Welcome!

Article

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
DX World EXPO, LLC, a Lighthouse Point, Florida-based startup trade show producer and the creator of "DXWorldEXPO® - Digital Transformation Conference & Expo" has announced its executive management team. The team is headed by Levent Selamoglu, who has been named CEO. "Now is the time for a truly global DX event, to bring together the leading minds from the technology world in a conversation about Digital Transformation," he said in making the announcement.
"Space Monkey by Vivent Smart Home is a product that is a distributed cloud-based edge storage network. Vivent Smart Home, our parent company, is a smart home provider that places a lot of hard drives across homes in North America," explained JT Olds, Director of Engineering, and Brandon Crowfeather, Product Manager, at Vivint Smart Home, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
SYS-CON Events announced today that Conference Guru has been named “Media Sponsor” of the 22nd International Cloud Expo, which will take place on June 5-7, 2018, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. A valuable conference experience generates new contacts, sales leads, potential strategic partners and potential investors; helps gather competitive intelligence and even provides inspiration for new products and services. Conference Guru works with conference organizers to pass great deals to gre...
DevOps is under attack because developers don’t want to mess with infrastructure. They will happily own their code into production, but want to use platforms instead of raw automation. That’s changing the landscape that we understand as DevOps with both architecture concepts (CloudNative) and process redefinition (SRE). Rob Hirschfeld’s recent work in Kubernetes operations has led to the conclusion that containers and related platforms have changed the way we should be thinking about DevOps and...
The Internet of Things will challenge the status quo of how IT and development organizations operate. Or will it? Certainly the fog layer of IoT requires special insights about data ontology, security and transactional integrity. But the developmental challenges are the same: People, Process and Platform. In his session at @ThingsExpo, Craig Sproule, CEO of Metavine, demonstrated how to move beyond today's coding paradigm and shared the must-have mindsets for removing complexity from the develop...
In his Opening Keynote at 21st Cloud Expo, John Considine, General Manager of IBM Cloud Infrastructure, led attendees through the exciting evolution of the cloud. He looked at this major disruption from the perspective of technology, business models, and what this means for enterprises of all sizes. John Considine is General Manager of Cloud Infrastructure Services at IBM. In that role he is responsible for leading IBM’s public cloud infrastructure including strategy, development, and offering m...
The next XaaS is CICDaaS. Why? Because CICD saves developers a huge amount of time. CD is an especially great option for projects that require multiple and frequent contributions to be integrated. But… securing CICD best practices is an emerging, essential, yet little understood practice for DevOps teams and their Cloud Service Providers. The only way to get CICD to work in a highly secure environment takes collaboration, patience and persistence. Building CICD in the cloud requires rigorous ar...
Companies are harnessing data in ways we once associated with science fiction. Analysts have access to a plethora of visualization and reporting tools, but considering the vast amount of data businesses collect and limitations of CPUs, end users are forced to design their structures and systems with limitations. Until now. As the cloud toolkit to analyze data has evolved, GPUs have stepped in to massively parallel SQL, visualization and machine learning.
"Evatronix provides design services to companies that need to integrate the IoT technology in their products but they don't necessarily have the expertise, knowledge and design team to do so," explained Adam Morawiec, VP of Business Development at Evatronix, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
To get the most out of their data, successful companies are not focusing on queries and data lakes, they are actively integrating analytics into their operations with a data-first application development approach. Real-time adjustments to improve revenues, reduce costs, or mitigate risk rely on applications that minimize latency on a variety of data sources. In his session at @BigDataExpo, Jack Norris, Senior Vice President, Data and Applications at MapR Technologies, reviewed best practices to ...
Widespread fragmentation is stalling the growth of the IIoT and making it difficult for partners to work together. The number of software platforms, apps, hardware and connectivity standards is creating paralysis among businesses that are afraid of being locked into a solution. EdgeX Foundry is unifying the community around a common IoT edge framework and an ecosystem of interoperable components.
"ZeroStack is a startup in Silicon Valley. We're solving a very interesting problem around bringing public cloud convenience with private cloud control for enterprises and mid-size companies," explained Kamesh Pemmaraju, VP of Product Management at ZeroStack, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Large industrial manufacturing organizations are adopting the agile principles of cloud software companies. The industrial manufacturing development process has not scaled over time. Now that design CAD teams are geographically distributed, centralizing their work is key. With large multi-gigabyte projects, outdated tools have stifled industrial team agility, time-to-market milestones, and impacted P&L stakeholders.
"Akvelon is a software development company and we also provide consultancy services to folks who are looking to scale or accelerate their engineering roadmaps," explained Jeremiah Mothersell, Marketing Manager at Akvelon, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 21st Cloud Expo, held Oct 31 – Nov 2, 2017, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
Enterprises are adopting Kubernetes to accelerate the development and the delivery of cloud-native applications. However, sharing a Kubernetes cluster between members of the same team can be challenging. And, sharing clusters across multiple teams is even harder. Kubernetes offers several constructs to help implement segmentation and isolation. However, these primitives can be complex to understand and apply. As a result, it’s becoming common for enterprises to end up with several clusters. Thi...