart house, you can keep the vacuum on to work while you sleep. All you have to do is trigger your vacuum schedule after you’ve turned off the lights. You can also set a reminder to clear the floor, and while you are asleep, the vacuum robot goes on to clean the house effectively. Another brilliant option is to switch on the machine when everyone is about to leave the house for the day.
Smart Vibration Sensor
This is best if you have a safe at home filled with valuables. You can’t be too trusting to depend on its lock alone – it’s not just enough these days. You will definitely need you safe to remained touched when you aren’t around. The smart vibration sensor is especially necessary when you usually have visitors over, housekeepers, babysitters, or a dog walker.
The device is handy when someone tries to break into your safe. The sensor immediately alerts you either by text or email. The tech is also recommended if you have a cabinet filled with liquor and kids in the house. The Smart Vibration Sensor can also be used to check if someone left the fridge open in the kitchen. You can get this done yourself by placing a door sensor on your fridge, and it’ll send out an alert if it was left open for more than the customized time you set.
Are there housebound or elderly relatives who live with you? If you get worried about him/her falling among other things when you aren’t home, there are smart home automation ideas that can ease your worry. You can get chair mats and sensor-based floor. These chair mats can send you an alert to your smartphone when he or she gets out of the chair or bed.
Other common smart health-and-wellness products can help with better sleep. There are smart pillows that help with breathing patters. We also have smart mattresses that track sleep patterns, adjust your bed’s temperature, and wake you up with an alarm. Most of these techs use virtual assistant too.
As a pet owner and lover, you are always worried about your pet when you aren’t home with them – they can be incredibly lonely when you aren’t home, and this can affect their behavior generally. This is mostly the case for dogs. You can check on your pet through smart interactive cameras. There are smart treat dispensers that have an embedded camera to help you communicate with your pet through your smartphone to give them a treat. Also, if your pet is on a diet, there are smart pet feeders that dispense food among the interval you choose and per portion.
Smart Lawn Care
It can be very demanding to maintain your lawn appeal. However, you can save yourself some energy ad time by automating most of the tasks. Smart sprinklers aren’t exactly news or the latest home automation idea around, but they are still as efficient as they have always been over the ye
Smart sprinklers are built to turn on based on moisture sensors, and real-time weather reports to activate sprinklers when the soil is dry. You can use either of the both – smart sprinklers or moisture sensors. Nonetheless, smart sprinklers aren’t only great for keeping your lawn green but also to ensure your lawn and garden stay healthy.
A green lawn and plants that thrive is always an appeal to everyone, so with a smart sprinkler, you bring extra light and a beautiful hue to your home.
Another creative home automation idea in regards to the Smart Lawn Care is that the smart sprinklers can also soak your lawn is your house is on fire. The Nest Protect Sensor senses smoke and helps to raise the alarm. Again, the Rachio Smart Sprinklers will turn on and soak the lawn and likely the front porch of your house as a fire-fighting tactic.
Smart Garage Door
Almost everything can be made “smart” in the “smart” world we live in today. One of the technologies you should consider adding to your smart home devices collection is the smart garage door. The smart garage door is a tech that alerts you when your garage is left open.
The device does more than sending alerts as you can also open and close the garage door remotely through an app on your smartphone. While it might not be one of the smart devices on your priority list, it can make your property safer as it tells you when the garage door is left open for it to be shut remotely.
Smart Outdoor Garden Lights
Does your garden have outdoor lights? Is going out at dark to turn them off bothersome? You can simply get the light bulbs replaced with smart bulbs, although, this doesn’t work with a low voltage system.
To help control low voltage outdoor light bulbs, you can get a smart relay in a junction box or a smart outdoor plug. Also, if your smart home system supports it, you can use the position of the sun to trigger the light bulbs on and off.
Smart Wake-up Light
An excellent example of this is the Phillips Wake-Up light that comes on slowly comes on before the alarm goes off. With a smart light such as the Phillips, you can make things pretty easy for yourself.
If you can’t get a Smart Light Bulb, you can also use a smart dimmer switch to control the lights. With this tech, your sleep routines will increase, and you will feel more rested.
Find Out Mail Delivery
The usual back and forth trip to the mailbox can be avoided using a multipurpose sensor from SmartThings. The sensor is a magnet that has two pieces. All you have to do is install one piece on your door and the other on your mailbox. With that you’ll get notified immediately your door is opened and your mail is delivered. You should note that these sensors aren’t water, so you have to get any form of shelter for it to prevent moist from getting in as it can be ruined immediately.
Turn Something Smart
If you an item in your house that you wish to turn “smart”, you can make it smart on your own by using a smart plug. You can control a smart plug wirelessly using a smart app in your phone. This works by cutting and supplying power whenever you like. So, when the power is back, the device will come on. Likewise, when the power is cut, the appliance turns off.
By using a smart plug, for example, you can transform regular lamps into smart lamps and remotely control them when a diffuser is on in your house. For a DIY home automation project that you can quickly work on, installing a smart plugin, your home takes you several steps towards achieving a smart home.
Another instance is to set your electric kettle to start boiling. You can do this for morning or afternoon through a WeMo outlet and the app on your smartphone while you are on other chores or activities.
Even with this shortlist, you can see that home automation idea is abundant. From smart security to integrated entertainment systems, home automation makes our lives more straightforward and comfortable. We can now tell our light to turn off while driving home from work or see anybody standing at the door from anywhere.
There are several other ideas in the home automation industry. The ones listed are perhaps the most popular and commonly used in our communities today. These areas are just the start of what we should expect to see from home automation in the future.