The “Internet of Things” is here to stay, and what just a few years back was the start of home automation has become a massive growth industry.
Imagine managing your thermostat with your phone or raising and lowering blinds via an app while you lounge at the beach. Want to amuse coworkers by going online to see what your cat is doing? Or see who just rang your doorbell to see if your new Cubs jersey was delivered? It’s all possible, thanks to home automation in an era of connected devices.
Of course, all of this interconnectivity—mostly via Wi-Fi—raises questions about safety and security at a time when hardly a week goes by without news that some large scale enterprise has been hacked. Security is the top concern for homeowners, and it’s why companies, programmers and installation technicians are continually developing innovative security features.
Earlier this year, “smart home” displays and product launches were all the rage at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas. The growing popularity and importance of home automation was revealed as dozens of vendors—established and upstarts—showed off their wares.
Since the debut of the industry, consumers have thought that home automation is only something for the wealthy. As more manufacturers enter the space, it has become increasingly clear that automating a home is becoming more accessible to all kinds of home owners. Here are a few things to keep in mind when considering whether to automate your home:
- Start with a programmable thermostat such as Nest. It connects easily to your home network and features some of the most robust security on the market. You’ll save money and have fun doing so.
- Add iDevices technology from Apple. It’s a family of new products, including an iDevices socket, wall switch, dimmer switch and wall outlet that enable users to control their home’s lights, outlets and thermostats remotely with Apple devices.
- Get an electronic lock for your front door. You’ll never know how handy this is until you need it. Plus, it’s safer than putting a key under a door mat or losing track of a loaned key that may be floating around the neighborhood.
- Also in the security vein, have a few cameras installed at strategic locations to see who’s approaching your house and what’s happening inside.
- Tie all the devices together with a platform that will be your control panel. Some manufacturers are offering the capability to run up to 50 devices through a single platform.
- Finally, don’t hesitate to call a local home automation expert for help. While it’s true that more DIY products come on the market all the time, you’ll rest easy knowing that all of these automation devices are securely at work in your home while you’re away.
About the author: Jenny Beightol is a marketing expert with a particular focus on small businesses. This is her inaugural article for SW Lake Lifestyle.