Home automation, as the term suggests, is the installation of automatic facilities for a home, firm or institution. In other words, home automation is the automatic and electronic control of features like door locks, lighting appliances, surveillance cameras and HVAC (heating, ventilation and air conditioning) systems. It is the direct manifestation of the term “smart homes”.
The working of home automation systems is pretty interesting. They work based on three core elements- namely sensors, controllers and actuators. The sensors detect movement or changes in temperature, sunlight and other detectable changes. This information is fed to the system and then the settings are adjusted according to the user. The controllers contact the personalised devices for sending status updates and receiving instructions from the users. The actuators are usually responsible for controlling the mechanism or function of the whole automation system.
The software of the home automation system is connected to the computer networks so that the controls are available in the user’s personal devices. With the use of such automation systems, users can control and adjust their home facilities like limit amount of sunlight given to the plants, change temperature in particular rooms and even regulate the entertainment systems with just a touch.
Home automation systems are advantageous since some really complex tasks can be easily managed with the use of personalised devices like handsets, computers and tablets. Also, high security can be maintained with the aid of the automation systems. One can monitor carbon monoxide levels, intensity of fire in the fireplace, alarm mechanisms, surveillance cameras, lighting control, appliance control, thermostat controls and live video surveillance. This help users to defend the buildings against fires and break-ins.
Not only do the automation systems guarantee high comfort and security, but also provide great energy efficiency which helps in reduction of overall maintenance cost. The home becomes cost effective and energy efficient. For instance, companies offering home automation in Johannesburg are improving their energy saving techniques with each passing day. Home automation also saves labour and a great deal of the user’s time.
With innovation in the field of home automation, the prices of such systems are going down increasingly and it is estimated that it will be highly affordable even to the general mass. Even the control units have been improvised on to make them much easier to operate.