Top 6 Smart Home Automation Devices
Home automation is the fastest growing and arguably most important trend in modern residential life. Smart home tech no longer represents some far-flung future pulled from the pages of pulpy science fiction novels or some exclusive luxury only practical to the wealthiest among us. It is the here and now. It is affordable, reliable and able to transform your life through great convenience and efficiency. In that spirit, here are six home automation devices that will further transform the way we live in the years ahead.
6. Smart Outlets and Switches
The true power of home automation is connectedness. A smart home is essentially a network, and the smart devices that can connect to that network and communicate with other smart components on it are what define its convenience and efficiency. To date, perhaps the biggest hurdle of having a truly connected home are all of the devices that simply cannot play nice. Smart outlets and switches are an ingenious attempt to overcome that hurdle. Once installed, any household devices connected to a smart outlet or controlled by a smart switch is granted smart capabilities through that association. This can include many generally dumb devices, such as coffee makers, toasters and air circulators. Smart outlets can also feature motion detection and the ability to learn your usage patterns.
5. Smart Locks and Latches
Traditional mechanical door locks, deadbolts and window latches are on the verge of being obsolete, and that is because modern homes are being fashioned with smart locks. Smart locks are often similar to the traditional mechanical types, but they are computerized. That computerization provides a number of advantages, including enhanced security, remote access and the ability to store locally information and acquired data that is relevant to that particular access point. A smart lock will only open when certain conditions are met, can alert a security component when it detects unauthorized activity, and can lock or unlock itself through approved remote commands.
4. Smart Thermostats
Programmable thermostats are among the most popular home automation devices sold at retail. These devices are easy to install and relatively inexpensive, and they provide very real and immediate value by being able to optimize energy usage and thereby reduce utility costs. Not all programmable thermostats are smart devices, however, and that smart aspect is what makes the device able to learn. A great example of a truly smart thermostat is the Lyric thermostat by Honeywell. This smart device is Z-Wave-enabled, able to manage multiple zones and profiles, able to analyze usage and able to use geofencing technology to refine your energy usage further based on data from other smart households in your community.
3. Smart Lighting and Shades
Smart lighting can turn on automatically through motion detection or even a verbal commands. Smart lights can also be programmed to turn on at 6am or at a particular low-light level. Smart lighting can also remember usage, analyze that data and then either program itself or make recommendations based on that breakdown. Smart shades are a home tech that can help increase lighting efficiency because they can open automatically in order to reduce the need for artificial lighting. Such shades can also close due to heat sensors in order to avoid overworking the central air system.
2. Smart Security and Surveillance Systems
Home automation and security systems share the same foundation and many of the same components, and so it just makes sense in terms of practicality, cost effectiveness and family safety that a smart home should be a secure home. The best modern security systems are those that integrate seamlessly into a home automation configuration. Honeywell systems are a great example of this because they offer, for instance, the Tuxedo Touch control panel, which not only serves as a security control panel but can also serve as an access point for the entire home automation system. Additionally, surveillance cameras are a popular trend in residential security because, among other reasons, they enhance the functionality of remote access to a home automation system.
1. Smart Home Automation Hubs
A potential problem with home automation is device independence. If a homeowner has to communicate on an individual basis with smart devices, then home automation becomes a lot less convenient. Z-Wave is a protocol for wireless communication of smart home tech, and many of the major home automation and security brands, including Honeywell, have embraced it because it provides a standard by which devices from different manufacturers can work together. A standard alone is not enough for home use, and that is why many homeowners are investing in home automation hubs that help them consolidate their functionality through convenient access points, whether those points are an app on a smartphone, a local voice command processor or a Honeywell control panel.