Home Automation Australia
Sending an “email” once seemed like we were living in the future, the idea that the message was going to get so far almost instantly was mind blowing. Well, now you can feed you dog, turn the lights on or off and even close your blinds from anywhere in the world that has an internet connection. With home automation becoming more common, there are now more manufacturers making affordable home automation solutions.
Sound a bit gimmicky? It has its advantages;
It doesn’t matter where in the world you are, as long as you have an internet connection you can check up on your home. If you have security cameras, you’ll be able to view live footage of how your son’s party is going. You can set up alerts so you’ll be notified as soon as any security devices are activated. Another security feature is the ability to turn lights on/off or open/close blinds to make it appear as though someone is home. This can be set on a timer or done manually to make it more realistic.
Home automation opens you up to a world of energy saving solutions. Sensors can be installed in rooms that you wish to control the climate, controlling the climate can be as simple as automatic opening and closing of blinds at certain times of the day to best utilize sunlight. Other arrangements include sensors that detect occupancy so the climate is only controlled in your presence. Pressure sensors can be installed to notify you of any leaks, this can be particularly beneficial if you’re on holiday or work away from home.
With a focus on fire safety in Australia, home automation is an excellent way to compliment your home safety system. Carbon monoxide, smoke and gas detectors can provide your family with an early warning signal you need to survive. Whether you’re at work or overseas, you’ll be the first to know if someone has burnt their toast.
Automatic valves can be used in conjunction with detectors to shut off water or gas supplies in case of a leak.
Smart house systems
With increased popularity and more manufacturers trying to secure their part of the market, there are now a number of different types of systems available and not all are compatible with each other. Different systems use different “protocols”; the protocol is the platform, or the language, the system uses to communicate between individual components. Certain components will only be available on certain protocols, so it’s important to take the time in selecting the right protocol or platform.
Some of the more common protocols include:
One of the oldest protocols on the market, dating back to the 1970s, X10 is a slower inexpensive alternative.
Developed for the commercial sector, ZigBee is an energy efficient wireless protocol with a typical range of up to 100m. Despite its complexity, ZigBee is very customizable.
Another heavy-weight in the home automation world, Z-Wave has similar capabilities to ZigBee, although marginally more expensive. Z-Wave is a lot more user-friendly than ZigBee.
Just like the Wi-Fi your laptop uses, Wi-Fi is available as a home automation protocol. The biggest advantage of Wi-Fi is the huge range of compatible components, the drawback being a large bandwidth usage and higher power consumption compared to other protocols.
When selecting a protocol, it pays to do your homework. Google offers endless information and reviews of home automation systems and protocols.
Ask yourself the following questions when selecting a protocol:
1. What is the main purpose of automating your home? Security/surveillance? Safety? Convenience?
2. What do you want the system to do? Open/close blinds? Lock doors and windows?
3. Do you want remote control? (access via the internet so you can control/view the status of your home from anywhere)
4. Is your system required to be wireless? (wireless components require batteries)
All Vested Utility Electricians are experienced with the installation of home automation systems. However, your best source of information for system selection is the internet. While most home automation stores will be able to provide you with advice, they’ll be trying to sell their endorsed products and your best interests will not be their priority.
All systems have a similar layout principle but varied component connectivity. Some systems require cables to be run, others have a limited range. These are things you will need to consider during construction of your home. If you’re installing a home automation system in a pre-existing house, there are wireless options.
If you have any questions, please contact Vested Utility or leave a message in the comments box below