When people think of home improvement mostly they think of hammers, nails, carpet, paint, shutters, windows, garage organizing, closet space, patios, and landscaping – but what about the electronics of your modern day home. Trust me when I tell you this isn’t the 1950’s anymore. Today, our homes, our appliances, and all the systems from WiFi, alarms, and air filtration are electronic based. More and more all of these devices are being integrated into what we now know of as a Smart Home. Well, that seems smart until one day the system crashes.
When the term smart home hits your ears, what do you immediately think? If you are like most people, you think it is some sort of home that can think for itself. A home like the one Bill Gates has, with rooms that can read body temperatures and stress patterns to automatically change the pictures and lighting to fit an individuals mood. Or maybe it is like the one in “Iron Man,” which can not only order food and change room temperatures but also can verbally communicate with Tony Stark and Pepper Potts.
No, the term smart home applies to any home that has some sort of automated feature to it. Whether that feature is as simple as automatic kitchen timers or more focused on home security, such as motion sensor outdoor lights, smart homes are becoming more and more prevalent in modern society. Even the device that cleans the pool fits into the definition since it is completely automated. In fact, a home alarm system that is connected to a phone line or the Internet so that it can communicate with the authorities if need be is another example of a smart home.
Many new homes are actually being built today with the wires necessary to enable smart home technology. All that the consumer needs to do is update their home or invest in a computer-based program that can control all of the home automation commands, such as ActiveHome or HAL. With these programs, an individual can easily link up all of their technology with one easy to use the system.
Yet, with regards to home security, home automation and smart home technology is a great idea. Even though it can be expensive and difficult to set up initially, it will provide a homeowner with a level of confidence that simple door locks or a home alarm may not be able to provide.
A person, with one of the computer-based programs, can easily have control over all of the home’s timers and commands. They can easily reset the sprinklers for their lawn or set the timers for the outside lights. If the individual utilizes a few home alarm systems, such as a pool alarm, deck alarm and garage alarm, it is possible to link all of them through one program, allowing the individual to enable and disable them with ease easily.
And with all of the advanced technology currently developing and being released on the market, there is no telling what will come next within the realms of smart home technology. In a few years, people may have houses that have all their systems and appliances linked together. It could even get to a point like in the cartoon “The Jetsons,” where all George had to do was put trust in his home, which would wake him up, shower and shave him and serve him coffee before sending him off to work.
Because seriously, society already invented the Clapper – that device that turned on lights with a simple double clap – back in the 1980s. That was 29 years ago and fits into the definition of a smart home. Just imagine what the next big invention will be, making everyone’s life that much easier.
In other words, smart systems monitor for emergencies. Any occurrence can easily be dealt with, and the appropriate authorities dispatched if required. Taking this monitoring a bit further, a central PC can be used to monitor the wellbeing of all family members and possibly tell the difference between the occupants of the home and someone who is a visitor or intruder.
5 Ways to Make Your Home a Smart Home
A smart home is described as one where a network of home automation systems are set in place so that you can easily control several different technologies from the same unit. The various devices within the home can communicate with each other, including the lights, the television, the heating and cooling systems, and the security system. A smart home is a convenient home and will help you manage your time as you can control different technologies with one remote.
Have your television, DVD, stereo and Pay TV all running off the one network. If you can, do away with messy cords and power boards and have the system pre-wired during the building stage of your house. You will be able to get perfect reception in different rooms and do so easily with the flick of a switch. With it all being controlled by the one network you can have one central DVD player that will play to any television in the house. The picture quality of the televisions won’t diminish either, no matter how many television’s you have connected to the system.
If you’re more concerned about your security, you can install a surveillance camera at the front door, or even at your front gate. These cameras can be connected to the system, and you can watch what is going on from any television in your house. It can also be handy as well as safe. For example, if you are upstairs and the doorbell rings you can turn on the television and check who is at the door. This is a good idea if it’s late at night. You may even want to set up a camera in a baby’s room and use it as a monitor.
By hooking your computers up to your home automation system, you can have more than one computer using the internet at the same time from different rooms of the house. The system can also link computers for multi-player games, and your computers can share a printer and scanner.
With a smart home, you can have a telephone with multiple lines. This is a good idea if you run a business from home so that you can have a home number and a separate business line. You can also run a fax machine off the system from a different phone line, which means if someone is trying to phone in while you are receiving fax they are not going to get a busy signal. This will help your home-based business by increasing efficiency as well as improving your professionalism. You can also have separate phone lines to allow family members some privacy.
The Heating and Cooling
You can connect your cooling and heating system to the home automation system and keep good control over the temperature of your home. You can also affect the temperature in your home by having your blinds connected to the system, which will lower at a flick of a switch. You can set the controls, so the temperature remains constant, so it doesn’t get too hot or too cold, and this can help reduce your energy usage and save you money.