Once thought of as a passing trend, ‘Home Automation has now become mainstream and is here to stay. This Smart-Technology concept is actually redefining all vital means to build an intelligent smart-home. From switching off the lights to automatically set up the right temperature of your living room, the latest and hi-tech smart devices are essentially making hands free home automation a reality. 

Although home automation sounds like something space-age, complicated, and futuristic, the reality of home automation is very much simpler and easy-to-understand. So, if you’re thinking about creating your own smart home and want to learn more about home automation, then this Home Automation Detailed Guide will give you a good elemental understanding of home automation – how smart devices are connected and how they’re controlled. 

An Overview

Home automation basically refers to anything in your house that can be controlled automatically or remotely. In fact, home automation may range from the security of your home to the temperature settings in your living area. With technology becoming easily accessible to everyday homes, home automation products are gaining immense popularity. Constant improvements and updates are also done in order to advance the capabilities of this exciting trend.       

Even though home automation sounds quite complicated and ultra-modern, its sole purpose is to make people’s life easier. With its convenient remote-controlled features, you can easily coalesce some or all of the electronics in your home and get to access greater control over them than before. 

Google Home Mini operated using Smart Phones

Understanding Home Automation

Home Automation is also known as Smart Home Technology because its main purpose is to automate your home. Home automation basically allows you to control and manage many different aspects of your home through IoT (Internet of Things). 

Well, if you’re wondering what an automated-home is, I would like to tell you that a fully-automated home is just like a complicated machine that encompasses numerous independent-but-communicating components. These independent components or parts are also known as ‘Smart Devices’. Whether it’s securing your home, lighting, providing entertainment or heating, every smart device in your smart home-automation environment will carry out a different job. In general, most smart devices usually carry out at least one of the following 3 basic rules: 

  1. They respond to a command, an input, or a situation. 
  2. They sense things such as light, movement, sound, and temperature. 
  3. They process information. 

In addition to this, one of the most common features of these smart devices is their ability to sense changes in their surroundings, such as temperature sensing, motion detection, or light sensing. The sensors of these smart devices are like the eyes and ears of your automated home. All they do is receive the input from the surrounding environment and react accordingly or pass the information to other relevant smart devices in the home. These smart sensing devices provide information to other devices of your automated house in order to decide what to do next.  
Related Topic – How to look after your loved ones through Home Automation?
Home Automation For Under Rs. 5,000

How Does Home Automation Work?

It’s actually quite hard to explain how home automation works because together with a significant disparity in technology and automation type, there are more than one universally accepted protocols. However, the home automation market is so fast-paced and lucrative that most companies are withholding new developments. 

Talking about the working of home automation, all home automation devices depend on a network to be controlled by the user or work together. This network is referred to as ‘IoT’ or the Internet of Things. It is important for you to know that home automation uses this network to provide one incorporated control point and connect all smart devices together. Although many home automation products, such as door locks and security cams work on their own, you can easily connect them to your computer or smartphone and control them remotely. 

On the basis of working, home automation can be classified into 2 types – Central Control Home Automation System and App-based Home Automation System. 

  1. Central Control Home Automation Systems

 It is one type of home automation system that uses a central command point to control everything in your house. With a central control home automation system, you can use a single source to control your several smart devices like thermostats, lights, washer, dryers, phone, sprinklers, and more. This type of home automation system is quite popular among upscale private residences and businesses. 

Usually, central control home automation systems are operated through a wall-mounted terminal and hence, you can easily access them from your device, remote control, tablet, smartphone, or computer.   

Pros – One of the major benefits of the central control home automation system is its central commanding point. You can easily access all different smart devices of your home from one convent system. Ranging from your home security network to your shower and lighting, you can control everything via one central system. Besides this, central control home automation systems are likely high-end, which eventually ensures high-quality. 

  1. App-based Home Automation Systems

Unlike the central control systems, App-based home automation systems utilize your home network to communicate with the cloud. It is important for you to know that cloud technology is a vital part of IoT and this is why both have grown popular in recent years. Most app-based smart home-technology devices work by connecting to your home network. Once these smart devices get connected to the server, you can easily control and manage them through the apps on your smartphone. All you need to do is create a personalized account with these apps and it will become immensely easy for you to coordinate with your smart home devices.     

Home Automation Products

The current souk of smart home technology products covers most of the basic requirements around the house. So, rather than focusing on far-out ideas, you can choose to go with the current home automation trends that seem to provide much smarter and better solutions to common household functions. Here are some of the major sectors that have eventually proved to be a huge industry for home automation.  

  • Entertainment 
  • Lighting
  • Home Security
  • Climate Control
  • Home Health
  • Personal Assistant

Getting Started With Home Automation

Many homeowners wish to enjoy the advantages of home automation, but they are not actually sure which smart technology products to buy. So, here’s a 4-step process that will help you pick the apt smart-devices that could be a great fit for your lifestyle.   

Step 1 – Analyze Your Tech Level

Before getting started with building your smart home, it’s important that you become familiar with home automation and how it works. Determining your tech level will eventually help you to realize that some smart-technology devices require more technical proficiency than others. So, if you are not that tech-savvy, it’s better that you stick to the basics and buy smart-technology products that are easy to use. 

Step 2 – Determine Your Fiscal Limits

You can easily find smart devices at all price points and their price may range from affordable to a bit expensive. Thus, it is recommended to pre-set your budget before going any further. 

Step 3 – Match Your Smart Devices To Your Needs

Always remember, everyone is different and therefore, the smart gadgets that your neighbor has might not possibly turn out to be helpful to you. So, it’s better that you match your smart technology gadgets according to your lifestyle. 

Step 4 – Research Before Buying

Before purchasing a smart device or gadget, make sure to do some research on it. You can read independent reviews, customers’ opinions and buyer’s guide to learn more about that smart tech device. 

What Smart Devices Can a Smart Home have?

So, let’s start with the basics. Below listed are some of the most common smart home options that are readily available in the market these days. These smart home options are easy to install and use, and are possibly the most affordable smart home tech.   

  • Smart TVs – With Smart TVs, you can watch anything you’d like. These smart devices are an umbrella for all IoT features and you can easily enjoy online streaming on it. With their prices ranging from 12,000 INR to as much as 1,00,000 INR, you can find a complete range of smart TVs in the marketplace to suit everyone’s needs and budget. 
  • Smart Speakers – These smart gadgets can do a lot more than just playing music. With the right smart speaker, you can easily control almost every facet of your home with just a voice. You can easily buy these affordable smart technology gadgets for as less as Rs. 999. 
  • Smart Thermostats – These smart devices are used for monitoring your HVAC unit. Smart thermostats have a sensor, so you just need to set them on a schedule and it will eventually help in saving energy. These smart technology devices are pretty expensive and their prices range from 14,000 to 25,000 INR.   
  • Smart Plugs – You can easily convert any object into a smarter version of itself by using smart plugs. With these affordable smart gadgets (price rates ranging from Rs 500 to Rs 3999), you simply need to plug-in these smart plugs into your normal power outlet and then you can easily turn it on or off by using your smartphone. 
  • Light Automation – You can either choose to install smart light switches or go for smart bulbs that can enhance your ordinary lights into smart ones. 
  • Video Door Bells – These smart gadgets not only sense and alert you when someone is at your front door but also show you the video footage of the person. You can buy this revolutionary smart home security gadget for as low as Rs. 4,989 and ensure continuous monitoring and safety of your property.  
  • Robot Vacuums – It is another best smart-technology home device that can be controlled by your smart device. They are extremely affordable and you can easily grab your own piece of smart robot vacuum by paying a reasonable amount of 1,999 INR.  
Smart Thermostats by Nest Google

Smart Kitchens – Here are some smart kitchen appliances that can ease your major tasks such as cooking and cleaning, and make them a lot simpler.     

  • Smart Refrigerators – Well-incorporated with numerous automated features, smart refrigerators could be a great addition to any home. 
  • Smart Ovens – You can easily control them through your smart device and perform functions like control the timer, press ‘START’, and run the diagnostics.  
  • Smart Dishwashers – These smart home devices run on similar apps and you can easily connect them with your smart fridge. 
  • Smart Laundry – Even though laundry is not a kitchen chore, these smart washers are very much similar to smart dishwashers. They can also be controlled by the apps on your smart device. 

Smart Bathrooms – It is a fact that all basic necessities can be improved in a smart home, and so is the smart bathroom technology that can make your regular bathroom more than just a room you’ve to use. 

  • Smart Toilets – These smart devices offer features like touch-free flushing, automatic open/close lid, automatic deodorizer, heated seats, bowl cleaning, etc. 
  • Smart Vanities – With smart vanities, you get to enjoy touch-activated lighting, fogless surfaces, towel heating drawer, etc. 
  • Smart Showers – These smart home devices possess various capabilities and you can easily control their settings through your smart devices. 
  • Privacy Window – They can be easily installed and you can use their smart features to change them from normal to opaque. They are also helpful in maintaining a comfortable temperature. 

Smart Home Security

Whether you’re looking to safeguard your home, business, office, or vacation home, smart home automation for home security is a great option. The following are some of the major smart home security devices that you can buy for your smart home.
Related topic you can read – How to look after your loved ones through Home Automation?

Security Surveillance for your Home Automation
  • Video Surveillance – You can keep eyes on your property 24*7 from your smart device with this smart home security feature. 
  • Sensors – Commonly used on doors and windows, these sensors can send an alert on your smart device in case of any activity. 
  • Automated Locks – They can be another great addition to your smart home. 
  • Alarm System – In case of any accident or burglary, a smart alarm system can go on and automatically alert the authorities. 
    Related Topic – How to look after your loved ones through Home Automation?

More Smart Options

There are many other smart–technology devices that you may consider incorporating in your smart home and enjoy the complete benefits of home automation. 

  • Smart fans
  • Smart Video Monitors
  • Smart Changing Tables for nurseries. 
  • Smart Health Monitors
  • Smart Pet Doors, Mats, and self-cleaning litter boxes for pet care. 
  • Automated Sprinklers for home lawns
  • Smart feeders for pets
  • Smart floors 
  • Smart Beds 
  • Smart Pool

Home Automation with Arduino and Raspberry Pi 

The rapid advancement of IoT or Internet of Things has eventually made people’s life a lot easier and simpler in all aspects. In the current times, automated systems are very much preferred over manual systems. With a smart home automation system, you can get a centralized method to control all major appliances in your home. It is important for you to know that in recent times, a new cost-effective system has been proposed to pull off such an automation system based on the IoT concept. All these devices are connected to Arduino and Raspberry Pi. This proportion system also offers a feature of controlling all home appliances locally with the help of a local network. So, if you want to give a smart-technology touch to your ordinary home, then you can prefer opting for home automation systems with Arduino and Raspberry Pi and make your smart home more efficient.   

Raspberry Pi 2 2014 Model used IoT Home Automation

Benefits of Home Automation

Whether you have just one smart-technology device or a complete home automation system setup, there are so many interesting benefits that you can enjoy with this revolutionary technology. 

  1. Save Money – Smart-technology devices are generally designed to help you save a lot of money in the long run. By controlling your home appliances, you can make sure you’re not leaving anything to waste. 
  2. Save Time – This is another major benefit of using home automation systems in your home. The advanced and convenience features of these smart technology devices eventually help people to save their time from minor tasks. 
  3. Comfort – All of these smart technology devices are designed to bring you comfort. Whether it is monitoring your home security or setting up perfect lighting in your home, smart devices can automate every task, thereby allowing you to stay in your own comfort zone. 
  4. Entertainment – There’s no doubt in the fact that smart homes are a lot of fun than regular homes. 
  5. Safety – Having smart home-automation security devices is one of the easiest ways to ensure complete security of your home and assets.   
    Related Topic – How to look after your loved ones through Home Automation?

Potential Problems with Home Automation

Home automation is a new trend and there are certain areas that you need to be cautious of with home automation. As a matter of fact, anything that requires technology will have some obvious downfalls or risks, and so are the potential issues with home automation. 

Privacy and Security
  • Cost – Since home automation is a relatively new technology, its prices are quite off-putting. So, installing a complete home automation setup could prove to be quite expensive for you. 
  • Privacy & Security – When you connect anything to the internet, there is a possibility for security risks like information sharing. So, it’s important that you always use trusted products and research about their privacy standards before buying them.   

The Future of Home Automation

The future of home automation technology is an exciting one with ostensibly endless opportunities. This innovative technology has revolutionized the way people carry out their daily tasks, and there are smart devices that eventually take home automation one step further. So, no matter what the future holds for home automation, there is no doubt in the fact that home automation systems are going to face exciting times ahead. 

 Related Topic – How to look after your loved ones through Home Automation?
Home Automation For Under Rs. 5,000