Skip to content

What is home automation?


It doesn't take a university degree or a deep understanding of socio-economics to work out, that by combining two words together like home automation , that home automation must have something to with automating a residential dwelling.

At its core home automation is about automating domestic tasks that have historically been manual.  These tasks would include but not are limited to things like;

  • controlling the lighting
  • heating and cooling (HVAC)
  • media management
  • shading
  • home security
  • communication systems
  • cleaning devices
  • appliance triggering and status monitoring

With the advent of the internet and particularly mobile networking home automation is typically thought as using a mobile device to gain access to control devices in your home remotely.

Home automation may be used for isolated programmable devices, like thermostats and sprinkler systems, but it more accurately describes homes in which lights, appliances, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems etc. are hooked up to a remotely controllable network.

Home automation developments

The desire to automate domestics tasks is not just something just restricted to lazy millenials,  but it is something humans have been thinking about since the 1700's. However, in the modern work home automation has come to mean to use of one or more computers to control basic home functions and features automatically and sometimes remotely. An automated home is sometimes called a smart home .

home automation and the internet of things
The Internet of Things, or IoT as all the cool kids like to call it, is basically a concept in which everything has an assigned IP address, and can be monitored, accessed and controlled remotely. Home automation and the Internet of things will work in unison to deliver utopian ideal of what we'll call a smart home, where your home starts to automatically respond to you. It could be simple things like, taking the outside temperature it could automatically adjust the heating or cooling of your home to the exact temperature that you prefer.

You'd also never need to worry whether you've left the iron on, while you're sat at your desk at work, because you could simply just pick up your mobile and switch it off.

Automation refers to the ability to program and schedule events for the devices on the home network. The programming may include time-related commands, such as having your lights and heating turn on or off at specific times each day. It can also include non-scheduled events, such as turning on all the lights in your home when your security system alarm is triggered.

Remote control
Home automation will enable you to control nearly every aspect of your home remotely. You would also be able to remotely control security aspects of your home.

Monitoring apps can provide a wealth of information about your home, from the status of the current moment to a detailed history of what has happened up to now. You can check your security system's status, whether the lights are on, whether the doors are locked, what the current temperature of your home is and much more. With cameras as part of your home automation system, you can even pull up real-time video feeds and literally see what's going on in your home while you're away.

Energy Efficiency
The major advantage of home automation is the potential of energy and thus cost savings. The ability of being able to monitor and control how, when and the duration of particular energy usages in your home, buy being able to control and schedule when certain devices are active will help to reduce your overall energy consumption. For instance, being able to schedule that your washing machine and tumble dryer are set to come on after peak energy tariff, or ensuring all devices are switched off and never left in standby mode after defined periods of inactivity.

Home automation is becoming extremely affordable, and anyone with even the most modest of budgets should be able to leverage the benefits of a automated home.

Latest posts by Gary Woodfine (see all)