Home, Smart Home — Turning Your Ordinary Home Into A Smart Home

March 2013 View more

Remember the days when you had to physically get up from the couch to change the channel on the television? Then came  the TV remote control and changed everything. Fast-forward to today and home automation is having the same revolutionary impact on just about every aspect of our lives at home.


Home Automation

Through the marvels of modern technology and broadband internet service, you can remotely control nearly everything in your house. The temperature, lights, security systems, garage doors, sprinklers, TV’s, home entertainment systems, and home appliances can all be turned on, or off, from anywhere in the world, via your smart phone or mobile device. Wireless technology is making home automation systems more practical and affordable. In fact, the home automation and control systems market is estimated to more than double by the year 2016, according to Marketsandmarkets.com. What was once considered a luxury item reserved for only the mansions of Hollywood celebrities, is now quickly becoming the must-have home addition.

Automation A.V. in Naperville, formerly Home Technics, specializes in high-tech system integration. With more than 50 years of combined experiences, they are convinced that home technology is entering into the age of mass adoption. “Today’s home technology systems are just as easy to operate as your microwave oven and are guaranteed to increase the enjoyment of your home while complementing your lifestyle with convenience and safety,” said George Wagner, Automation A.V.


Types of Home Automation

There are several different types of home automation systems to fit your budget and needs. Some systems control simple functions, such as the temperature control on your furnace or when to turn on your outdoor sprinklers. More sophisticated systems can illuminate a path to the bedroom or bathroom with one touch of a button, turn the volume of the TV up or down as you enter the room, or allow you to ‘watch’ your home remotely while you’re at work or on vacation using security cameras. Other systems allow you to add additional control modules and advanced features as you go. Most of these systems do not require complicated wiring installations and can be operated from your smart phone or other mobile device.

Growing Service Options

Numerous companies now offer affordable automation systems to homeowners. Comcast began offering Xfinity Home Security in the Chicago area last year using traditional home security components, such as 24/7 police and fire alarm protection, with the added ability to adjust digital thermostats, turn lights on or off, and watch live streaming video from wireless cameras inside your home.

“We’re using the traditional security system as a platform to manage your home from afar,” said Jack Segal, vice president corporate communications at Comcast. “The system uses the internet with a battery cell backup. The platform is infinitely expandable and can allow you to add new modules as you go along,” said Segal.

ADT, an installer of traditional home security systems, offers a variety of home automation systems. “Home automation is becoming all inclusive. From lighting and thermostat controls, to curtain and garage door openers, and controlling appliances,” said Lewis Long, vice president consumer marketing at ADT. “Complete home automation is becoming more and more mainstream and having remote access to your home is key.”

Sales professionals work with homeowners to identify risk and lifestyle habits to custom design a system for the homeowner. Most systems require an initial start-up cost which includes the installation of remote sensors and software to access the system, along with a monthly charge, depending on the service platform.

Getting Started

  1. Do your research on what you want to automate.
  2. Find a system that integrates with your mobile device.
  3. Choose a system that allows you to add devices such as wireless dimmers, switches, thermostats and more.
  4. Choose a system that allows you to access your information easily and remotely.