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.
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.”