A smart home is characterized by certain aspects of the property being controlled through automated systems that can be manipulated locally or remotely. In that sense, the smart home is different from the automated home of decades’ past. Smart homes offer a lot more functionality thanks to the controls that make them work.
So just how does home automation work? It works based on a series of device controls that are all interconnected and able to communicate in real time. There are three categories of smart home controls that make it all possible. These are:
The latest advancements in wireless technology now make it possible to automate virtually anything in the home that runs on electricity. For example, device switches are smart home controls that can turn the power on or off based on programming or manual manipulation. Every light in your home can be outfitted with a switch.
We can use device switches to control interior lighting, exterior lighting, appliances, home audio and stereo equipment, and so on. But it gets better. There are advanced smart home controls that go beyond just turning the power on and off. Again, let us use lighting as an example.
There are device switches that control the amount of voltage that goes into a light socket. How is this helpful? It makes it possible to raise or dim the lights without necessarily turning the power on or off. Through this technology, you can create different lighting scenes at various times of the day.
2.Central Control Units
Every smart home relies on a central control unit to tie everything together. As far as smart home controls are concerned, the central control unit is the most important part of the setup. It is what allows the various components of a system to be manipulated locally.
In some systems, the central control unit is mounted on the wall near one of the home’s main entry points. Other times the customer may choose a tabletop unit to be placed on an end table or desk. At any rate, all system controls reside within this unit. The controls are further enhanced by mobile apps allowing manipulation of the system via a smartphone or tablet.
For our money, the most exciting smart home controls are those devices that can learn. At the top of the list is the smart thermostat. Some of our home automation packages include smart thermostats as standard.
A smart thermostat can be programmed just like a traditional programmable thermostat. But it also has built in artificial intelligence that can learn a family’s heating and cooling patterns over a set amount of time. Once those patterns are learned, the thermostat can essentially control itself. Homeowners only need to intervene when they want to override learned programming.
The smart thermostat can take smart home controls to the next level if it also includes onboard geolocation technology. A geolocation-enabled thermostat communicates with the homeowner’s smartphone to continuously track location. When a homeowner reaches a programmed distance from the home, the thermostat kicks in to adjust the temperature accordingly. This kind of smart technology ensures that homeowners never return to an uncomfortable house should circumstances ever go outside of normal programming.
Home automation is evolving in leaps and bounds thanks to advances in smart home controls. Considering the rate at which things are progressing, the future looks optimistic. Perhaps we will someday reach a point at which our homes can take care of themselves without any help from us.