Home automation is another version of the building automation often popular with commercial buildings. In what has become known as the Smart Home, home automation employs the robotic automation of most home appliances and facilities such as security, appliances, air conditioning, lighting, and heating. In this regard, home automation is meant to allow some or all appliances to run on their own by adjusting to the required conditions. In modern home automation systems, all sensors, switches and other control mechanisms are connected to a central control system where they can be run from. In most cases, the central control system or hub has various ways of being run including having either a terminal mounted unto the wall, a web interface, a mobile phone application, or a computer. As one of the fastest growing sectors, home automation and home automation systems contribute immensely to the growth of technology as a whole.
Home System Applications
Among the many applications of home automation systems are;
- For the elderly and disabled; when a home is automated for the elderly, several aspects have to be put into place. For example, there are systems which are automated to notify the doctors if they take note of any changes in the vitals of the patient or elderly. There are those meant to allow them also control the drawing of curtains, opening of doors and cupboards remotely. All these systems are geared towards reducing the level of movement of the sick or elderly whenever they are home alone.
- IPS (indoor positioning systems); these are sets of equipment which employ sensors such as acoustic signals, magnetic fields and radio waves to pinpoint the exact location of people or objects inside buildings. This technology can be used in various ways including helping the elderly and other people locate where they have placed their important items such as keys or documents. Better still, the technology is used to scan homes in the case one suspects an intruder has managed to enter without triggering alarm systems. IPS is the indoor version of global positioning systems (GPS) which is rendered mostly useless inside buildings.
- Detectors; most home automation systems have sensors to detect certain flaws in the house. For instance, there are detectors for smoke, leaks, and poisonous gasses such as carbon monoxide and sulphuric acid. These detectors go further to employ such applications of robotic automation as having sprinklers come alive whenever smoke is detected in a building. Also, there are home automation systems which open the windows or increase the rate of air circulation whenever poisonous fumes are detected. They are also able to stop the flow of water or gas whenever leaks are detected.
- Security; when one talks of home automation, they always think of security. In modern forms of home automation, the security system is a complex mix of CCTV cameras, automatically loving doors and wirelessly controlled systems. For example. The modern security systems have cameras that sense movement and follow up on it. Also, one can have door cameras that show who is at the door on their mobile phones or computers before opening the door. In some systems, the door requires a fingerprint, iris or a combination of numbers to open up. There are even homes with safe rooms which cannot be penetrated from outside without authentication.
- Smart meters; as the world increasingly embraces green energy and other forms of saving costs and energy, home automation systems have played an important role. Today, there are smart meters which balance out how one, for example, uses solar and hydroelectric power. During peak hours, the meter switches to solar power which would be stored in batteries within the home. No one needs to interfere with the meter after its initial calibration and programming. Such meters save the owners of the home a lot of cash on a daily basis.
- Lighting systems; lighting systems are among the most easily automated equipment in the home. Automating the lighting system was one of the earliest home automation systems since the lighting system is already connected to a central control hub which can then be easily connected to the automation system. With smart bulbs from such companies as Philips becoming popular, the automation of the lighting system has become only easier. They can be controlled from a smartphone which can remind the people in the house that they have not switched off the lights in a certain room. The lights can also be programmed to go out and come back on at specific times. This works well especially for security lights.
- HVAC; the heating, ventilation and air conditioning systems are among the most automated on any home. In most cases, air conditioning machines play the role of heating and ventilating the home. They are fitted with thermostats which work by keeping the room temperature within a given band. When the temperature rises to the upper limit of this band, the machine acts by stopping the heating process and increasing the cooling process, for example, by increasing the speed of the fan. In this way, it also improves the circulation. When the temperature goes below the confines required, the machine installed will act by heating up the air. In either way, the occupants do not need to control it in any way. However, they can remotely control the system whenever they are away from home and need to heat up or cool the home to the required temperature before they arrive.
While automation is quickly becoming the norm, the widely differing implementation standards present a never-ending headache for home users as no two home automation systems can be used together without conflicts in usage. Also, homes that are automated have been severally hacked remotely and damaged without anyone physically lifting a finger. All in all, home automation employs robotic automation in making our lives easier. You must be happy that the garage door opens itself automatically whenever your vehicle comes close to it. Thank the geniuses at the many home automation service companies.