Are you Interested in controlling your home on your Smartphone, iPad, Nexus 7, Kindle Fire over the Internet, but don’t know where to start?
I was three years ago but not anymore! After years of research and some hard work :
I have put together this post to provide you with a high-level step-by-step approach of how to build a next-generation smart home automation system that interfaces with your iPad, iPhone, Kindle Fire, or various types of Android and Windows mobile devices.
STEP 1: CHOOSE A SMART HOUSE AUTOMATION CONTROLLER
SmartHome Controllers or hubs are available in different form factors:
- Smart Home Automation Remote Controls: These are simply low-level devices that look like a ‘bog’ standard hard button handheld remote control.
- Wired SmartHouse Automation Controllers: On the other end of the spectrum you have electronic circuit board type products like the HAI Lumina; that gets mounted into a professional structured wiring distribution box. These sophisticated pieces of electronics will typically get installed as part of a new construction project or wiring upgrade to an existing building.
- Rock N’ Roll Looking SmartHouse Automation Controllers: If you are looking for a controller that closely resembles your cable set-top box or broadband router than the VERA3 or VERA Lite from Micasaverde, the HC2 from Fibaro are more likely to tickle your fancy.
- Touch Screen Home Automation Controllers: And finally, if you want a touchscreen type interface that you can mount on the wall; then check out Eminent’s eCentre2 starter Kit.
Once your smart home automation controller has been selected its now time to build your smart house automation system.
I have decided to prioritize and structure the mechanism you use to build a next-generation system, starting with five functions that are critical to our day to day living conditions.
STEP 2: ADD SECURITY AND FIRE ALARM FUNCTIONALITY TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Enhancing security and safety in your home can be as simple as adding a Home Automation motion detector(s), door, smoke detectors, and window contacts.
These sensors are available as wired or wireless. Once a sensor is activated, your home control system will send you a text message or email – Pretty cool feature!
STEP 3: ADD NETWORK SURVEILLANCE TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Another means of enhancing home or indeed business security is to integrate a network camera with your home control system.
Network cameras are available for inside or outside and come in wired or Wi-Fi versions. The images relayed from these cameras can be viewed from anywhere in the world via an internet browser.
STEP 4: ADD LIGHTING CONTROL YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Do you want to switch lights ON or OFF from your Smartphone, Android Tablet, or iPad and save some energy? If the answer is Yes than automating your home lighting is a great way to get started with home automation.
Simply retrofit your existing light switches with wireless light switches, dimmers or micro-switch inserts.
Alternatively, if you have plans in wiring for home automation, then running Cat5e cables out to your light switches will allow you to build a wired lighting control system.
STEP 5: ADD HEATING CONTROL TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Smart programmable thermostats are used to control your heating and cooling in the home.
These programmable thermostats are typically interfaced with your smart-house automation controller wirelessly or over cable.
STEP 6: ADD ENERGY MANAGEMENT TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Home technology systems help you to save money by reducing your energy consumption.
To enable this capability; your smart home automation controller needs to be interfaced with an energy reader and a couple of programmable thermostats.
This is a pretty awesome capability because not only are you able to keep an eye on energy usage but also use your smartphone or tablet to switch heating ON an OFF when out and about – I personally use this feature a lot!
STEP 7: ADD MULTI-ROOM MUSIC (MRM) 2.0 TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Whole house audio systems offer you the ability to distribute high-quality music throughout your entire home.
A multi-room audio system is built with the following elements:
- In-ceiling or in-wall speakers
- A multi-zone amplifier
- An interface such as an iPhone, iPad or Android device
MRM 2.0 systems fall into two broad categories – wired and wireless.
STEP 8: ADD HDTV TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
You will need to purchase one of the following devices in order to distribute HDTV movies and TV shows to different rooms in your home, namely:
- HDMI Switch: This piece of equipment allows you to connect between one and four HDTV sources to a single TV or projector.
- HDMI Splitter: A splitter allows you to send HDMI signals from one source to multiple TV screens.
- HDMI matrix: A HDMI matrix allows you to watch any HDTV source on any TV!
With regards to the iPhone, iPad, or Android control of your HDTV distribution system, consideration should be given to using the Wi-fi to IR extender system.
STEP 9: ADD ELECTRIC BLIND CONTROL TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Incorporating electric blind or curtain control into your home is an awesome addition to your Smarthome Automation system.
The one installation issue that I have encountered over and over again is the availability or lack of availability of power at Windows.
If you are fortunate enough to have power at your windows; then the installation is relatively simple.
The only hardware required for a window is a motor with an integrated controller and of course the blind or curtain.
Some really cool functionality can be activated once your interface blinds into your overall Home Automation setup.
STEP 10 ADD FLOOD WARNING SYSTEM FUNCTIONALITY TO YOUR SMART HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
The establishment of a water alarm system involves the installation of a flood sensor.
The purpose of these sensors is to detect water flooding and send an alert to your smartphone or tablet.
I hope this blog post has helped you begin to think about ways that you can use Home Automation to enhance your family’s safety levels, cut down on energy costs, and as always have fun!
Thanks again for your support and your comments!