Your Beginner’s Guide to Home Automation

Home automation is no longer a thing of the future. It’s here, and the possibilities are endless. From an ever-expanding list of compatible home tech products to DIY hacks, the industry is really changing the way we live. As you look into the growing list of gadgets and software that are available for creating your own “smart” home, here are some guidelines from tech experts. 

1. Home automation can incorporate security, climate, and household gadgets into a completely networked home. The key is the ability to do tasks automatically, and monitor or change status remotely.

2. When deciding where to start, think about what you want at the end. Are you looking for convenience or security or both? Don’t forget to determine your budget. How much time & money do you want to invest?

3. Common features include lights that can be turned on or off remotely, door locks that can be triggered via smartphone, thermostats that sense and memorize temperature settings, and appliances that help you cook to optimum results.

4. Smart home systems can be big or small, can incorporate items inside and outside your home, and can be DIY or professional setups.

5. Home automation can be as simple as individual items, or a full system of connected devices. It depends on the products you choose and the protocols they run on. You can have different plug-and-play devices, or choose a comprehensive receiver and system.

6. Home safety features can range from motion detectors and cameras, to automated door locks, and smart detectors for smoke, fire, and carbon monoxide.

7. Comfort/energy-saving features go beyond heating & cooling. These systems learn your patterns and preferences with sensors, then turn on or off depending on who is in the house and when. They’re can be a big energy & money saver.

8. You can create a personalized home entertainment setup by automating audio, video, lights, and streaming services. And create a central music hub for one-stop playlists.

9. There are a lot of appliances that are designed for home automation. You can monitor your kitchen with a smart stove or refrigerator, and keep things clean with automated floor cleaners, washers, and dryers.

10. What are some Must-Have home automation products? Top sellers on Amazon include smart light switches, smart LED light bulbs, and the Amazon Echo speaker (a voice-activated smart hub). For versatility and ease of use, the voice-controlled speaker Google Home, Chamberlain MyQ Garage door controller, SkyBell doorbell camera and the NETGEAR Arlo Pro security camera are a few of the most popular products.