When we plan your smart home, the most important thing is to define our needs. We then ask ourselves the basic question - what can we automate with this type of technology?
We can start using devices from one manufacturer, then it is much simpler to configure and automate, but it limits us in terms of the number of products. The alternative is open smart home solutions, such as Home Assistant, Domoticz or Open Hub, which offer product integration from many different manufacturers, but require more time from us.
We often get questions about the various products that make up the smart home that can be automated. So we decided to make a list. This list of smart home solutions will be very long, so we divided it into parts. Today we publish its first installment.
What can we automate to create a smart home:
- Lights - we can automate them in two ways:
1.1. When buying intelligent lighting systems - lamps or LED strips that will "be smart" practically out of the box. An example is Philips Hue or Yeelight.
1.2. By buying drivers for switches, which in turn put into cans. Then we can make any light intelligent at a lower price. Examples are the devices ZAMEL, Sonoff, Shelly, Fibaro.
2. Alarm - we can integrate the alarm so that it appears with our other devices on a common screen. An example solution is the Satel Integra system with the ETH-1 module supported by Home Assistant. These are intelligent devices with which the control of various elements in a smart home can be automated.
3. Sensors - we can place many sensors in the house. Sensors for flooding water, smoke, gas, carbon monoxide, change of location. These sensors inform us that something is wrong. When they detect a threat, they inform us immediately. Such sensors can be from Aqara, Fibaro or other manufacturers.
4. Reed switches and motion sensors - these are also sensors, but they have a wider application. They can be used both as an element of alarm (the sensor has detected something) and as an element triggering automation. We enter the house, the reed switch has been released and the purifier is now starting. Or we enter the room, the movement was detected, so the light turns on. Such sensors can be from Aqara, Fibaro or other manufacturers.
5. Roller blind controllers - roller blind controllers allow us to automate the raising and lowering of blinds. Thanks to this, we can, for example, automatically "close" the whole house or lower blinds while watching a movie. Manufacturers of driver systems include Zamel, Shelly and Fibaro.
6. Temperature and humidity sensors, PM 2.5 - this type of sensors informs us about the status of individual parameters in our apartment. We can know the temperature, humidity percentage and PM 2.5 concentration. This can trigger, for example, the activation of a purifier or humidifier, which improves the quality of air, and thus also the comfort of living. Such sensors can be from Aqara or Xiaomi.
7. Smart sockets - smart sockets allow us to automate a device that does not have a smart function, such as an old TV or kettle. We are able to turn it on or off remotely and check the energy consumption. Examples of sockets are Xiaomi, Aqara, Fibaro, Smart DGM. Smart home solutions that can be used not only for convenience, but also for ecology and savings.
8. Heating control - in this case, we can remotely control heating, both underfloor and ordinary radiators. Thanks to this, we can remotely control the temperature in our apartment. Examples of manufacturers who provide the equipment system needed for this are Tado, Netatmo, Honeywell, Fibaro.
9. Gate control - as part of this smart solution, by properly configuring the settings in the mobile application, we can control the entrance gate or garage gate remotely. The producers of such products are, among others Zamel and Nice.
10. Smart video intercoms - if we want to remotely see who came to us, we can do it thanks to smart video intercoms. An example is Nice.
11. Smart door locks - if we want to open our doors remotely, then we can install a smart lock that contains motion sensors and is configured with the help of the application. Manufacturers of this type of products are Aqara, Gerda or August. Thanks to it, you don't need to insert or turn the key to open the door.
12. Robots - also vacuuming or moping robots can be connected to automation. We can do it with iRobot, Roborock, Xiaomi or Viomi robots.
13. Purifiers and humidifiers - this segment can also be connected to our smart home. Such devices can be found in the offer of Xiaomi, Philips, Samsung or Sharp. Because some models are equipped with a motion sensor, they can be activated when someone enters the room.
Smart home solutions have many benefits
As you can see in the examples above, automating most of the most important aspects of home life is not a major problem today. In the case of smart home technology, it is also worth mentioning several key benefits that lead to the design and installation of a smart home system. Here are the top 5!
A lot of users indicate that they like the idea of a smart home primarily because of the possibility of increasing their sense of security. Smart home solutions allow you to integrate and improve the operation of standard devices discussed in the context of property protection, i.e. cameras or sensors. Today, there is no major problem to control the situation at home with the help of a mobile application, even thousands of kilometers from the apartment. Possible cooperation with a security agency is also more effective because there are more solutions supporting security.
Technologies such as a motion sensor combined with external lighting make it difficult for burglars to act and have deterrent and disincentive properties. The system can also be considered in the context of preventing other threats, such as fire, flooding or smoke. Motion sensors are not the only sensors in which it pays to invest and place in a smart home. Automated blinds are also an inspiring solution, which support the playing of scenarios in the absence of household members, imitating the "everyday life" going on inside an empty object.
- Energy efficiency
It's no secret that energy is saved thanks to smart home technology. This is an important advantage for at least two basic reasons. First, protect the planet. This topic has become one of the main in public debate. By consciously choosing and integrating electronic solutions, you can minimize power consumption, and thus, engage in activities to reduce harmful emissions and excessive consumption.
Secondly, you see the difference in your wallet. Smart solutions generate a certain cost, but this is a profitable investment, not an expense that brings no benefits. Reasonably selected and optimally configured devices and add-ons reduce fixed fees. In addition, devices controlled via a mobile application inspire and incline to further energy-saving investments. For example, many people decide to enter the world of renewable energy sources and purchase solar panels or heat pumps. Ecotechnologies can also be included in the system.
An important benefit of everyday life in a smart home is simply comfort. The goal of automation is to simplify processes and subtract classes from people. Increasing user convenience is the primary task of a significant portion of technological innovations. When someone asks: "Why do you invest in smart home solutions if they are not necessary for life?", You can simply answer in the world: "for your own convenience!"
Indeed, seemingly small activities take our attention and energy. Meanwhile, taking care of children and family, running your own business or a multitude of everyday duties should be a priority for tedious, monotonous duties. Intelligent, personalized elements of the system, e.g. opening the door or gate, switching on the lighting or setting the temperature are comfortable and their huge advantage.
- Saving time
There is an equally important advantage in terms of convenience, namely saving time. If we consider the list of things to automate, i.e. lighting, control of sensors and alarms, gate control, air purification and many more, we will see how much time can be saved by a one-time configuration.
Imagine your smart home where you don't lose precious minutes of raising and lowering blinds, changing lighting, disconnecting energy sources, checking elements of the security system or approaching the gate. Even if you do not lead a life with a very busy schedule, you will find various more interesting activities than the most prosaic ones, which take a large part of your free time.
A great plus that is worth mentioning in the context of a smart home is its universal character. Each implementation is really a new quality. The possibility of matching dozens of solutions, not only within the environment of one manufacturer (e.g. Xiaomi), creates the prospect of maximum personalization.
What's more, smart home technologies can be modified. Over time, you see further potential additions to the system, increasingly appreciating the convenience or sense of security that seemingly small elements give. Then you do not have to invest in equipment from scratch. You add an element to a proven puzzle, or get rid of the one you no longer need.
Smart home technologies are developed not even from year to year, but from month to month. Our list of 13 things to automate will soon need to be supplemented with other types of devices. This is an inevitable process that is worth following to equip your home with the best systems.