Technological advancement has made its footstep into your home. Home automation allows you to have control over every aspect of your home. Its potential continues to grow. The budget for buying a fully automated home can be overwhelming. Instead, one should build a smart house in a step-by-step fashion.
Building a smart home requires you to have specific knowledge. First, you will have to know about the accessories available in the market, and in what way that could prove useful to you. Make sure the assistant and devices you are using are compatible. A smart house has better thermal performance and reduced carbon footprint which can help you achieve a 6 star energy rating.
For your ease, we have jotted down some ways you can make your home automated.
Voice Control: Amazon Alexa, Siri and Google Assistant
Use of voice commands to control your home appliances have gained the interest of many people. You can pair your smart devices with the Amazon Alexa to gain voice control over them.
When you are going out or when it’s time for sleep, you can command to turn off the lights. You can lock-unlock your door and open-close the garage door. Or turn on the music with just a simple voice command. The ability to control such a wide range of appliance helps to save a considerable amount of energy and money.
Worried that you will have to buy smart devices for making them compatible with home automation?
Smart Plugs are the solution.
They are smart adapters that can make your simple appliance go smart. One catch is that it can only turn your device on or off. If multiple operations need to be varied, then smart plugs cannot help you. Control the power supply to your thermistor, TV, fan and lights with these plugs.
These can be a great assistant for those who cannot talk. We are quite familiar with gestures like “thumbs up” to convey that we like it, “clap hands” for congratulating on a great job done and many more.
FIBARO Swipe has brought these gestures into a control pad to automate your home. Getting up from the bed, let the fresh light in just by swiping the screen. Turn on and off your light with just a gesture.
Nest Smart Thermostat
Moving away from gesture and voice, how about something new - A system where you don’t have any part to play. The Nest Smart Thermostat is a fully automated system that analyses the variation of temperature in your house from 8 am to 5 pm and automatically adjust itself to save both money and energy. The self-program feature saves your cooling bills by 15%, and during winter the heating bills by 10% to 12%. Saving energy will help rank better in your 6-star energy rating report.
Internet of Things (IoT)
Life has become simpler and comfortable with the introduction of the Internet of Things. With IoT, you can now control, monitor and have access to information without physically being present.
Forgot to turn off the light when leaving for office, you can now turn them off from where you are. Get security and temperature updates of your home at real-time. It is anticipated that by 2020, 30 billion objects will be connected through the internet of things. This opens up a vast opportunity in front of us to go for home automation. With the internet of things, you can now predict the thermal comfort more accurately than before.
Smart Meter and Energy Monitor
If you want a minimum 6 star energy rated house, then a monitoring system is required that records your consumption of energy. Within a smart home, a smart meter measures the amount of electricity you are spending. For tackling the high level of energy waste, this information is vital.
A large portion of your average electricity bills comes from lights. Research states that in 2019 the average annual electricity bill in Victoria, Queensland, New South Wales and South Australia is A$1,602.32, A$1,608.76, A$1,898.40 and A$1,898.80 respectively(Link).
With smart lighting, you can considerably reduce this cost. One way to do it is by using voice control through devices like Alexa or Voice Assistant. It can also be done remotely through the Internet of Things and remote settings.
If you want to save money, try making a system of your own. An LDR can be used to determine the intensity of light outside. Infrared sensors can detect if any person is in the room. Pushing these finding inside a microcontroller, you can fix and let the machine control the switching of the lights. Saving energy is the principle of reducing your cost. A smart home is sure to help in your 6 star energy rating assessment.
When you are talking about smart homes, the need for smart security systems is a must. The use of cameras is seen all around us. Now, for a smart home, this can be made automated and energy efficient.
Your regular cameras keep on recording the whole duration. With smart cameras, you can start recording when movement is detected. The recorded video or images can also be sent to you instantly. Sensors can be set at your door or windows to provide an alarm in case of burglary. There is also the smart video doorbell which has both side audio and one side video operation. Even if you are not home, you can speak and see anyone at your house door.
5G network is expected to be launched in 2020 which will act as a massive drive towards growth in home automation. For those of you interested in building energy efficient homes and getting 6 star energy rating, home automation can be a great step forward.