The beauty of home automation is that your options are virtually unlimited. The challenge is deciding just how far you want to go.
A Basic Definition
For some it may be something as simple as remote or automatic control of a few lights. For others, security may be the central application. Still others may choose to install advanced controllers using motion detectors, biometric door locks or voice recognition. As a very basic definition, we tend to refer to home automation as anything that gives you remote or automatic control of things around the home.
Adding home automation to an existing home is surprisingly affordable and simple. The average product costs less than $100 and requires no new wires.
We at Ennoble Design think that home automation should be what you want it to
be. Whatever your automation project might be, we're confident that using it
will make life around the home more convenient, safe and fun!
What Can I Control?
Probably the most popular control category and a great way to get involved with home automation. Starter kits begin at $30 or so and are plug-and-play easy to install. Dim fixtures you could never dim before, control them from anywhere in the house (or world via the Internet).
Security Systems & Access Control
Have your home call you and/or loved ones if there is an alert status. You can save money on security monitoring services or even monitor for non-traditional security events like water in the laundry room or basement. Additionally, Smarthome products include devices which will allow you to unlock the front door to let friends in or close the garage door from your office via the web.
Home Theater & Entertainment
Just imagine replacing that pile of remotes with just one controller. Now, imagine not having to know all 10 steps to starting up your home theater - just press the HBO icon and your home automation products/system will do the rest. Built-in speakers are especially popular with homeowners as they provide beautiful sound throughout the house while adding no clutter whatsoever.
Phone systems which are usually used for small business applications are surprisingly convenient in the home. With caller ID and a home automation controller you can even screen your calls for only those you wish to cause your phone to ring. Voice control software turns every phone in your home into a remote controller. How would you like for your vacuum cleaner to turn off when your telephone rings?
Remote control thermostats allow you to adjust the temperature from bed at night or even from a cell phone while on your way home (or to your 2nd home!). They can even trigger a notice to you if the temperature gets too low (freezing pipes) or too high (pets, plants, etc.).
Have your sprinklers turn on only when it's dry. Some of our customers even turn the sprinklers on when there's motion in the yard at unwanted times - imagine someone trying to explain the wet clothes to the police.
Home automation can be accomplished using various types of connectivity like your computer network or the internet. Your home computer can even be set up as a voice activated control station with complete interactivity.
...and Almost Anything Else You Can Imagine
What's great is that many of today's home automation products need no new wires - so they are perfect to retrofit into an existing home. But if you are building new home, or doing a major remodel, please consider adding networking, audio, video and control wiring while it is easy and relatively inexpensive, later on you'll be happy you did