Your Smart House: A Comprehensive Guide to Home Automation

A Comprehensive Guide to Home Automation

The future is today. Although this sounds like an oxymoron, advanced technology makes this statement more applicable than ever. With these advancements, houses across the nation are being built to provide the utmost in comfort, control, and convenience.

Dave and Jenny Stevens, residents of Dallas, recently found out just how much home automation could help them save energy, improve their security, and give them total power over their house. If you're contemplating home automation, learn from their story so you can do it yourself.

Define Your Goals and Put Them on Paper

The first thing the Stevens family did was define what they wanted automated in their home and put together a solid plan on paper. Rushing into an automation project can lead to headaches later on, so it's best to prepare carefully to make sure you know what you want done before you begin doing it.

Whether your goals are simplistic or complex, you'll want to start off small and build your automated home in steps. Again, don't rush into this project. You'll be glad you took your time in the end.

Choose the Right Home Automation System For Your Needs

When choosing your home automation system, you'll want to refer back to the piece of paper where you wrote down all your needs and wants. Depending on triggering needs, you either choose a hardware-based controller, a software-based controller, or a hybrid (hardware and software) controller. 

Additionally, you'll want to follow in the Stevens' footsteps and pick the right control technologies that'll offer you immediate command over the connections in your home. When thinking about this stage in the process, you'll want to consider whether to use hard wires, power lines, wireless, serial cables, Ethernet, or Infrared transmissions. 

If you're having trouble finding the right system that fits you're needs, take a look at this comprehensive review of the 10 best home automation systems available in 2014. 

Install Your Home Automation System in Stages

Once you've put a plan on paper and picked the right system, you've likely developed an understanding of just how important it'll be to install it in stages. The Stevens family found out firsthand just how troublesome it was to rush this project, and they had to start over again because they didn't have all the connections they wanted.

To ensure that all your components work and connect, install your system in stages. Once the Stevens family found out how much rushing an installation would affect the system's functionality, they took advantage of a schematics guide to help them stay organized and keep troubleshooting easy. 

For a complete blueprint on how to install a home automation system, check out this Lifehacker guide

Consider These Additional Home Automation Tips

Once the Stevens family successfully installed their system and began to run it, they took it a step further and wrote code to allow it to connect online so they could gather data about its functionality. With the right coding and programming, your system can use this data to run even more efficiently without you lifting a finger. 

Additionally, the Stevens family installed sensors to their system so that it would automatically do things like turn the lights off whenever they left a room. When they combined that kind of efficiency with the affordable rates they were getting from their Dallas electricity company, they noticed a huge reduction in their monthly bill. 

Another good idea is to take advantage of wired modules as opposed to plug-in ones. Doing so will make sure that you can use your appliances and lights even without using the home automation system. 

So there you have it: A short but sweet guide to home automation. If you follow these simple steps and research the linked sites in this article, you'll have your system installed like the Stevens family in no time. Remember to remain patient and install it in steps, though, or else you'll have to do it all over again like them. 

Do you have a home automated system already installed? What do you love about it? Leave a comment below.

More Stories By Hailey Robinson

Hailey is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn't face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.

Latest Stories
@DevOpsSummit has been named the ‘Top DevOps Influencer' by iTrend. iTrend processes millions of conversations, tweets, interactions, news articles, press releases, blog posts - and extract meaning form them and analyzes mobile and desktop software platforms used to communicate, various metadata (such as geo location), and automation tools. In overall placement, @DevOpsSummit ranked as the number one ‘DevOps Influencer' followed by @CloudExpo at third, and @MicroservicesE at 24th.
24Notion is full-service global creative digital marketing, technology and lifestyle agency that combines strategic ideas with customized tactical execution. With a broad understand of the art of traditional marketing, new media, communications and social influence, 24Notion uniquely understands how to connect your brand strategy with the right consumer. 24Notion ranked #12 on Corporate Social Responsibility - Book of List.
Established in 1998, Calsoft is a leading software product engineering Services Company specializing in Storage, Networking, Virtualization and Cloud business verticals. Calsoft provides End-to-End Product Development, Quality Assurance Sustenance, Solution Engineering and Professional Services expertise to assist customers in achieving their product development and business goals. The company's deep domain knowledge of Storage, Virtualization, Networking and Cloud verticals helps in delivering ...
In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 19th Cloud Expo, Robert Doyle, lead architect at eCube Systems, will examine the issues and need for an agile infrastructure and show the advantages of capturing developer knowledge in an exportable file for migration into production. He will introduce the use of NXTmonitor, a next-generation DevOps tool that captures application environments, dependencies and start/stop procedures in a portable configuration file with an easy-to-use GUI. In addition to captu...
Most of us already know that adopting new cloud applications can boost a business’s productivity by enabling organizations to be more agile and ready to change course in our fast-moving and connected digital world. But the rapid adoption of cloud apps and services also brings with it profound security threats, including visibility and control challenges that aren’t present in traditional on-premises environments. At the same time, the cloud – because of its interconnected, flexible and adaptable...
SYS-CON Events announced today that SoftNet Solutions will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. SoftNet Solutions specializes in Enterprise Solutions for Hadoop and Big Data. It offers customers the most open, robust, and value-conscious portfolio of solutions, services, and tools for the shortest route to success with Big Data. The unique differentiator is the ability to architect and...
In past @ThingsExpo presentations, Joseph di Paolantonio has explored how various Internet of Things (IoT) and data management and analytics (DMA) solution spaces will come together as sensor analytics ecosystems. This year, in his session at @ThingsExpo, Joseph di Paolantonio from DataArchon, will be adding the numerous Transportation areas, from autonomous vehicles to “Uber for containers.” While IoT data in any one area of Transportation will have a huge impact in that area, combining senso...
More and more brands have jumped on the IoT bandwagon. We have an excess of wearables – activity trackers, smartwatches, smart glasses and sneakers, and more that track seemingly endless datapoints. However, most consumers have no idea what “IoT” means. Creating more wearables that track data shouldn't be the aim of brands; delivering meaningful, tangible relevance to their users should be. We're in a period in which the IoT pendulum is still swinging. Initially, it swung toward "smart for smar...
Cognitive Computing is becoming the foundation for a new generation of solutions that have the potential to transform business. Unlike traditional approaches to building solutions, a cognitive computing approach allows the data to help determine the way applications are designed. This contrasts with conventional software development that begins with defining logic based on the current way a business operates. In her session at 18th Cloud Expo, Judith S. Hurwitz, President and CEO of Hurwitz & ...
@ThingsExpo has been named the Top 5 Most Influential M2M Brand by Onalytica in the ‘Machine to Machine: Top 100 Influencers and Brands.' Onalytica analyzed the online debate on M2M by looking at over 85,000 tweets to provide the most influential individuals and brands that drive the discussion. According to Onalytica the "analysis showed a very engaged community with a lot of interactive tweets. The M2M discussion seems to be more fragmented and driven by some of the major brands present in the...
In the next five to ten years, millions, if not billions of things will become smarter. This smartness goes beyond connected things in our homes like the fridge, thermostat and fancy lighting, and into heavily regulated industries including aerospace, pharmaceutical/medical devices and energy. “Smartness” will embed itself within individual products that are part of our daily lives. We will engage with smart products - learning from them, informing them, and communicating with them. Smart produc...
As ridesharing competitors and enhanced services increase, notable changes are occurring in the transportation model. Despite the cost-effective means and flexibility of ridesharing, both drivers and users will need to be aware of the connected environment and how it will impact the ridesharing experience. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Timothy Evavold, Executive Director Automotive at Covisint, will discuss key challenges and solutions to powering a ride sharing and/or multimodal model in the a...
In his keynote at 19th Cloud Expo, Sheng Liang, co-founder and CEO of Rancher Labs, will discuss the technological advances and new business opportunities created by the rapid adoption of containers. With the success of Amazon Web Services (AWS) and various open source technologies used to build private clouds, cloud computing has become an essential component of IT strategy. However, users continue to face challenges in implementing clouds, as older technologies evolve and newer ones like Docke...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Embotics, the cloud automation company, will exhibit at the 19th International Cloud Expo, which will take place on November 1–3, 2016, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA. Embotics is the cloud automation company for IT organizations and service providers that need to improve provisioning or enable self-service capabilities. With a relentless focus on delivering a premier user experience and unmatched customer support, Embotics is the fas...
Just over a week ago I received a long and loud sustained applause for a presentation I delivered at this year’s Cloud Expo in Santa Clara. I was extremely pleased with the turnout and had some very good conversations with many of the attendees. Over the next few days I had many more meaningful conversations and was not only happy with the results but also learned a few new things. Here is everything I learned in those three days distilled into three short points.