- Install in steps – There are so many awesome features out there that will make your home more comfortable, more secure and more intelligent, but if you try to implement them all at once it could be overwhelming. I talk to people all the time that have installed a ton of things at once and while I rarely hear complaints, I often discover that they aren’t using certain awesome features because they didn’t realize they had them. Their new, automated house could do so many things and so many of the features got lost in the background. Installing an automation system bit by bit will allow families that are living on a strict budget to improve their home as well.
- Involve your computer – Many automation systems can be programmed to work with the personal computer you already own. Operating your home through your computer is beneficial because many people are more ‘at home’ on the computer and therefore more willing to explore and use the features an automation system can bring. An added benefit of connecting your system to your computer is that it can monitor your home while you are asleep or even initiate certain functions while you are not at home. Useful home automation software can be purchased for around $50 at Walmart or Bestbuy.
- Use modules – A module is simply a piece of hardware that can receive a signal from your remote and then execute a function. Use modules to link previously unconnected electronics in your house into your home automation system. For example, a lamp that you’d like to be able to turn off or on while watching t.v. can be controlled via remote if it is plugged into a lamp module. Modules can be bought for around $10 a piece.
- Think of your home categorically – If you just got a bunch of new home automation equipment or if you are thinking of installing a lot of new equipment you might be feeling a little overwhelmed. In tip #1 I explained that this feeling can be alleviated if the installation is taken in steps. Another helpful tip is to put the different aspects of home automation into categories. For example lighting should be one category and temperature control should be another. This can be helpful as you are installing or if you simply want to make better use of the features that you already have. Pick one category that is most important to you and then use the tips that have already been given to tweak the equipment to your desired specifications. This is easiest to do if the system is linked to your computer.
- Decide how you wish to control your system – many people get installed with a new system without giving a second thought to how they will control and monitor it all. Luckily the technology of the latest systems are so advanced that they need very little monitoring but you will want to make sure the system is working exactly how you want it to. Choose if you want to receive house updates on your smartphone, through email or on through your newly installed computer program. This will assure that your new ‘smart house’ doesn’t become an annoying pest.
David Glenn- is an expert in home improvement, he frequently writes about home security and automation. For more info check out Vivint home automation systems.