If you’re interested in custom luxury homes, then you’ve heard the buzz surrounding “smart homes” and “home automation”.
But there’s a difference between hearing the buzz, and totally understanding what home automation actually is, never mind how it can change your life for the better. Actually understanding what is available – what you can do right now with home automation – isn’t easy.
As part of our work we have spent a lot of time researching home automation in order to find the best technological solutions for our customers. In this article we pull together the latest and greatest information out there on home automation and put it into one, easy-to-access, easy-to-understand place.
Our aim is that we’ll help you learn everything there is to know about home automation, and how it’s going to dramatically enhance life in your custom luxury home.
So, what is home automation, and why should you care about it?
To properly talk about home automation in a comprehensive context, you need to get a clear and complete understanding of what home automation actually is.
Stated simply, home automation is any action inside the home that was once performed manually (by-hand), but is now performed automatically through some means of mechanization.
Stated in everyday terms:
If it’s performed by, or made easier by, a machine, then it’s automation.
Most automation methods are tied to either a timer or a trigger, where the passage of a certain amount of time (timer) or the reception of an external input (trigger) initiates the automation.
Some basic in-home devices you may be familiar with:
Chances are, you’re already quite familiar with many of the basic in-home devices that utilize either a timer or a trigger to perform tasks automatically:
- Coffee makers use timers to automatically turn on and start brewing in the morning.
- Sprinklers utilize timers to automatically water lawns in the evening.
- A motion detector can automatically trigger a house alarm.
- A decrease in air temperature can automatically trigger the H/VAC system.
But there’s so much more to it than that… home automation is an evolving industry:
Believe it or not, the home automation industry is not new. It was not born in the ‘00s with the iPhone, or in the ‘90s with AOL. In fact, home automation has been around for more than a century. It was born in the late 1800s with the arrival of the first rudimentary dishwashers and automatic garage doors.
However, it wasn’t until the arrival of the 21st century, and the onset of the Internet-of-Things (IoT) era, that the automation industry started to enjoy explosive growth and innovation. In fact, the growth has been so rapid, so intense, the industry is unrecognizable when compared to its pre-2000 self.
Let’s look at how homes went from simple automation to smart technology.
These days home automation is about devices and technologies that can do more than simply perform tasks around the house, but actually think about and autonomously optimize the performance of those tasks.
It is about sprinkler systems that can access the internet to determine how much water to give the lawn, and what time of day is optimal to distribute that water.
It is about security systems that can wirelessly link to smoke detectors and carbon monoxide alarms to create an end-to-end home safety experience.
It is about lights and thermostats that don’t simply “turn-on” at a given time, but know which occupant is in which room, and adjust the settings to meet each individual’s preferences.
At this point, you might as well stop calling it the “home automation” industry, and start calling it the Smart Home industry, because that’s what it is.
In the smart home, owners like you can control all aspects of the at-home experience—appliances, entertainment systems, security devices, lighting systems—from anywhere, at any time with nothing more than your smartphone.
Where home automation eliminates or simplifies individual tasks—washing clothes, watering the lawn, doing the dishes – the smart home ties life and technology together to create a seamless luxury home experience.
How smart home technology is going to change your life
Now that we’ve covered what smart home technology is, let’s take a look at how implementing some key resources in your custom luxury home will take it to the next level in terms of ease, comfort and security, and dramatically improve your quality of life.