Home Automation

 

You’re in bed, comfortable, and ready to get some much-needed sleep. Maybe you just finished watching your favorite TV show or read a chapter (or more) of the latest book that’s captured your interest. Whatever the case, you’re ready to just call it a night and get some sleep. But did you lock the door? Did you turn off the lights in the living room? You really don’t want to get up and check; you just got comfortable. Fortunately, you don’t have to. You grab your smartphone, open an app, and with the press of a finger the doors of your home are locked, and the lights are off in the house. Now, you can get some sleep.

Home automation is all about making known what’s happening in your house easy. It adds peace of mind that you can access quickly, just by checking your smartphone. If this sounds like something you’re interested in, there are a lot of different apps and home automation systems out there. I’ll briefly go through a few below.

Control4

This first system can be used on virtually any device you own. Control4’s app works on Apple iOS, Android, Windows, Mac, and even Amazon Fire tablets. While this system can incorporate a security system, it really is all about home automation. When you wake up, the system can start playing your favorite music, turn on the lights, and open window shades. At night, securing your home and turning off the lights is as easy as hitting the “Goodnight” button in the app.

Control4 is an incredibly smart system. If you’re watching a movie, it will dim the lights. When you pause, it’ll bring the lights back up. And if someone’s at the door, it’ll pause the movie to let you know, so you can take a look without even leaving your couch. It even works in the kitchen, by setting different lighting and music whether you are cooking or serving dinner. It’s truly a whole home system and makes home automation easy with an app that lets you control, and monitor, everything with just your smartphone. You can even turn off the TV without having to be at home.

Alarm.com

This next system might be a security system first, and home automation second, but Alarm.com is still a viable option. The app for this system works on most major smartphone operating systems, including Apple iOS and Android. The benefit of Alarm.com is that it is a security system first. You’ll receive alerts on your smartphone if you leave a door, window, or the garage door open. It will also notify you when they’ve been opened, and by whom. If you did leave your garage door open, you can simply use the app to close it, from wherever you are. You can also lock and unlock your doors remotely.

This system allows you to monitor your energy consumption, and program or control your lights and thermostat from your smartphone. That’s a nice feature if you’re going on vacation, or if you just want a nice and warm (or cool) house before you get home.

SmartThings

This system is a truly powerful one, and it tackles home automation and the connected home head on. To get started, just download the SmartThings app on you Apple iOS, Android, or Windows Phone device. The incredible thing about this system is how customizable it is. If you only want certain features, you only have to buy the equipment and sensors for that. But what this system can do is truly amazing. It brings smart homes to a whole new level. It can tell you where you left your keys, and open and close the garage door automatically depending on if you’re coming or going. It can even keep track of your pets if you have them, and let you know if someone has entered an off-limits area. Essentially, you setup the app, let it know what you want it to do, and then your house takes care of the rest.

All in Your Pocket

The amazing thing about any of these systems is that they are easily accessible just by reaching into your pocket. Your smartphone controls your smart home, and you never have to worry about leaving a light on, forgetting to lock the door, or wondering who’s at the door. As home automation becomes more popular, the price barrier for getting a system has been dropping. Check it out. Getting a smart home may not be as hard as you think.

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