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SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Pat Romanski, William Schmarzo, Elizabeth White, Carmen Gonzalez, JP Morgenthal

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Your Smart House: A Comprehensive Guide to Home Automation

A Comprehensive Guide to Home Automation

The future is today. Although this sounds like an oxymoron, advanced technology makes this statement more applicable than ever. With these advancements, houses across the nation are being built to provide the utmost in comfort, control, and convenience.

Dave and Jenny Stevens, residents of Dallas, recently found out just how much home automation could help them save energy, improve their security, and give them total power over their house. If you're contemplating home automation, learn from their story so you can do it yourself.

Define Your Goals and Put Them on Paper

The first thing the Stevens family did was define what they wanted automated in their home and put together a solid plan on paper. Rushing into an automation project can lead to headaches later on, so it's best to prepare carefully to make sure you know what you want done before you begin doing it.

Whether your goals are simplistic or complex, you'll want to start off small and build your automated home in steps. Again, don't rush into this project. You'll be glad you took your time in the end.

Choose the Right Home Automation System For Your Needs

When choosing your home automation system, you'll want to refer back to the piece of paper where you wrote down all your needs and wants. Depending on triggering needs, you either choose a hardware-based controller, a software-based controller, or a hybrid (hardware and software) controller. 

Additionally, you'll want to follow in the Stevens' footsteps and pick the right control technologies that'll offer you immediate command over the connections in your home. When thinking about this stage in the process, you'll want to consider whether to use hard wires, power lines, wireless, serial cables, Ethernet, or Infrared transmissions. 

If you're having trouble finding the right system that fits you're needs, take a look at this comprehensive review of the 10 best home automation systems available in 2014. 

Install Your Home Automation System in Stages

Once you've put a plan on paper and picked the right system, you've likely developed an understanding of just how important it'll be to install it in stages. The Stevens family found out firsthand just how troublesome it was to rush this project, and they had to start over again because they didn't have all the connections they wanted.

To ensure that all your components work and connect, install your system in stages. Once the Stevens family found out how much rushing an installation would affect the system's functionality, they took advantage of a schematics guide to help them stay organized and keep troubleshooting easy. 

For a complete blueprint on how to install a home automation system, check out this Lifehacker guide

Consider These Additional Home Automation Tips

Once the Stevens family successfully installed their system and began to run it, they took it a step further and wrote code to allow it to connect online so they could gather data about its functionality. With the right coding and programming, your system can use this data to run even more efficiently without you lifting a finger. 

Additionally, the Stevens family installed sensors to their system so that it would automatically do things like turn the lights off whenever they left a room. When they combined that kind of efficiency with the affordable rates they were getting from their Dallas electricity company, they noticed a huge reduction in their monthly bill. 

Another good idea is to take advantage of wired modules as opposed to plug-in ones. Doing so will make sure that you can use your appliances and lights even without using the home automation system. 

So there you have it: A short but sweet guide to home automation. If you follow these simple steps and research the linked sites in this article, you'll have your system installed like the Stevens family in no time. Remember to remain patient and install it in steps, though, or else you'll have to do it all over again like them. 

Do you have a home automated system already installed? What do you love about it? Leave a comment below.

More Stories By Hailey Robinson

Hailey is a recent graduate with a degree in Journalism. Now that she isn't face first in books she is trying to travel as much as she can. She writes in her free time between fixing up her new house and teaching people how to live a longer, healthier life.

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