Imagine being able to control the operation of your home with the touch of a button. Turn lights on and off. Set the aircon to start 30 mins before you get home. Unlock the door for a guest remotely. Be notified instantly when an intruder is near your front door.
With home automation, this is all possible—and more. And today, it’s more affordable than ever, making a smart home a reality.
In this in-depth home automation guide, we’ll explore what home automation is, the devices that make your home work smarter, how to decide what’s worth installing and how to connect them all together into one, easy to use system. Ultimately, we want you and your family to live safe and secure in a more efficiently run home.
What is home automation?
Home automation is a high tech term for a simple idea. Basically it means to make your home work automatically, by setting certain preconditions or making things happen instantly. Nowadays this is achievable with the use of technology. Let’s explain this with some real life examples.
Everyday example 1: Smart Aircon
You’re driving home and it’s a hot day. You’d love to be able to cool the house down before you enter it. Touch a button, and your aircon starts immediately. Yes you could have set this earlier to start, but maybe you had to go shopping on the way home and that would mean your aircon is running longer than you needed it to. Not only will you have a cool home but you also saved some money running it efficiently.
Everyday example 2: Digital Door Lock
Your mother wanted to pick up something from your home during the day and you’re not there. You can let her in remotely or she can have her own code to enter whenever needed. With a digital door lock you can give her access without the need to cut another key.
Everyday example 3: Digital Garage Door
You’re not sure if you closed the garage door when you left this morning. Don’t stress. Check the status of the garage door on the app and you’ll know instantly. And if you did leave it open, you can easily close it remotely, keeping your home safe and secure.
Everyday example 4: Video Doorbell
Expecting a package to be delivered and don’t want it to sit at the front door where it could be stolen? With a video doorbell installed, you’ll be notified immediately when the package is delivered. And if you had a digital garage door installed, you could talk to the delivery person, open up the garage remotely and ask them to leave it inside, so it’s secure and out of vision.
There are plenty more examples of how home automation can make your life easier and more secure. We’ll talk about other ways later on when we discuss the individual devices in more detail. But you get the picture for now. Being constantly connected to digital devices has it’s fair share of cons (like when you want the kids to listen to you…), but when used wisely, they make your life a whole lot easier and more efficient.
What are the main benefits to installing a home automation system?
Setting your home to work automatically brings many benefits. Here are a few of the higher level benefits:
- Efficiency: Automating various functions makes your home run efficiently, saving you money over the long term;
- Control: With an automated system installed, you can control the functions of your home from wherever you are;
- Security: Many of the smart devices provide both efficiency and security, such as a digital door lock.
Let’s look at these in more detail.
A smart home is an efficient home
When a complete home automation system is installed, various functions around your home can be automated and connected to each other, essentially one action triggering another. For example, you close the front door and your smart thermostat switches off to conserve energy. You unlock the front door and your entryway lights turn on. An unwanted visitor jumps into your yard and the floodlight switches on, an alarm is sounded and you receive a notification of their activity to your smartphone. These are only some of the ways a fully integrated, home automation system brings convenience and security to your life.
Home control in the palm of your hand
Of great convenience to you is how you can control your home remotely. Using an app on your smartphone, you can lock or unlock doors, open or close the garage or gate, switch the lights on or off, turn up or down the thermostat, from anywhere! And this is only a few of the actions you can take remotely.
Makes your home smart and safe
We all deserve to live in a safe and secure home. It’s one of the most fundamental needs but unfortunately it’s not how life is these days. We’ve all had to become more vigilant and security conscious. And this is even more necessary when you have a family and pets to protect. Many of the home automation devices double up as safety devices too.
For example, the digital front door lock. Not only can you remotely unlock the door and let someone you know into your house, it also means you don’t have to hide a key in the garden for an intruder to potentially find.
With a video doorbell your kids can see who is at the front door without them having to open it, letting them know if that person is safe or not. When you can see the status of your garage door with an app, you can make sure it’s closed (and close it…) from wherever you are. So home automation brings you peace of mind.
All these benefits are possible with the installation of a complete home automation system.
Wouldn’t you like a home that works smarter and harder for you and the family?
What can be automated?
Here are some of the most common systems included in the smart home automation category:
Within each of these categories you can choose from a variety of brands, costed according to the features provided. The choice is overwhelming. We know because we’ve worked in this industry for a long time and have seen things come, go and be outdated. If you need advice, please contact us and we can walk you through all the options. We’ve extensively tested all of the brands we supply, so rest assured, when we install your system, we vouch for it’s quality. And you can always ask questions post installation because we’re there to make your life smarter and safer.
How do I install a smarter home?
We covered what home automation is. Let’s take a look at how a smarter home can be installed.
There are many kinds and brands of smart home devices on the market. Some you can install yourself and some need the expertise of a specialist in wiring and house electrics.
And you can select parts of the house to automate and some parts not to. For example, you could install a digital door lock, a smart garage and a home security system. These could be standalone devices, all run independently, speaking their own ‘language’.
But doesn’t that kind of defeat the purpose, if you have to manage each one separately?
This is where the installation of a home automation system, by a professional installer, takes you to the next level.
We can advise you on the best quality devices available, professionally install them so you know they are installed correctly the first time, connect the devices to each other so they all speak the same ‘language’, and show you how to use each one individually and as a total system.
We’re also available for any questions you might still have, post installation.
Doesn’t that always happen? Everything is in place. You were taught how to use it at that time. Then a few days later you try to do something…and you forget the steps, or it just doesn’t do what you thought it would. Don’t worry. Call or email us and we’ll be happy to help you out.
Way more service than you would ever get from the individual device manufacturers or the store you bought the device from! We pride ourselves on the best in customer service, from when you ask for a free quote, to after your home is automated.
How to decide what to automate?
There are a countless ways to automate your home. It can be challenging to determine what’s worth your time and money to automate.
We recommend you narrow down the list by asking yourself a series of lifestyle questions. From years of helping customers determine their home automation needs, these are the questions we’ve found helpful to ask yourself.
- Am I away from home regularly?
Leaving your house unattended for long periods of time is a security risk. Thieves could notice your long absences, making your house a perfect one to break in to. A smart home security system would deter thieves and keep your home safe while you’re away. For this scenario we would recommend our highest level of home security system which is CCTV. Being a hardwired security camera system, CCTV ensures surveillance is maintained without relying on the stability and speed of a wifi connection. An important factor when you might be away from home for an extended period of time.
To take your security to the next level, add smart lighting that is set to turn on and off automatically, a digital door lock so you’re able to see when someone is at the door unannounced, and a digital garage door opener ensures only you can open the door from the app, rather than a remote device kept in the garage or home for anyone, including a burglar to use.
- Do I spend a lot of time at home?
If you’re at home most of the time, security is still highly recommended but a wifi security camera system would be sufficient. You’ll still be able to monitor your home and record activity, but when you’re present at home, you’ll be aware of any connection issues that may interfere with the system.And for smart devices that make life at home more efficient, people have really loved the installation of a video doorbell. Being able to answer the door from your device, wherever you are in the house, or maybe out in the garden, has been very convenient.
- Are my kids old enough to let themselves into the house?
The perfect smart device for you is the digital door lock. Never have to worry about lost keys again. Always know when your kids have entered and left the house. And be notified if the front door has been left open by someone…
- Do I have packages frequently delivered to my house?
A video doorbell will be your new best friend. Not only is it convenient to be notified when a package has arrived, but imagine being able to tell the delivery person to put the package in a safe place because you won’t be home for a while. What a great security bonus this feature provides.
- Are there people I need to give access to my house on a regular bases? Like parents, babysitter, cleaner, dog walker.
Another perfect case of where a digital door lock will make life much easier. With the ability to set up to 100 unique codes, you’ll have more than enough to hand out to whoever you deem to be in your secure group. You can also program the code to be only available between certain times, in case you want to limit the access window. And of course, keep track of usage as an added security feature.
With these questions answered, you can determine the most high return smart devices for your home and lifestyle needs.
Connecting it all into one smart home system
All our smart devices are controllable from an app. This is what excites people about installing a smarter home. You control everything at the touch of a button. And control is in multiple hands. So let’s talk about turning this into a system, a single app in fact, rather than many standalone apps operating independently.
This is where a Smart Home Assistant comes into the picture.
Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, Apple Homekit. These are known as Smart Home Assistants. Many homes already have one of these set up, but we’ve found that most homes don’t take full advantage of its functionality.
Yes they’re great for playing your song list, setting a timer when you’re cooking, giving you the weather for that day or reminding you of an event coming up.
But they can do so much more, especially when you have a collection of smart devices installed.
As part of our offering, Smarter Homes Australia fully integrates your current home automation products with an assistant of your choice. Whether it’s Amazon Alexa, Google Assistant, or Apple HomeKit, we’ll integrate all of your compatible products to your preferred assistant and make sure everything is functioning as it should be.
Or if you don’t already have a Smart Home Assistant, we can recommend the best option for your home situation. It really depends on which brand you’re most confident in using. And we can supply the Smart Home Assistant, set it up for you, and connect all your other smart home devices.
Imagine how efficient and convenient life at home will be once all your automated devices are connected and controlled from a single app.
You noticed the garage door was left open by one of the kids but who wants to get out of bed to close it.
The bedroom temperature is too high and you want to cool it off in time for bed. Without moving, you can change the temperature setting.
Someone turned up at your door and you weren’t expecting them? You’ll be notified of their presence without having to open the door.
Now that’s what a smarter life looks like!