Home Automation Guide: An Introduction from Security Doctors
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Home Automation Guide: An Introduction from Security Doctors

by Carlos Lopez

The “smart home” has officially arrived. A few years ago, the ability to control aspects of the home—from lights to blinds—was the realm of that tech-savvy friend you knew. It took a good deal of setup, and after all that, the lights would dim with a simple click from a smartphone…sometimes. Then, slowly but surely, “smart” technology started to spread. It seemed that overnight, smart lightbulbs had a front-and-center spot at the hardware store—and there were a lot of them! Smart technology companies came into existence, with new names like “Nest” and “Wink.” And then, the heavy hitters took notice.

Home automation has officially moved out of the realm of the tech-savvy and into the mainstream. With Apple, Google, and Amazon all competing to unify the devices in your home and give you simpler and more complete control over them than ever, the age of the smart home is here. After one or two more holiday cycles, everyone you know will have some piece of smart technology in their home. And you’ll likely be among them.

If all of this has got your head swimming, you’ve come to the right place. Our introductory guide to home automation will get you up to speed on just how smart your home can be—and what that really means.

What is a smart home?

To understand what home automation really is, it’s helpful to replace the term “smart home” with “connected home.” Right now, the different appliances and pieces of technology in your home operate independently from one another. Want the light in the kitchen turned on? You walk over and flip the switch. The fan is on a different switch, and the lights in the living room are controlled by a switch on a whole other wall entirely. Then there are the locks to your front door, the security system that needs to be armed and disarmed, and the security cameras. Once everything is turned off and locked for the night, you may walk over to your thermostat and turn the temperature down before heading to bed.

In a smart home, this sea of technology can be controlled through one central location, say your smartphone, or a voice-activated “hub” that sits on your counter. In this way, they work together as a singlehome automation system.

What can I automate?

Everything from refrigerators to coffee pots can fall under the realm of the smart home, but when we’re discussing home automation, there are some basic areas we tend to focus on:

Lighting

Create preset levels, or adjust the lights up and down as you see fit. Newer technologies allow you to set programs that trigger several lights with a single command. For example, saying the word “Goodnight” to your smart home hub may turn off all of the lights in the house while turning on a dim light in the kitchen for late-night trips for water.

Thermostat

Control the temperature remotely and program different protocols based on the time of day. Many systems take things a step further and learn the routines of you and your family, adjusting the temperature at the right times to optimize efficiency and save on energy costs.

Home Security

Instant notifications, live video feeds, recording, snapshots, and the ability to easily switch between multiple cameras are all at your fingertips with automated business andhome security systems like those offered by Security Doctors here in Chicago, IL. You can pan, tilt, and zoom your indoor and outdoor cameras, and access time-stamped video clips with ease.

Music

With smart home technology building from touch-enabled smartphone controls to voice-activated smart hubs, those who automate their homes are getting an added benefit—a voice-activated sound system throughout the house. With auxiliary hubs and plug-in devices that can bring automated control to old speakers and sound-systems, you can lock your doors and crank up your favorite songs, all without getting out of your seat.

If you’re curious about how home automation can fit into your life, give us a call today at 1-847-386-8838.


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