While the world owes it to machines and home appliances to make lives easier and convenient, the future of the world is here. Home automation is the next big thing today. With home appliances like refrigerators, air conditioners, heaters, dryers, washing machines, dishwashers, and much more already being an integral unit of a house, home automation only makes operating and controlling these appliances easier. Apart from simplifying your daily chores, home automation systems also help detect leakages, emissions, electricity usage and also help monitor the energy expenditure in solar panels to help perform your tasks with minimum waste of energy.
Home automation helps in automatic control of home appliances and even remote controlling of these via wireless communication portals. Central lighting control systems, HVAC, audio and video systems, security alarms, all can be monitored and controlled using home automation.
Home automation systems seem to be complicated territory for people who don’t belong to a technological background. So we break it up and simplify it for you so you can understand it better and are aware of the latest happenings in the home improvement sector.
So what exactly constitutes a home automation system?
A home automation system consists of 2 units, a sensor and a controller. While sensors detect light, temperatures, emissions, motion and other parameters, the information is transferred to the controllers. Sensors can include thermostats, thermocouples or thermistors, light detectors, level and pressure detectors, current transformers, IR sensing devices, etc. These sensors need a gateway or signaling system to link them with the controlling device.
The controller could be computer devices, laptops, tabs, or even your smartphone with the help of logic controllers, Ethernet, Bluetooth and other connecting gateways which help your device receive information from the sensing devices.
Another element of home automation systems is what we call an Actuator. Actuators are basically the final control switches which include limit switch systems, relays, motors and other technologies that establish control over your appliances. All this is linked together via communication systems. You could also use your home automation system with surveillance cameras, scheduling systems, and energy saving modes.
These systems work in harmony to help the elderly, bedridden and disabled to operate home appliances easily and also help you monitor and control your appliances when you’re not at home.
Different Home Automation systems…
There are many different classifications for home automation systems. While some have classified them on the basis of their generation into first, second and third generation systems, the following classification is based on the kind of control systems employed for these systems.
• Power line Based Home Automation
• Wired or BUS Cable Home Automation
• Wireless Home Automation
1. Power Line Home Automation System
This is the cheapest controller and requires no cables for transferring data. It instead utilizes the power lines to transmit data. But this system is tenacious and needs converter circuits and other devices to be able to function.
2. Wired Home Automation System
This system has all appliances linked together with a main controlling device which is usually a logic controller via a cable. This unit is further linked with an actuator that helps connect it with the main controlling device. The entire system is controlled by a computer device.
3. Wireless Home Automation
This is the new age system for home automation which doesn’t involve wires at all. Instead, wireless technology modues like IR, Zigbee, Wi-Fi, GSM, Bluetooth, etc. are used for connecting the systems together so you can control your devices while on the move. Whether it’s your laptops, tabs, ipads, or smartphones, all devices can control your home appliances with this automation systems.
In retrospect, home automation systems are the future. One can certainly make life easier using home automation and this system has further evolved to incorporate technology to reduce greenhouse emissions, electricity wastage, break ins and burglaries, pet damage, fires, and many other mishaps. With the latest advancements in place, we will also be able to use artificial intelligence and robots in our daily home automation rituals to make our lives simpler. Although home automation is highly expensive and difficult to manage, while extremely vulnerable to hacking and break ins, experts are on their knees trying to improve this system to its maximum capacity to enable us to utilize it to make our homes safer, efficient, and wastage free.