Convenience, Security and Energy Savings with Home Automation

Home automation essentially began in the early 1900’s when the introduction of electric power distribution made possible the wide spread use of labor saving devices such as clothes washers and dryers, dishwashers, sewing machines and refrigerators.  Today, home automation is being elevated to an entirely new level fueled by the advancements in computer, networking and internet technology.  Modern automation systems can give us the ability to:

  • Control heating and cooling systems
  • Control lighting
  • Turn appliances, lawn irrigation and other devices on or off
  • Interface with a security system
  • Access indoor and outdoor video cameras
  • Interface with safety systems including leak, smoke and CO detectors
  • Unlock doors and windows and control garage doors
  • Open or close window treatments
  • Control audio/video systems throughout the home
  • Utilize the many new Internet of Things (IoT) devices being regularly introduced

A typical home automation or smart home system first needs a hub to connect the devices, sensors and controllers, and a router for internet connectivity. Controlling all of these components is done with great ease from within the home using touchscreen panels and control switches, or from anywhere in the world with an internet connection using a computer, tablet or smartphone. PrintThey can also be set automatically based on a schedule or when other events occur such as a door opening, the triggering of a motion sensor or creating a lighting and music scene for an event.

Today’s home automation systems and devices come in a wide range of pricing and functionality, and many of the different manufacturers are rapidly increasing their compatibility with one another. For example, Lutron, a relatively new player in the home automation market featuring dimmers, switches and shading solutions has joined forces with Sonos to provide effortless integration and control of their audio systems, enabling the creation of a true home theater experience. Additionally, Lutron is now compatible with many popular home security systems, allowing for the control of lighting and window treatments from the security system’s in-home interface and mobile apps.

The main purpose of home automation is to make life easier for the user, and to save energy and other resources by utilizing the devices according to specific requirements. Automation can be a simple, one application system, a whole house system, or any combination that suits the homeowner’s tastes, lifestyle and budget. The following is a breakdown of smart home’s main systems and the features of each one:


honeywell-smart-thermostatSince one of the most significant sources of energy consumption is a home’s heating and cooling system, having the ability to manage the temperature from a remote location, set predetermined schedules and set the temperature back during the night can save a significant amount of money. In addition, having the ability to adjust the temperature on the way home from work or travel is more of a convenience then you think. Some of the other great features of smart thermostats include:

  • High and low temperature alerts
  • Geo-fencing, which can turn your system off or on based you leaving or arriving back home using your phone’s GPS
  • Attractive looking touch-screen displays
  • Remote sensing and averaging between rooms
  • Integration with other types of systems such as lighting control


lutron-switchLighting control systems are now more affordable than ever and can allow for seamless use as you occupy different rooms throughout the home. With clean and modern wall dimmers you can set the lighting mood in any room, or form a single location to control multiple rooms and scenes. For example, you may want to have all of the living areas lit at 50% for a relaxing night – you can do that with the touch of a one scene button on your phone or tablet. There are many advantages of using a lighting control system including:

  • Single touch lighting scenes
  • Lighting control through your phone or tablet
  • Car visor remotes to turn lights on or off as you approach or leave your home
  • Checking to see if you left a light on, or turn a light on, from a remote location
  • Turn lights on or off as you get out of, or into, range of your home with Geo-fencing much like temperature control
  • Integrate control of music with the SONOS and LUTRON partnership


sonos-audioWe all love to listen to our favorite music, but how about listening to the same song throughout your entire home as you travel from one room to another? With connected music systems you can stream music from the internet or your own personal playlist and listen to clean and crisp sound throughout your home with table-top or built-in speakers. Whether you are using your phone or a wall-mounted tablet, you can adjust the sound, type of music or grouping of speakers, all from a single app. Some of the great benefits of connected music are:

  • Music in every room
  • Individual or group control of speakers
  • Internet streaming of music
  • Easy-to-use apps to play your favorite songs to match any occasion
  • Clean and sleek looking speakers and controls


Like music, most people today have televisions in many rooms throughout the home. Whether watching your favorite movie, TV show or sporting event, it is important to have the best picture andhome-theater sound. Technologies today allow for seamless integration of state-of-the-art surround sound systems, video streaming and internet connectivity using single remotes and voice activation. Having a beautiful picture, deep and clear sound with simplistic yet advanced controls can greatly enhance the viewing experience. Benefits of connected video systems include:

  • Theater-like feel for movies, TV shows, gaming or sporting events
  • Integrated surround sound systems
  • Easy-to-use controls and auxiliary device (DVD, DVR, Apple TV, Etc.) integration


Advanced security and surveillance systems allow for maximum protection of your home or building, ensuring your family or employees are safe. With the wide range of products available to overhead-surveillance-cameraconsumers today, it is challenging to determine which ones are most effective and reliable. Security systems can provide the piece-of-mind that your exterior entrance points are protected by wired or wireless door, window and motion sensors. Surveillance systems or security cameras allow for real-time and recorded video surveillance of your property. You can log into your system and look at the points of surveillance, or be notified when motion occurs in any zone of the property. Benefits of today’s security and surveillance systems include:

  • Multi-point security sensing, wired and wireless
  • Motion sensing
  • Real-time video viewing
  • recorded video with playback
  • Integration with other home automation systems


Controlling the doors and window treatments from your smart home interface or from anywhere with an internet connection allows for added convenience, security and decreased energy These devices are able to be integrated with other smart devices and include:

  • Keyless and Wi-Fi enabled locks
  • Motorized windows and skylights
  • Wi-Fi enabled wireless doorbells with cameras
  • Electronically controlled window treatments (shades and blinds)
FYI: According to GlobeNewswire, the global home automation market is expected to surge from $5 billion in 2014 to $21 billion by 2020

For more information on Home Automation or to schedule a consultation, please contact us.