There are all sorts of ways to automate your home, from investing in smart access systems to connecting up your lighting, security and media to create a sense of your property being occupied even when no one’s home. But how far should you go, and is home automation worth the money? Let’s look at why many people are choosing to invest in smart home technology.
With modern life being busier and more demanding than ever before, convenience is really appealing to many of us. Installing smart lights, plugs and thermostats add a great deal of convenience with relatively little installation effort, and they give you options that aren’t otherwise available. For example, if you often work late or irregular hours, smart thermostats enable you to turn up the heating when you leave the office so your home is warm when you get back. Likewise, if you’re watching a film and realise you want the lights dimmed or off, you can achieve this without getting up from the sofa.
One of the big advantages of home automation is the security element it brings. Video doorbells, for example, enable you to check who’s at the door before answering it, and can also notify you if an unauthorised person is at your property. Smart lighting, meanwhile, can be programmed to match your daily routine, so that even when you’re away from home, you can give the appearance of the house being occupied. Individual lights can be turned on or off remotely, or whole scenes created as a deterrent for burglars.
Another benefit of smart home automation is that it enables you to use energy more efficiently, and thus save money. It’s especially useful if you have kids who habitually leave lights on, or if you someone who’s prone to falling asleep in front of the TV. Smart lights and plugs give you the option of turning components on or off remotely, or you can program them to turn off automatically at a specific time, meaning you’re not using energy when you don’t need to be.
Some modern technologies, such as games consoles, use power even when turned off because they update in the background. By plugging them into a smart plug, you can prevent this so-called ‘vampire’ energy from being drawn overnight or during school and work hours, and costing you extra money.
As an extension of convenience, smart home systems enable you to solve basic day-to-day problems. The intercom feature of Google Home, for example, enables you to speak to the kids in their respective rooms without yelling up the stairs then waiting for a muffled, incomprehensible answer. Or if you’re experiencing internet problems and need to reboot your router, you can do so from your app instead of fishing it out from where it’s hidden to restart it manually.
I have been in the AV industry for over 20 years, working alongside some very high profile brands. More recently I have been heavily involved in Smart Home Technology, Home Cinema & Lighting Control which I very much enjoy discussing with clients, as well as providing CPD's for a variety of construction partners.