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Home Automation- Making Lives Easier

Posted by Steph Kaye on Saturday, March 22nd, 2014 at 10:36am.

The Future is Now

What if all the devices in your life could connect to the Internet? Not just computers and smartphones, but everything: clocks, garage doors, speakers, appliances, you name it," said PC Mag. "And what if they could all communicate and take your commands? It's not science fiction, it's the ‘Internet of Things' and it's becoming a key tenant to home automation.

Home automation has been said to be the future for us since the 1950s. However, only now are we beginning to truly understand how much easier it makes our lives. Through Wi-Fi enabled home automation systems, you can command your home to switch on the lights, turn the air on, boil a kettle of tea, microwave a meal, vacuum the house and even fill a bath up without physically doing any of these things. Home automation is anything that gives you remote or automatic control of things around the home. The systems that you can control include:

  • Lighting
  • Appliances
  • Heating and cooling
  • Security and monitoring systems
  • Entertainment (home audio and video)
  • Communications (telephones and intercoms)
  • Lawn sprinklers
The concept of home automation is to connect all of these systems and devices so that they can be controlled from anywhere and interact with one another. For example, as are arriving home-automation system can automatically turn off the sprinklers, open the garage door, unlock the front door and disable the alarm, light the downstairs, and turn on the TV. Or if you power on the DVD player, it could automatically dim the lights, draw the shades, and direct all calls to voicemail.

To make this happen, you need a network to tie it all together. Wireless (Wi-Fi) networks are ideal for distributing data, voice (VoIP), and audio and video to different parts of the home. But they may be a bit much if you simply want to tell a lamp to turn itself on. Instead, most homes will have two different connected networks: one for accessing and distributing rich broadband content and one for managing all of the devices and systems in the home. These home-automation networks, by contrast, have low data rates (typically less than 200Kbps), are extremely inexpensive, use very little power, and can reliably controls hundreds and even thousands of devices. 

The ability to remotely control various aspects of our home is very attractive to many, and makes life more convenient for a lot of people who invest in home automation. Home automation, however, isn’€™t a good investment for everyone. But, home automation of course does have its pros and cons.

Home automation systems can make life much easier.  You won’t have to pay a small fortune for your small mistakes, anymore, because of home automation. You’€™ll have the ability to turn off your lights, coffee pot and other small appliances from your phone or tablet. Another way it can help you can save money is by having a smart thermostat. By being able to turn off or down your heating/ac, you’€™ll be saving a lot of money on your energy bill. You can program your thermostat according to your schedule, or you can turn it on and off from your mobile device. So basically, you’€™re paying to have an easier, more convenient life. To many people there is no price tag that you can put on that. To many other people, however, these comforts seem unnecessary and expensive. 

 There are also some negative aspects about home automation. Home automation providers usually require you to sign a contract of at least three years, paying over $50 a month. That’€™s a lot of money. One of the big reasons they try to sell you home automation, is that you’€™ll save money on your energy bill. Unless you’€™re saving at least $50 a month, home automation will end up costing you more than it’€™s saving you. Also, home automation can be complicated for those who aren’€™t good with electronics. There are a lot of electronic gadgets that can be a little tricky to use, but if you don’€™t use them, you won’€™t maximize your home automation experience.

There are several ways to get started with home automation. One of the easiest and least expensive is to purchase a starter kit at a local Home Depot or RadioShack or from a site such as Automated OutletSmarthomeIntegrator Pro, or X-10 Super Store. This gives you a chance to experiment with some basics, such as lighting controls, and determine what technology and applications best fit your lifestyle.

If you would like information on homes for sale, or are first time home buyer not working with a Realtor and would like to schedule a consultation with a qualified Oakland County and Macomb County Realtor, please complete the Lang Premier Properties contact form to have a real estate agent contact you. 

Lang Premier Properties are Birmingham Realtors specializing in Oakland County Real Estate. Stephanie is an agent with Max Broock in Birmingham, Michigan. See what past clients have to say about Stephanie Lang.  Lang Premier Properties looks out for your best interests when you purchase a new custom luxury home. We always recommend working with an experienced luxury real estate agent when buying a new luxury estate.

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