Intimidated by the thought of automating your home? It does sound all futuristic and technical, but it doesn’t have to be any more difficult than programming your home electronics. Sure, you could rip out some walls and install new wiring, but why? Today’s smart homes are wireless, and so smart that they automatically detect and synch up with compatible appliances. All you need to do is make sure that your appliances are, in fact, compatible, and your smart home project will be a cinch.
Z-wave technology is more accessible to the average consumer – not only is it less expensive, but it doesn’t require ‘expert’ installation – and you can buy components on Amazon.com as well as from boutique smart home stores. If you’re looking to automate your home, and don’t have a huge budget, Z-wave may be the choice for you.
Looking for more information? Read Z-wave for Home Automation: The Consumer’s Solution.
When you’re planning out your smart home setup, the first step is to make a wish list. Don’t even try to be reasonable as far as pricing or practicality – just go crazy. Go through your house, and make a list of every single appliance you’d like to automate.
Living Room Automation
Maybe you’d like your television set, DVD player and stereo to be coordinated on the same remote control… a voice-controlled remote control, no less.
If you’re automating your bedroom, consider installing automatic blind controllers, to open and close the blinds depending on the time of day. A voice-controlled alarm clock can also make things easier when it’s time to wake up for work.
Automated Kitchen Appliances
High-tech appliances for your kitchen abound. From fridges that can tell you recipes that you can make with the ingredients you have available to dishwashers that can run automatically when they’re full, add anything that you want to upgrade to your list. Don’t forget to include a list of features, since the fancy appliances available today are capable of just about anything.
Whole-House Wish List
There may be some things that you’d like to add to your list that apply to every room, such as putting all of your lighting systems on timers, voice control or movement-based systems. You can also set up the television sets and stereo speakers in your house to follow you through the house with any program that you’re watching.
Components for Smart Home Living
Finally, you’ll need to make a list of the components that you will need to purchase if you want to install the items on your wish list. For example, if you’ll be using voice-control, you’ll need to install microphones throughout the house, or else wear a bluetooth mic to provide instructions to the house controller. (More on this next post)
Why Make a Wish List?
Whether you’re planning a drastic upgrade to a fully-automated home or just a few motion-sensitive light switches, making a list of the appliances and devices that you’d like to to automate gives you a solid starting place. Once you have the list, you can work on researching each item on the list to figure out the costs, in time and money, of installing each component. You may find that some little luxuries are easier to set up than you’d think!