Smart Home

Learning About Home Automation

Home automation saves you time and money by making your home run more efficiently. It refers to the use of connected smart devices that control different home functions. These smart devices can automatically turn your lights on and off, adjust the thermostat, and lock and unlock doors.

Home automation systems go beyond simply piling on smart gadgets. They tie these devices together and control them according to preprogrammed instructions. An automated home constantly monitors its environment with smart sensors, uses a central unit to process gathered information, and reacts accordingly by sending instructions to the smart devices under its control.

Types of Home Automation Devices

Smart devices can give you a greatly-increased level of control in various areas, including home lighting, power, monitoring, and security. Smart lighting includes light bulbs, dimmers, and switches. These allow you to change the brightness and color of your home lighting. Some have timer functions and will switch off or dim according to preset schedules. Smart power outlets can also do the same for appliances, to help reduce your home's energy consumption. For home automation security, consider smart locks, doorbells, security cameras, and alarm systems.

Automated sensors can monitor a variety of things, including motion, daylight, temperature, air quality, water leaks, smoke, and carbon monoxide. These may have built-in alarms to alert you of changes, or they may prompt a programmed action. For example, smart security cameras use motion sensors to detect intruders and start recording, while smart thermostats use sensors to confirm that no one is home before scaling back and saving power.

Do I Need a Hub for Home Automation?

Yes, you need some kind of hub because it's the brain of an automated home. It controls multiple devices and integrates them into a seamless automation system. Hubs are important because they allow devices with different functions or from different manufacturers to talk to one another. A typical hub supports multiple smart home protocols such as Zigbee and Z-Wave. It also has a Wi-Fi radio and connects to your home's wireless router. Some manufacturers offer home automation devices in kits that include wireless hubs.

Besides dedicated hubs and home automation controllers, there are smart devices with integrated hub technology. Smart speakers are good examples of this category of two-in-one gadgets. With these, you can control every aspect of your automated home using voice commands.

Remotely Controlling Home Automation Systems

You can control your smart home remotely, as long as it uses an Internet-connected hub. Look for an automation controller, bridge, or hub with a companion mobile app or dedicated Web app. While mobile apps run on smartphones and tablets, you need a browser and a desktop or laptop computer to use a Web app. These software-based home automation solutions make it possible to monitor and control your smart home from anywhere.

Enjoy the convenience of home automation by creating an integrated ecosystem of smart devices that anticipate your needs and respond accordingly. Browse B&H Photo and Video's extensive selection to find everything you need to make your home smarter.