Home automation devices are becoming more widely available, which means that they are falling in price. These smart devices for home users are designed to make your life easier, more productive, and help people to keep their homes secure.
How home automation works
Home automation, which is also known as domotica, enables you to control a range of appliances and devices via your Wi-Fi network. Some can be controlled directly from your smartphone or tablet, without the need to buy any more peripherals, but most need to be connected to an additional device called a home hub.
Smart home technology is relatively new, so is still developing, but it is doing so at a fast pace. Those who use these devices find them an invaluable addition to their life.
The fact that this technology is continuing to develop means that it is set to become even more useful in the near future. So, if you have not already invested in these types of devices for your home, now is definitely the time to think seriously about doing so.
What can be controlled via a home automation hub?
You can use home automation technology in many different ways. Many people use automated thermostats to help them to control their heating and air-conditioning systems.
These remotely controlled thermostats enable homeowners to ensure that their properties are kept at a comfortable right temperature and help them to avoid wasting energy. Via them, homeowners can remotely turn on their heating or air-conditioning, as well as use them to maintain a certain temperature.
Increasingly, home appliances such as slow cookers, washers/dryers, smoke alarms and ovens can be paired with home hubs. Once connected they can be turned on and off via a smartphone or be programmed to switch on at certain times of the day. This allows you to take full advantage of night and day electric tariffs, which makes it easier for you to cut your energy bills.
How smart devices help with home security
Perhaps the most important way people use smart home technology is to keep their homes more secure. Home hubs can be used to arm an alarm system and see who is at the door when they are not home. These devices can also enable you to control security cameras. For example, turn them on remotely to see why you received an alert that one of your Wi-Fi connected door sensors has been disturbed.
Home automation hubs can also be set up to trigger a series of events. For example, turn on some of the lights in the home if the alarm is tripped so that a potential thief will think that someone is in the house and leave rather than take the risk of being caught.
Several brands make these smart home hubs and the devices that work with them. Below is our roundup of some of the best manufacturers that offer the most stable, affordable and useful home automation products.
The Wink brand has been around since 2014, which is not long, yet they are still one of the leaders in the sector.
This company’s smart home hub is already compatible with more than 500 different appliances and domestic devices, which makes it a great choice for most homeowners. This one hub can be used to automate and control nearly any other smart device in your house. Read More »
The Amazon Echo was first developed as a home entertainment center rather than an automation hub. It was primarily designed to play music, read the news and read audio books to its owner. Today, it does a lot more than that.
Over the past couple of years, it has evolved into a full-blown smart device hub, which is already compatible with hundreds of devices. You can use the provided app to control a range of home appliances using your smartphone or tablet.
Perhaps the best thing about this particular hub is that when you are at home it gives you the ability to control many of your home devices using your voice. For example, dim your lights or turn on the kettle without having to leave your sofa. Read More »
Some of the companies that are involved in the home automation sector only make one or two products. Ring is one of those companies. They make a simple security camera, but their main product is a doorbell that has a security camera built into it.
When someone rings the bell, the homeowner is sent an alert via his or her phone. They can then use their smartphone to see who is at the door and potentially have a two-way conversation with that person. You can find out more about this product here. Read More »
The fact that there is strong consumer demand for home automation products means that many of the manufacturers of domestic appliances are getting involved in the smart home sector. Many companies are now adapting the products that they make so that they can be hooked up to a smart home network and be controlled remotely or via a voice interface.
TP-Link is one of them. This brand specializes in producing Wi-Fi hardware, but they are now branching out and using their specialist knowledge to make some of the most reliable automated devices that money can buy.
We particularly like their Wi-Fi connected plug sockets. These have the potential to allow you to turn practically any product that you own into a smart device that you can control remotely. Read More »
GE has been involved in home automation for a long time. They were one of the companies that first worked with Wink and helped them to develop one of the earliest dedicated home automation hubs. They’re best known in this market for their smart LED light bulbs.
Many GE home appliances can already be connected to the web and controlled remotely. General Electric is now starting to make smaller items and peripherals as well, which is helping people to gradually make changes to their homes and start to automate them. You can find out more about GE smart home products here. Read More »