Use Home Automation to Make Life Easier and Safer

Published: Jul 22, 2015 at 08:01 UTC

While the idea of home automation has always been popular, we are at a time and age when it’s not only possible to set up a variety of modules; it’s also becoming easier to do so with every passing day.

Whether you’re a techie looking for the newest and most advanced toys or a simple homeowner who would like to make life a bit easier, there are many products and services on the market that will be of interest to you.

Those who are just entering the world of home automation may find themselves overwhelmed with different products and technologies available.

It seems like every big name, from Apple and Google to Belkin and GE, have got something on the market that promises to save you time, money and energy. But how do you know where to start? And how complicated is it exactly to start automating your humble abode?

Start Simple and Slowly Build Up

The best way to get started in home automation is to start slowly and simply. Think about your routine: what are some of the things that you do every single day? Making a pot of coffee, watering the plants, setting the alarm system, taking your kids to school and getting in some exercise before bed might be just a few of the things that you’re used to doing.

Now, imagine if you program a machine or computer to take care of some of these tasks. If you have a programmable coffee pot, you’re already used to this type of technology.

But how much easier would your life be if your alarm system set itself, if your lights turned on when they sensed you were coming in the door or if you could wake up to on a chilly morning to a home that started heating itself an hour prior?

Protecting Your Home through Automation

One of the most exciting aspects of home automation is how much simpler home security is becoming. With traditional security systems, you must manually arm and disarm the system. How many times have you had to quickly punch in a code and race out the door to keep from tripping the alarm? How many times have you jumped out of your skin when the alarm sounded because you forgot to shut it off as you hauled in groceries?

With a wireless home security system, these issues will be a thing of the past. Not only that, these systems do so much more than deter burglars; they also make it easier for you to enter and leave your home, no matter the time of day.

If you’re a home automation beginner, consider starting out with simple technology that will control your lighting or your even the lock on your front door.

The Kwikset Kevo is an example of the latter. It’s a Bluetooth-enabled door lock that transforms your Smartphone into your home key. If your hands are full, all you have to do is tap on the deadbolt and it will communicate with the phone that’s in your pocket, purse or briefcase, instantly allowing you access.

The Kevo also allows you to send e-keys to friends and family, and it features technology that will prevent the door from unlocking if you leave your phone inside. Of course, if you’re new to this type of technology, you can also count on using a traditional key as back-up until you’re comfortable with the system.

Do More Than Ever Before

If you’re a little more technologically savvy and would like to take a bigger step into the world of wireless home security and automation, you can invest in a ready-to-use kit, such as the LittleBits Smart Home Kit.

This kit contains pieces that look suspiciously like the connecting building blocks you played with as a kid, and they actually function much the same way. Each piece serves a function, and when you connect a number of pieces, you can create an action. For example, you can piece together connectors that will turn on lights, open drapes, control your air conditioner and more.

So, how can you use this set to protect your home? Let’s say that you are going out of town for a long weekend. You’ve always heard that having lights on in your home deters burglars, but you don’t want to leave the lights on for the duration of your trip. With LittleBits modules, you can set up a system that will turn on and off the lights and television while you are away. Another idea is to set up a text-based alarm system that will send you a message when sound is detected in what is supposed to be your silent and empty home or apartment.

While home automation is for everyone. Period.

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