In today’s times, almost all products are becoming ‘smart.’ Whether it’s the air conditioner in your bedroom or the refrigerator in your kitchen. As per a study conducted by the Washington Post, 65% of homeowners are eager to spend money on home automation systems. As per data from 2019, there was a whopping 175 million smart homes across the world.
So, what is home automation? It refers to an approach of controlling devices in your home from an app present on your phone or through voice commands. Home automation includes almost everything ranging from electrical appliances to home security systems. Home automation offers several advantages, which include:
- Safety: Several home automation technologies fall under the purview of security. Consumers purchase such technologies as they want to make their homes safer. Automation technologies in safety include motion sensors and real-time audio and video recording.
- Convenience: This is one of the bestselling points of home automation systems. These systems remove everyday hassles of turning off the electrical devices when heading out or going to bed. It can be done from an app on your smartphone.
- Savings: Home automation systems provide two-pronged savings – energy and financial. These systems help consumers save up to 15% on electrical bills, and it improves energy efficiency since gadgets and appliances can be remotely turned off when not in use.
How do Home Automation Systems Work?
Home automation systems are usually implemented with the help of controlling devices, sensors, and actuators. As mentioned earlier, the sensors detect temperature, motion, and light and send this data to the controlling devices.
These sensors include current transformers, IR (infrared) sensors, thermocouples, level sensors, photodetectors, and pressure sensors, which require supplementary signal equipment to communicate with the main controller.
The controllers usually include smartphones, laptops, and touchpads attached to controlling devices like PLC (programmable logic controllers). These PLCs receive information from the sensors and control the actuators. The actuators are the controlling devices that ultimately control the home equipment, and they include motors, relays, and limit switches.
Types of Home Automation Systems
- Power Line Home Automation System
The concept of using power lines for data transfer has been in existence since the early 20th century. However, the idea of using it for home automation is relatively novel. Power line communication refers to the technology of transmitting video, data, and audio information through a power line using low-speed and high-speed transmissions.
Power line home automation is a system that allows the implementation of an electrical device switch control through the domestic power lines. This form of the home automation system can transmit information and AC power simultaneously, however, it’s complex and requires additional converter devices and circuits.
- Wired Home Automation
This automation system consists of installing communication cables inside the house walls, which are connected to a central control unit. The devices are attached with actuators to communicate with the control unit.
This system carries more data and power and is safer when compared to the wireless automation system. A disadvantage of this system is that not all appliances support wired automation connections.
- Wireless Home Automation
All automation systems are wired in a specific way because the control unit has to be connected to the home power supply. So, in terms of the wireless home automation, it means that only the communication from the devices to the control unit is wireless.
The wireless home automation system employs technologies like IR, Wi-Fi, Bluetooth, ZigBee, and Z-Wave. Wireless home systems are easy to install and are much cheaper as compared to the wired automation system.
The Future is Now
The potential of home automation systems is massive, and it’s no surprise to see that modern homes are increasingly moving towards complete automation. With newer applications of such systems being discovered regularly, it is clear that home automation is here to stay.
Suppose you also are interested in joining the home automation bandwagon. In that case, it is advisable to explore the top home automation brands. Once this is done, approach experts who will provide you with automation recommendations that are perfect for your home.