SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Trevor Parsons, Sean Houghton, Glenn Rossman, Ignacio M. Llorente, Xenia von Wedel

Article

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.

Latest Stories
In high-production environments where release cycles are measured in hours or minutes — not days or weeks — there's little room for mistakes and no room for confusion. Everyone has to understand what's happening, in real time, and have the means to do whatever is necessary to keep applications up and running optimally. DevOps is a high-stakes world, but done well, it delivers the agility and performance to significantly impact business competitiveness.
"Our premise is Docker is not enough. That's not a bad thing - we actually love Docker. At ActiveState all our products are based on open source technology and Docker is an up-and-coming piece of open source technology," explained Bart Copeland, President & CEO of ActiveState Software, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at DevOps Summit at Cloud Expo®, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
ScriptRock makes GuardRail, a DevOps-ready platform for configuration monitoring. Realizing we were spending way too much time digging up, cataloguing, and tracking machine configurations, we began writing our own scripts and tools to handle what is normally an enormous chore. Then we took the concept a step further, giving it a beautiful interface and making it simple enough for our bosses to understand. We named it GuardRail after its function - to allow businesses to move fast and stay sa...
The Internet of Things is not new. Historically, smart businesses have used its basic concept of leveraging data to drive better decision making and have capitalized on those insights to realize additional revenue opportunities. So, what has changed to make the Internet of Things one of the hottest topics in tech? In his session at @ThingsExpo, Chris Gray, Director, Embedded and Internet of Things, discussed the underlying factors that are driving the economics of intelligent systems. Discover ...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Sematext launched a popular blog feed on DevOps Journal with over 6,000 story reads over the weekend. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Sematext is a globally distributed organization that builds innovative Cloud and On Premises solutions for performance monitoring, alerting an...
"BSQUARE is in the business of selling software solutions for smart connected devices. It's obvious that IoT has moved from being a technology to being a fundamental part of business, and in the last 18 months people have said let's figure out how to do it and let's put some focus on it, " explained Dave Wagstaff, VP & Chief Architect, at BSQUARE Corporation, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at @ThingsExpo, held Nov 4-6, 2014, at the Santa Clara Convention Center in Santa Clara, CA.
The major cloud platforms defy a simple, side-by-side analysis. Each of the major IaaS public-cloud platforms offers their own unique strengths and functionality. Options for on-site private cloud are diverse as well, and must be designed and deployed while taking existing legacy architecture and infrastructure into account. Then the reality is that most enterprises are embarking on a hybrid cloud strategy and programs. In this Power Panel at 15th Cloud Expo (http://www.CloudComputingExpo.com...
Leysin American School is an exclusive, private boarding school located in Leysin, Switzerland. Leysin selected an OpenStack-powered, private cloud as a service to manage multiple applications and provide development environments for students across the institution. Seeking to meet rigid data sovereignty and data integrity requirements while offering flexible, on-demand cloud resources to users, Leysin identified OpenStack as the clear choice to round out the school's cloud strategy. Additional...
Verizon Enterprise Solutions is simplifying the cloud-purchasing experience for its clients, with the launch of Verizon Cloud Marketplace, a key foundational component of the company's robust ecosystem of enterprise-class technologies. The online storefront will initially feature pre-built cloud-based services from AppDynamics, Hitachi Data Systems, Juniper Networks, PfSense and Tervela. Available globally to enterprises using Verizon Cloud, Verizon Cloud Marketplace provides a one-stop shop fo...
SYS-CON Media announced today that Aruna Ravichandran, VP of Marketing, Application Performance Management and DevOps at CA Technologies, has joined DevOps Journal’s authors. DevOps Journal is focused on this critical enterprise IT topic in the world of cloud computing. DevOps Journal brings valuable information to DevOps professionals who are transforming the way enterprise IT is done. Aruna's inaugural article "Four Essential Cultural Hacks for DevOps Newbies" discusses how to demonstrate the...
The move in recent years to cloud computing services and architectures has added significant pace to the application development and deployment environment. When enterprise IT can spin up large computing instances in just minutes, developers can also design and deploy in small time frames that were unimaginable a few years ago. The consequent move toward lean, agile, and fast development leads to the need for the development and operations sides to work very closely together. Thus, DevOps become...
SYS-CON Events announced today that IDenticard will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. IDenticard™ is the security division of Brady Corp (NYSE: BRC), a $1.5 billion manufacturer of identification products. We have small-company values with the strength and stability of a major corporation. IDenticard offers local sales, support and service to our customers across the United States and Canada...
SYS-CON Events announced today that Windstream, a leading provider of advanced network and cloud communications, has been named “Silver Sponsor” of SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9–11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York, NY. Windstream (Nasdaq: WIN), a FORTUNE 500 and S&P 500 company, is a leading provider of advanced network communications, including cloud computing and managed services, to businesses nationwide. The company also offers broadband, p...
SYS-CON Events announced today that AIC, a leading provider of OEM/ODM server and storage solutions, will exhibit at SYS-CON's 16th International Cloud Expo®, which will take place on June 9-11, 2015, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY. AIC is a leading provider of both standard OTS, off-the-shelf, and OEM/ODM server and storage solutions. With expert in-house design capabilities, validation, manufacturing and production, AIC's broad selection of products are highly flexible and are conf...

ARMONK, N.Y., Nov. 20, 2014 /PRNewswire/ --  IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that it is bringing a greater level of control, security and flexibility to cloud-based application development and delivery with a single-tenant version of Bluemix, IBM's