Home Automation: Smarter, More Energy Efficient, and Secure Homes
Remember the days when you had to get up from your couch every time you wanted to change the channel on your TV? Then came the magical ‘remote control’ and changed our lives forever. Home automation is having a similar effect, but on electrical appliances in our homes with intelligent network technology.
Imagine unlocking the front door to your house without using keys; instead, the door unlocks automatically as it detects you with digitally encrypted codes on your smartphone. Once inside, you can use your smart device to set the mood in your home through a visually appealing app which displays the floor plan of your house, and all you need to do is simply tap the touchscreen to activate multiple lighting ‘scenes’ such as ‘Romantic Dinner’, ‘Meal Preparation’, or ‘Movie Time’. The house takes care of you by playing your favourite songs whenever you walk in, or instantaneously dimming the lights and drawing the curtains for a movie.
Home automation may sound futuristic and maybe even a little intimidating at first, but don’t let that stop you from embracing it, especially since the technology is now available in our very own Kathmandu. Keyur Shrestha, a young entrepreneur pioneering this technology in Nepal, says, “High tech doesn’t mean highly complicated or difficult-to-use, instead, smart homes are technology-friendly, accessible,and visually intuitive and easy to use. Smart homes are just that: smart!”
What Is Home Automation?
It is the integration of technology and services through home networking for a better quality of living. It is all about using technology in ways that fits with and enhances your lifestyle through added comfort, convenience, and security. Today’s technology cleverly merges your family’s lifestyle with networks that control your programmable appliances and virtually anything that powers up can be controlled from an elegantly simple touch panel or your smart device which can be controlled virtually from anywhere inside your house or from outside via the internet.
What are the Benefits Of Home Automation?
A smart home environment adds to the enjoyment of your home while saving you time, and can help save and manage energy. It also makes you feel more secure and enjoy a variety of conveniences that make homes easier and less expensive to maintain. From something as simple as lights that switch off when you’re out of the room to lighting linked to automated blinds that open to allow natural light in, the system will significantly reduce your home’s energy consumption.
The popularity of home automation has been increasing greatly in recent years throughout the world due to much higher affordability and simplicity through smartphone and tablet connectivity. Home automation also supports a diverse system of service providers and product manufacturers as they invent products necessary to create smart homes. These products are ideal for new construction, do-it-yourself and retrofit, and are easy to use, maintain, and install.
How Does It Work?
A home automation system integrates electrical devices in a house with each other. The techniques employed in home automation include those in building automation as well as the control of domestic activities devices may be connected through a computer network through wires or radio waves, to allow control by a personal computer, and also allow remote access from the internet. Through the integration of information technologies with the home environment, systems and appliances are able to communicate in an integrated manner which results in convenience, energy efficiency, and safety benefits. Once the commands are received by the components, they act and carry out the requested commands.
Enhancing Your Lifestyle
The Nepali home environment has also seen a rapid introduction of network-enabled digital technology. This technology offers new and exciting opportunities to increase the connectivity of devices within the home for the purpose of home automation. Moreover, with the rapid expansion of the internet in Nepal, there is the added potential for the remote control and monitoring of such network-enabled devices.
Creating a smart home involves the bringing together of many different disciplines including entertainment, lighting, security, and networking to name just a few. Consult an expert in this field and simply choose the automation, energy management, and convenience features you desire that will fit within your budget and lifestyle.
Home security: Home automation integrates security systems in the connected home, allowing the alarm, lighting, and closed circuit cameras to be managed from a single control panel. Closed circuit TV, remote cameras, and sensors give you in-house and remote monitoring. Network interfacing of these systems can then give you the facility of viewing any of these cameras from anywhere in the world in real time via the web or your smartphone. Lighting can also be programmed with an “Away” mode to supplement the core security system, generating random lighting scenes throughout the evening to give the home a lived-in look whilst unoccupied.
Multi-room audio & video systems: Fill the house with music of your choice, or have different music in every room to suit different tastes directly from your smartphone. You can design and install multi-room systems for music and video that integrate seamlessly into your home and your lifestyle. The multi-room audio and video systems are designed to disappear into your home with concealed speakers that deliver beautiful audio without impinging on the aesthetics of your home.
Home networking: A home network is fast becoming a mandatory inclusion in the smart home. It’s not just for computers—a vast range of audio visual products now offer access to music and video over the internet and the home network is the key to accessing this. The latest TVs now provide access to internet-based video channels, and there’s a huge world of music out there waiting for you to discover.
Home theatre systems: While a dedicated home theatre room may be the ultimate luxury, for most people, the home theatre must fit in with the everyday living space. Home automation helps integrate home theatre electronics, speakers, and screens into living spaces discreetly or even invisibly, until they’re needed.
Energy management: There are multiple ways in which your smart home can reduce energy consumption. Light sensors enable lights that come on when you enter a room and turn off after you’ve left. Smart sensors also detect ambient light levels to ensure lights don’t come on if the room is already well lit. They also know what time of day it is and can respond accordingly, by dimming down late at night.
Window curtains and blinds: By controlling your window coverings, home automation can help control the transmission and retention of heat and light. The system will automatically open louvers to let in light and warmth on a cool day, or to allow for circulation of breezes when it’s hot. Light and temperature sensors work with automated blinds and other fittings to take care of these functions without you having to think about it.
Access control: From a simple gate station integrated to a phone system to a complex managed and monitored multi-entry system, home automation can provide you with total security and ease of operation. Integration to other systems can activate lighting, security systems, and even open the gate or front door from your audio visual remote or any lighting control panel in the home.