Home Automation Hardware Makes Your Home Come Alive

Ready to take the first step towards making your home smarter, intuitive and attuned to your personal preferences? Want your home to respond to your moods by serving up the perfect blend of lights, room cooling, and music? Home Automation does all that and more, offering home owners a futuristic and comfortable experience.

The first and foremost thing a homeowner should consider is the hardware and gadgets that make their homes smarter. Based on the home layout and features required, the right kind of home automation hardware can help people make the most of its smart capabilities.

Central control hardware

home-automation-hardwareAlso known as the nerve center of home automation equipment, the central control hardware makes communication between all the smart appliances of the house possible. It is responsible for sending the right commands. It is the hub and the brain which houses the basic communication protocol and uses it to communicate with other room control units.

Depending on the owner’s specifications, the central control hardware can utilize Wi-Fi, wires, Bluetooth, or other communication interfacing technologies. This enables it to create a network for all the devices which will be connected to the home automation hub. In short, this main unit is responsible for monitoring everything.

The Central Control Unit (CCU) consists of three components:

  • Home Automation Controller
  • Signal Extenders
  • Touch Screens

Home automation controller

The brains of the CCU, a home automation controller, hosts all the audio/video, thermostat, lighting, and security control functions which help make the magic happen. It is the controller which determines which features work in a home automation system. Any future additions and expansions to the home automation system should be able to connect with the controller in order to work flawlessly. Think of it as the most crucial component to make interaction between connected devices possible.

A home automation controller can cost anywhere from $70 to $350. The price varies based on the number of devices which can be connected to the hub, the feature set, as well as the communications interface on board.

Signal extenders

Signal extenders are installed strategically around your home premises, helping extend the coverage network area manifold. They help extend the range of the home automation controller by boosting the signal, making more devices connectable and within reach of the host.

Signal extenders feature an antennae-based design which pulls signals from a strong coverage area and extends them to a weak reception area, thus boosting signals and range of the network.

Investing in them ensures that the whole house can be controlled and manipulated by the home automation solution.

Touch Screens

A homeowner can access features related to audio, video, media library, temperature control and real-time security feeds. Touch screens make home automation simple and intuitive for anyone to use. Everything from your multimedia collection to your security cameras is networked and communicable with the touch screen.

This intuitively designed hardware is portable, can be carried around anywhere, and even mounted on a wall. At anytime, people can even use video chat features with the touch screens too, thanks to the front cameras nestled above the touch screen. All communication is done via a secure wireless network.

Utilities

Homeowners are taking advantage of the following technology to enhance their utilities:

  • Panelized and Configurable Lighting Solutions
  • Smart Thermostats

Panelized and configurable lighting solutions

By opting for a completely panelized lighting solution, all the lights around the premises can be controlled from a centralized place. This can also be used to determine which light is on and off. Additionally, brightness levels can be adjusted via a smart phone or tablet app with a simple and intuitive slider.

Light sensors cost from $30 to $170, depending on their range and sensitivity, multi-color hue, and ambiance settings and brand.

Smart thermostats

A smart thermostat works in many different ways. First, it works with a simple timing program, accounting for the time of the day and automatically adjusting the temperature in the house as needed.

Secondly, it works by knowing when you are in the house and when you’re not. It enters a low power, low energy state when there’s no one in the house, saving energy in the process. When you enter, the smart thermostat automatically brings the temperature to the level you want it at. This can be done with the help of motion detectors which can detect your presence as well as your absence.

The smart thermostat works in conjunction with remote sensors. Additionally, the unit can be programmed to perform a specific way during days in the week, depending on the season. Whereas ordinary thermostats would read temperature in only one room, smart thermostats account for the temperature in the whole house.

Smart thermostats can typically cost around $250-$500 based on specific features and algorithms.

Security

For absolute peace of mind, home automation systems can be set up for ensuring the security of your premises. Video feeds, burglar alarms, smoke detectors, and more security equipment around your house can be connected with home automation systems.

Locks on doors can be fitted with security sensors, sending status alerts to mobiles and over the internet to the homeowner in case an intruder gets in. Home automation systems also feature an electronic lock which can be opened via a PIN code and a touch screen for inputting it, something that is difficult to circumvent than the traditional key door lock.

There are cameras overseeing who is at the doorstep, along with an intercom communications system which directly integrates with home automation systems, allowing home owners to see who they are dealing with.

Home Entertainment

Instead of carrying around a bunch of DVDs and music CDs everywhere, home automation solutions give you ready access to your music and movies collection anywhere. All the multimedia files are ona network, served up to wireless speakers through your computer or home audio system. Streaming of media files is easy and intuitive, provided the hardware is in place.

Furthermore, amplifiers can send high quality audio to sound zones that are strategically set up across the home and premises. In fact, music can follow you around thanks to motion detectors which track your movements from one room to another. All it takes are some wireless music bridges which make communication possible between your phone or tablet anda media server.

Videos can be distributed without losing any of their audio-visual fidelity with the use of an HDMI Matrix switch. This helps ensure full HD video support across all channels.

The quality of home automation hardware determines what you can accomplish by making your home “smart”. Features are largely dependent of the equipment you invest in. Be it the home automation controller, touch screens, sensors, locks and so on, a smart home is a good investment to making your home safer, smarter, greener and intuitive.

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