Take Control Of Your Life With Home Automation
Home automation is becoming more apparent in everyday life covering everything from refrigerators that order groceries to programmable vacuum cleaners to motorized window treatments.
When it comes to accessibility and convenience, home automation is key. While this technology is exciting, it can also be a little overwhelming. With so many features and options, it is hard to know where to start.
So let’s walk through some of the beneficial ideas that can bring security and comfort to your home. In this article, we are going to discuss some of the amazing capabilities of home automation and smart home technology.
What Is Smart Home Automation?
First, let’s discuss the definition of smart home automation.
A smart home utilizes a network of devices and programs that connect and control a variety of appliances throughout the home using scheduling programs or remote activation.
Typically, smart home appliances are connected online using the home’s Wi-Fi or Bluetooth devices.
Most will immediately think of voice activation with the commonly quoted “Hey Siri” or “Hey Alexa,” etc. While this is a popular stereotype of smart home automation, this only encompasses one type of connected home operational system.
Thinking that smart home automation is just about a voice activated device that can assist in turning a few things on or off is an extremely limited view of all that this amazing technology can provide.
Connected home solutions are bringing greater accessibility and convenience into the home in ways that have never been done before.
So let’s explore some of the many ways smart home automation can enhance and improve everyday life.
How Can My Connected Home Increase Security?
Keeping the home safe and secure for the inhabitants as well as any visitors is always important.
Security systems are the first things that come to mind when discussing a home’s security. There are several types of self monitoring security systems that allow a home owner to be in control of their own security. Motion detectors and cameras allow for simple surveillance directly from an app.
How many times have you left the house and wondered if the garage door was closed? How many times have you gone back to check just to give yourself the peace of mind? What if you could look at your phone and see for yourself whether it was closed or not before turning the car around? What if you could close the garage door from your phone? What an amazing sense of security that would be!
Well, guess what? That is all completely possible with connected home systems. The right devices connected to the garage door with a remote activated camera all connected through an app to a smart phone and voila! You can rest assured that your garage door is fully closed...or you can close it via the app.
A safe home also includes well lit walkways. Automatic lights can improve the safety of the interior of the home as well as the exterior. Solar powered outdoor lighting can sense when to activate based on the level of darkness. Come home to a well lit home with lights, both interior and exterior, which can also be programmed using smart light bulbs or switches to turn on at the same time every day.
When thinking about exterior lights, holiday lights most commonly come to mind. Other outdoor lights like market lights, landscape lamps, or flood lights are great additions to outdoors spaces adding a beautiful aesthetic as well as security. Set these lights to automatic timers, solar sensors, or motion activated sensors to make sure these lights come on when needed and then turn off at the optimal time.
An added benefit to having lights that turn on and off on a schedule is that it gives the appearance of someone being at home. In addition to lights, window treatments can also be set to open and shut on a schedule. Motorized window treatments that are opened or raised throughout the day and closed at night will make it appear as if the home is occupied even on days when you are working late or away on vacation.
Another great benefit of motorized window treatments is that they are cordless. Cordless window treatments are one of the best ways to protect children and pets from possible entanglements from loose lift cords. Window cords are one of the top five most dangerous hidden hazards within the home according to the CPSC. Lift cords that hang loose and are not secured with a cord cleat present a real danger to both children and pets. Motorized window treatments have no need for a lift cord which removes this danger making them the safest options.
To learn more about window cord safety from the Window Covering Safety Council visit https://windowcoverings.org/window-cord-safety.
How Does Smart Home Technology Improve Accessibility?
Smart home technology also gives access to areas of the house that are not within reach. Since this technology is connected to controllers that do not need to be attached to the device, they can be controlled from almost anywhere!
Motorized window treatments can allow out-of-reach windows or skylights to be outfitted with custom coverings to add light control. Instead of having to climb up to the window or using a specialized tool for opening and closing these windows, motorized treatments can be operated with the push of a button.
Motorized window treatments can also be connected to smart home devices and be set up to operate with voice controls. These devices can also be set to a schedule so the window treatments raise or lower at a predetermined time each day. With so many options, these window treatments are now fully accessible and can operate around your schedule.
No one likes making multiple trips in from the car so imagine coming up to the front door with arms full and then having to fumble around for your keys. Now imagine a door lock that is set to unlock with a voice command. Or imagine a door lock that can be unlocked from an app on your phone as you get ready to exit the vehicle. No need to set down your bags!
Smart locks are designed to give additional accessibility without compromising security. As always, be sure to find the right devices and services that work within your comfort level. The idea is to enhance your daily life, not to complicate it.
Lights and electrical outlets are another area of the home that may not always be right where you want them to be. Smart plugs are a great way to increase the accessibility of any electrical appliance both indoors and out.
Remember those holiday lights? Plug those into a smart plug and control them from a smartphone or tablet. Set them on a timer or use a scheduling tool to have them operate when and where you want.
Remember the clapper light switch? Smart plugs operate in a similar fashion, except there is no need to clap since the outlet will be connected to a device instead. Simply control the light from a device or with a voice command.
The exciting thing about smart plugs is that they can be used with almost any device or appliance that has a power cord! Plug a coffee maker into a smart outlet for fresh coffee right when you want it. Want your George Foreman grill to fire up some bacon first thing in the morning? Plug it into a smart outlet and enjoy!
One of the best things about making the home more accessible is that it creates new and improved ways for many people to continue living independently in ways that may not have been possible before. Using technology to improve these opportunities is something that continues to excite us at Gotcha Covered and we look forward to discussing this more in future articles.
Can Automation Boost Energy Efficiency?
While home connected systems are a fantastic way to turn on appliances and devices, they can also be quite helpful in turning these things off and saving energy.
Automatic lights can be set to turn off at certain times or when it is light enough to no longer need them. Lights that are connected to a smart home device can be controlled from afar so your lights are on when you need them but not wasting energy throughout the day.
Smart home thermostats are also a great way to increase the energy efficiency of your home. Set these to specific times of day or temperature levels and watch as your energy bills start to come down.
Sprinkler systems can be optimized to make sure your yard is getting what it needs without wasting excess water. No one wants their sprinklers running in the rain. Certain types of automated sprinkler systems can be set with weather sensing settings to activate or deactivate depending on the conditions.
Speaking of conserving water, what about water leak prevention inside the home? Smart home water leak detectors are sensors that can be placed near main water sources to alert you if a leak is suspected. There are several different types of devices that each have their strong points, but the key is early detection. Homeowners insurance and water companies will often offer incentives for using these devices which can also save you money each month.
Window treatments are one of the best ways to prevent energy loss through glass window panes. Motorized window treatments have the ability to be connected to smart home systems as well. When set to a schedule, these window treatments can open and close at a recurring time each day or be activated remotely to provide optimal light and temperature control throughout the day. Take it a step further by connecting these treatments to light or thermal controls and let them open or close themselves based on the weather to help prevent energy loss.
To learn more about how window treatments can help with energy efficiency be sure to read our article, Window Treatments Could Save You Hundreds Each Month.
Does Home Automated Systems Enhance Aesthetics?
At the end of the day, you want a home that functions efficiently but also one that looks visually appealing and soothing to the eye.
Tangled up wires and exposed cords strung across walls does not evoke a feeling of calm or cohesiveness no matter what functionality it brings to the room. Sleek designs and wireless connections help keep everything streamlined and hassle free.
Installation of these tech savvy devices is more discreet than ever and no longer requires invasive procedures into the structure of the home.
New technology is bringing more power, durability and life spans with smaller packaging. Battery packs are a perfect example of the improvements to design and function. Battery packs are smaller and lighter than before but longer lasting and more powerful than ever. And this technology is still improving with leaps and bounds.
Exterior lights are a wonderful and beautiful addition to any home whether they are added for just a season or kept up year round. With so many more options to power these lights with solar, battery, or smart plugs, the opportunities become more achievable.
Solar garden lights are a beautiful addition that can be added in no time. Strings of battery operated market lights can be added to a gazebo without running electrical cords across the yard. And smart plugs can allow for the control of these devices right from your phone.
Motorizations can be added to an enormous amount of window treatments options from blinds and shutters to shades and drapes. Since there is no need for a lift cord or wand, the aesthetics are already improved. Thanks to technical advances, the battery housing units and mechanics of motorized treatments are smaller and lighter than before making them easier to hide.
With such a wide range of options available, it is easy to see that with smart home automation the possibilities are truly endless!
So can home automation increase security, improve accessibility, boost energy efficiency, and enhance aesthetics? As you can see, the answer to all of these questions is a resounding yes! Home automation can add incredible value to any house.
With a little research and knowledge, the right automation programs and devices can be increasingly beneficial.
At Gotcha Covered, we know window treatments and we are well versed in integrating beautiful motorized window treatments into the smart home devices that are already installed. Or if you are looking for other ways to add more functionality and accessibility to your home, be sure to ask your Gotcha Covered Design Consultant for more information and ideas!
We pride ourselves on being on the cutting edge of technology within the window treatment industry and we work hand-in-hand with our vendors to offer nothing but the best solutions for your home or work place.
Let us help you explore the exciting possibilities of home automation and motorization. Give us a call at (888) 650-6187 or schedule a free design consultation today!