Home Automation 101

Home Automation 101

February 11th, 2020

What Is a Smart Home? — A Beginner's Guide

A smart home is one where smart technology helps improve the residents' lives. Smart homes provide greater convenience, letting you control many functions of your home using simple voice commands. You can touch base with home from your smartphone, no matter where you are, and smart homes can even help you save money through automating thermostats and lights.

If you're a smart home beginner, this guide will help you see what functions of a smart home that might appeal most to you. Take a look at what your smart home can do for you, and call AAA Smart Home when you're ready to upgrade and secure your home.

What Can Smart Homes Do?

You already have electronic devices in your home that you can control remotely. You change TV channels without getting up from the sofa, and your sprinklers come on at the same time every week. Maybe your coffee maker even turns on automatically to greet you with a fresh cup every morning.

These devices don't become smart, however, until they're all linked together into one network that lets you control them from wherever you are. Once your home devices are able to connect to your smartphone or tablet, you've made the leap to smart home automation.

Devices that become interconnected this way are referred to as being part of the Internet of Things. With this kind of smart home automation, you can see who's at your front door from the other side of the world. Your smartphone can tell your vacuum cleaner to get to work. Your fridge can add items to your electronic shopping list.

Smart home automation also gives you control over basic infrastructure such as your lighting and thermostat. When your smart home turns off lights in unused rooms and lowers the temperature while everyone's at work, it saves money. It can then raise the temperature again to make your home toasty and warm before you get home.

Many people choose to connect their home security systems to their smart home network. This lets you keep an eye on your home from wherever you are in the world, sending you notifications about anything unusual.

Everything from your TV to your fridge, hot tub or furnace can connect to your smart home network. This puts you in sophisticated command of your home environment, and our experts at AAA Smart Home can help you fully enjoy all the benefits that come with this level of automation.

How Do All These Devices Connect to Each Other?

Smart home automation connects all the smart devices in your home through one or more wireless networks. Some devices might use Bluetooth or Wi-Fi to connect, while others opt for Z-Wave, which are low-power mesh networks. These use multiple paths to get your commands to the right smart device, using routing algorithms to deliver messages at the fastest possible speed. In addition, power use is minimal.

While Z-Wave is fine for sending messages to smart devices over very short distances, some of your more demanding smart devices, such as your home security system, may rely upon Wi-Fi as well.

How Much Should Smart Home Automation Cost?

The question to look at when considering the costs of smart home automation isn't what it costs to set up. It's what it costs for monitoring every month.

In too many cases, smart home automation providers bump up the monitoring costs every time you add a smart device. That means costs could start out as moderate when all you have linked in to your home network is your security system/ However, as you add a smart fridge, personal home assistant, smart vacuum and smart lighting, your costs could balloon.

To keep costs under control, work with a provider like AAA Smart Home, which charges one monitoring price regardless of how much equipment you have connected. That way you're ready to expand the capabilities of your smart home indefinitely into the future.