Internet of things and home automation. These two words are some of the hottest topics of the year. However, these words have paved way for much confusion. What exactly classifies as an automated home? Is it having some Philips hue lights? Maybe an Alexa to go with it?
Home automation deals with the complete integration of smart devices in a home. This means they all talk to each other, and your home becomes an extension of your habits – current or desired -. However, what does this mean?
In this post, you will learn the difference in living between a regular home, a DIY smart home and an integrated home.
- The Daily Home: You Already Use Automation
- A Smarter Home: How Connected?
- An Automated Home: Life Extension
THE DAILY HOME: YOU ALREADY USE AUTOMATION
No, that title wasn’t a sham…It’s real. Think about it, what exactly is the definition of automation? The dictionary says, “the technique of making an apparatus, a process, or a system operate automatically”. When you open your garage, do you have to pull it up (I hope not) or do you press a button and watch it open? What about alarm clocks? Don’t they wake you up? Or even more basic, what does a remote control do? Doesn’t it automate the process of turning the T.V on?
Now, while you are much better off than your great grandfather in this sense, this is still uncomfortable for the ever-changing world. Let’s go over a basic morning, afternoon, and night of a regular home.
- Wake up via alarm clock, hit snooze button, take about 10 minutes to finally get up from the bed.
- Start getting your coffee ready, take a shower, and then have breakfast. Finish it off by turning on the news before heading to work.
- Most of the time we are in a hurry because we need to make sure we turn everything off before we leave. Then comes the midday worry about “did I leave my closet lights on?”.
- Arrive home, check home to make sure everything is ok, then get ready to relax.
- Close the blinds, get the T.V to the right channel – they always change it! – and then sit down. Right after sitting down to relax it’s time to eat dinner…So much for relaxing.
- You are more than likely too tired to set the perfect mood to eat dinner. Thus, you turn the dining room lights on and sit down to finally eat.
- Before bed, take a quick stroll around the home to make sure everything is turned off, then set the alarm and time for bed.
As you guys can see, most of our time is spent in a state of “getting ready”, but never REALLY relaxing. This is counter intuitive to the fact we spend 90% of our lives indoors. Now, let’s add some smart devices in our homes and see how our day changes.
A SMARTER HOME: HOW CONNECTED?
Ok, so you got yourself some smart gadgets. You got some Philips hue lights, an Alexa and maybe some other things. Everything was at a good price, it just took you a bit of time to install and program. Now you are ready to begin your new day in an automated home! Let’s see how this would look for the DIY user.
- Schedule your Philips hue lights to turn on at a certain time. You wake up and go to the app to turn it off. Then you go on another app to get your coffee ready and another for your video needs.
- You tell Alexa, turn “my Philips hue lights off”. Afterwards you go on the Nest app to turn your thermostat off and to set it at certain temperature when you get back home. Or maybe you tell Alexa to do it instead.
- It feels more comfortable being at work knowing your home is safer. You still periodically check the different apps out of curiosity to make sure one isn’t malfunctioning.
- Arrive home, schedule nest for specific temperature. Turn any lights on/off.
- Go through the different apps, and get ready to relax by adjusting everything how you like it.
- While sitting down, you can sort through the different apps to create the dinner mood how you want it.
- Finally turn off all the lights via the hue app, or tell Alexa, and go to sleep.
As you can see, there is A LOT less moving around. What I am sure you saw pop up frequently was “go on the app” or “tell Alexa”. Unfortunately, with a DIY system, you give up integration. Most of the devices each have an entire different app that you must go through to operate them. Also, it does get tedious to have to always set the mood constantly without it being a part of your habit.
It’s much more automated, however you still must set them manually.
AN AUTOMATED HOME: LIFE EXTENSION
A full automated home. This is the kind of stuff you see in the movies. The main difference between an automated home and the other solutions is that it’s entirely automatic. It’s a process that is created via your habits. It begins an extension of your day and you don’t need to put mental strain to think about which button to touch or which app to click.
Anyways, let’s look at what a day of an integrated home looks like
- Wake up to your favorite music slowly rising in volume. All the lights turn on, the blinds open, and your coffee begins to brew.
- Right away your T.V turns on right to the local news channel. Your thermostat automatically adjusted through the night based on your habits.
- You tell Alexa, “Alexa, work scene” and all the lights turn off, alarm gets set, all the doors lock, and appliances shut off.
- Anything that happens while away such as package arrival, or open garage, will give you an alert. You will be able to control everything from ONE app.
- Arrive home, flip your CUBEE to the “after work” position and watch as your lights automatically turn on to the perfect brightness. Netflix on to your favorite show, blinds close, and temperature sets. That’s it…Took about 2 seconds to get ready to relax!
- For cooking, with the press of a button on the keypad you automatically get your kitchen lights ready. Even better, tell Alexa directly to read you a recipe whilst you cook!
- As you might already understand, you can set your dinner scene for the perfect dinner mood. But, what is the perfect dinner mood? Have different scenes for different occasions! Romantic dinner? Family dinner? Or maybe you are having a lot of guests over and want a more party like setting? The possibilities are endless!
- When you are ready to go to bed, just press “master off” and watch as everything shuts off, and gets you ready to start a new day.
Did you see the big difference there? There was no thought process involved for much of this. It’s about creating the habits that you want to stick to and let your home be your guide. As mentioned before, we spend 90% of the time indoors. If this is the case, why wouldn’t we want to make that time we spend inside, count?
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