You’ve been hearing us talk a lot about the smart house and about removing wires from your house in order to make it tidy and give a nice look. And many technologies have been developed in the last few years that bring us closer and closer to this level, and one of them is controlling home electronics and appliances through a single device.
If we’ve talked about accessing your media files from anywhere in the house, of about how smart houses are the building blocks of smart cities, today, we’re taking a look at a few methods to make your house smarter, therefore, one step closer to the ultimate goal.
What can you control remotely in your home?
There are lots of items in our homes that we don’t think of as something we might need to remotely control, for instance, lights, windows or the temperature. However, if you managed to remotely control these home electronics from a single universal remote control, this would relieve you from having to manually adjust each of them.
It might not seem that you spend too much time switching the lights on, or adjusting the room temperature, but if you add it up, you will be surprised just how much time will be spent on these mundane tasks. If you’d have the option to interact with them from one location, it would save you the time and effort and it will make your house smarter and much more interesting.
Home automation can be achieved in many ways, and there are lots of different home electronics that can be remotely controlled or automated, just like you would automate a smartphone, to make them work independently. Starting from the lights in your house, and all the way up to heating, air conditioner or even making every wall socket smart or remotely accessible.
All of these, and many more can be remotely controlled from a computer, a smartphone or a tablet, so you can sit back, and relax and have complete control over your entire house. Also, some security systems allow remote monitoring, so you can keep an eye on your smart house even when you are traveling.
Benefits of home automation or remote control
As we’ve mentioned before, the reason why anyone would want to automate their home is to make it smarter and more comfortable for the owner. Today’s busy schedule leaves little room for personal time, so, not having to go around fiddling with every single item in your home will save you a few minutes.
However, there’s an even better reason for making your home smarter, and that is for security and to make it more economical. How many times have you gone to work and left the bathroom light on, or the heater running when you go for a weekend on a camping trip? Having remote access to your house’s electronics means that you can check if everything is good and if you notice that something is amiss, you can fix it remotely. Turning off lights, the TV or any other appliance can be done over the Internet in some cases, so you can set your mind at ease, knowing that everything is OK home.
Another use would be to make your air conditioning system turn on a few minutes before you get home on a hot summer day, or turn on the heater in winter so you arrive to a warm room. All of these uses can make your home much more comfortable.
How to control home electronics?
There are three main ways to get control over your house appliances. Each of them has its own advantages and disadvantages, but at the end of the day, both will users with great results. We’ll talk about each of them and at the end, you will have all the information you need in order to choose which way you want to go.
1. Installing an Automation System
These systems are developed by specialized companies and are the the most expensive on our lists. While they cost a bit, they do offer the best solutions, as they are designed to give the homeowner complete control over most of the home electronics. Also, some of them provide automated programs that allow the user to schedule their electronics to turn on or off at different times or on other triggers.
Control of these systems is done from mobile apps, computers or specialized consoles. These integrate with the home automation system to give the user an overview of all the controlled elements from the house. If you are interested in such systems, you might want to check out Control4 or Crestron.
2. Smart appliances and remotely controlled electronics
Many manufacturers have started producing smart appliances and electronics that allow users to remotely control them from their smartphones. These are the perfect tools for those that can’t afford a home automation system or if they don’t need a system that is so complex.
These have many advantages, and they come in many forms. Some are light sensors that allow users to turn on or off, or dim the lights in different rooms, others are remotely controlled wall sockets that can power on and off different appliances, smart temperature sensors that can be controlled with smartphones and so on. If you are interested in this type of remote controlled appliances, know that there are a wide range available. Here are a few examples of what kind of home electronics you can get:
Besides these, there are a lot more others, and if you start searching around, you will find even kitchen appliances that have remote control capabilities. It seems that gadget manufacturers are starting to realize that home products will become increasingly smarter and homeowners will be much more interested in these devices that have more features consume less power at the same time.
3. DIY automated electronics
For those who like to build stuff for themselves, DIY gadgets are the way to go. These require some knowledge about electronics and networking, but if you know what you are doing, than they might pay off. This method is probably the cheapest, and so, you might be better of approaching home automation from this angle.
The Internet is full of tutorials and ideas on how to create automated home electronics. There are websites dedicated to this, where you can find information, schematics and expert advice from those who have done it before. If you want to go down this path, then websites like HomeControls, Instructables, SmartHome and ElectronicHouse will be of great use.
As you can see, there are lots of ways to automate your home, and with the help of some remotely controlled electronics, you start creating your very own smart house.