A smarter life­style for all

Smart homes de­pend on a rock-solid net­work and the hints we’ve given you in the pre­ced­ing pages will stand you in good stead when it comes to dim­ming the lights us­ing only a spo­ken com­mand or ad­just­ing the home air-con from your desk at work.

Popular Mechanics (South Africa) - - DIY SPE­CIAL -

Home au­to­ma­tion needn’t be as daunt­ing as many be­lieve and needn’t in­volve so­phis­ti­cated sys­tems cost­ing the Earth. In­creas­ingly, over-the-counter add-on so­lu­tions are be­ing made avail­able that are well within reach of the av­er­age DIYER. But there are also times that you need to con­sider a built-in sys­tem de­signed specif­i­cally for your ap­pli­ca­tion. What­ever, it’s be­com­ing more and more ev­i­dent that in­tel­li­gence can be retro­fit­ted into an older home and eas­ily in­cluded in a new build or ren­o­va­tion, ac­cord­ing to home au­to­ma­tion specialists Homema­tion, who tackle some smart home myths be­low.

It’s far too ex­pen­sive

Home au­to­ma­tion can be very af­ford­able: start with one or a few rooms or con­cen­trate on spe­cific fea­tures only, such as light­ing or mu­sic or se­cu­rity. The price is largely de­pen­dent on your bud­get and needs. To­day, tech­nol­ogy has im­proved and pricing has re­duced. Home au­to­ma­tion should also be viewed to­gether with your home as an in­vest­ment that adds a lot of value to your life­style.

Pro­vid­ing a cost es­ti­mate isn’t straight­for­ward though; it’s like ask­ing how much a car costs. Ex­am­ple: Con­trol4 is soft­ware that con­nects your home’s au­to­mated prod­ucts to­gether, through a LAN en­vi­ron­ment; an­nual sub­scrip­tion for the Con­trol4 4Sight sys­tem is around R2 590; start­ing point is a ded­i­cated con­troller (from R9 590). Light­ing costs around R2 000 per light­ing cir­cuit. Also, fac­tor in high-speed In­ter­net. In­stal­la­tion should be done by a cer­ti­fied Con­trol4 in­te­gra­tor.

In­stal­la­tion is too much work

As with all elec­tri­cal in­stal­la­tions, there will be work done in­side your house. But it doesn’t have to be sledge­ham­mers at walls and cable chas­ing. Wire­less tech­nolo­gies make it much eas­ier to retro­fit homes.

It’s in­tim­i­dat­ing and too com­pli­cated to use

In the past this may have been true, but to­day the tech­nol­ogy has been re­fined and is specif­i­cally de­signed to be user-friendly. Home au­to­ma­tion makes use of an in­tu­itive user in­ter­face that puts ev­ery­thing at a home­owner’s fin­ger­tips.

It’s only an un­nec­es­sary gim­mick

In­tel­li­gent zoned heat­ing con­trol and “all out” light­ing func­tions are sen­si­ble, prac­ti­cal and en­ergy-sav­ing ideas. The se­cu­rity as­pects of the sys­tem give great peace of mind and are a very im­por­tant fea­ture for South African users. Home au­to­ma­tion sys­tems don’t only al­low you com­plete con­trol of all the de­vices in your home, but also make clever de­ci­sions on your be­half, such as low­er­ing the blinds in a room be­cause it has be­come too warm, send­ing you an SMS and turn­ing off your wa­ter be­cause your geyser has sprung a leak, or no­ti­fy­ing you that your garage door has been open for more than 10 min­utes.

The tech­nol­ogy doesn’t work well to­gether and will be out­dated soon

Part­ner­ships with the world’s lead­ing brands en­sure prod­ucts in­te­grate seam­lessly into the Con­trol4 plat­form, pro­vid­ing sup­port for more than 10 000 de­vices from hun­dreds of world-class brands, and the hard­ware is built to be “fu­ture-proof”.

It’s just a fad

Try telling that to Ap­ple, Google and Samsung, who have in­vested in home au­to­ma­tion to bring more and im­proved tech­nol­ogy to your home. As Busi­ness In­sider said: “The ‘In­ter­net of things’ will be big­ger than the smart­phone, tablet, and PC mar­kets com­bined.”

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from South Africa

© PressReader. All rights reserved.