There’s no denying that home automation is here to stay—an estimated 69% of homes in the US have at least one smart device, and that number grows every day.
Whether you’re new to home automation or want to add more smart devices to your home, there are plenty of areas of you home you can automate.
What is home automation?
Home automation includes a network of connected smart home devices, each of which are connected to your home’s WiFi, that allow you to automate and manage your smart home from wherever you are.
Home automation is actually more than just automation. A complete smart home automation system includes the following functionality:
Automation. This is what most people think of when they hear “home automation.” It involves automating different functions around your house; for example, setting your outdoor lights to turn on automatically at a specific time. Automation can also happen when one event triggers another, such as having your front door lock automatically when you arm your security system.
Control. Home automation also enables you to control your home no matter where you are via your smart home app. You can also use your voice to control your smart home devices if you have Amazon Alexa.
Monitoring. Being able to monitor your home remotely is another aspect of smart home automation. You can view your security cameras, answer your front door, or check to see if your garage door is open all through your smart home’s app.
While the concept of home automation may seem like a recent phenomenon, it’s actually been around for a long time. Programmable thermostats, which were introduced in the 1980s, were a form of home automation because they would automatically adjust at certain times.
Home automation has continued to evolve, becoming more and more advanced every day. Now, smart home automation includes everything from lights that turn on when you walk into a room to thermostats that know when you’re on your way home to washing machines you can start with your voice.
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Home automation benefits
Introducing home automation into your home has so many benefits, you’ll wonder how you managed without it! Some of the best things about having a home automation system include:
Convenience. There’s no doubt around it, home automation makes life easier. Whether you’re unlocking the front door for your child because he forgot his code, using a robot vacuum to clean your floors, or setting your sprinklers to water your lawn automatically, home automation is more convenient for the whole family.
Safety. Smart home devices can also make your home safer, especially when they’re part of a home security system. Arming and disarming your security system remotely, checking your smart doorbell feed from your phone, and staying connected to your home through notifications helps you keep your home safe.
Peace of mind. Home automation can also give you priceless peace of mind, especially when you’re away from home. You don’t have to worry about whether you remembered to lock the front door on your way out or wonder if you closed the garage door while running errands—you can do it all right from your phone.
So what exactly can you automate? Here are a few of the best home automation ideas for around the house:
With a smart door lock, you can unlock or lock your front door with your phone no matter where you are. When it comes to automation, smart locks have lots of options—you can set it to lock automatically after a certain amount of time or when you arm your security system. When it’s part of a Vivint smart home system, you can also set it to unlock automatically if a smoke detector goes off, so it’s easier to evacuate the house in a fire.
In addition to being more convenient than a physical lock, smart locks are also safer. Because there is no key, you don’t have to worry about losing spare keys or hiding keys around your front door.
Garage door control
It’s probably happened to all of us at least once—you’re halfway to work or you’re out running errands when you think to yourself, “Wait a minute. Did I close the garage door?”
You can automate your garage door so this never happens again. Garage door control not only notifies you if you leave your garage door open, but it also lets you close it right from your phone. You can also open your garage door with your phone, which is helpful if you’re getting a delivery you don’t want left out in the open.
Energy-saving devices are some of the most popular smart home devices, so it’s no wonder more than 43 million homes in the US have a smart thermostat. These energy-efficient smart home devices automatically help you save money and energy.
Smart thermostats like Nest automate climate control in your house by learning your temperature preferences and then adjusting the temperature in your home automatically, making sure you’re always comfortable.
While you’re away, the thermostat adjusts to a higher or lower temperature, then uses geofencing to automatically adjust it to your preferred temperature when you get close to home. This helps you save money as well; in fact, smart thermostat users report saving an average of 10-12% on their energy bills.
You can also use your smartphone (or even your voice, if you have hands-free control in your smart home!) to turn the temperature up or down.
Smart lights are another great idea for home automation. Not only can you adjust your lights from your phone (no more going from room to room to turn off lights), but you can also create lighting groups and set them to turn on or off automatically at certain times of day, like setting your outdoor lights to turn on at sundown. You can also get dimmable light bulbs to create mood lighting, night lights that use motion sensors to turn on, and smart light bulbs that transform your favorite lamps into smart lights.
When part of a complete smart home system, you can also automate your lights based on various scenarios. For example, you can set your entryway lights to turn on when you unlock the door, or have your home’s lights turn off when you arm your security system. You can even set your lights to function as your alarm clock by setting your bedroom lights to turn on when you’d like to wake up in the morning.
You can also use home automation to proactively tackle problems as they arise, such as water leaks. Water sensors are small sensors you can place in areas of your home or around appliances that are prone to water leaks, such as the washer or hot water heater.
If the water sensor detects moisture, you’ll immediately be notified on your smart phone so you can quickly shut off the water and address the issue before it causes significant damage. Vivint’s water sensor also has a built-in temperature sensor that senses extreme drops in temperature, so you can prevent pipes from freezing and bursting.
Kitchen appliances are smarter than ever, and many tasks around the kitchen can be automated. Slow cookers or pressure cookers, coffee makers, ovens, and even refrigerators can make life easier in the kitchen. You can preheat your oven from your phone, get alerts from your refrigerator when food is expiring, and customize your favorite coffees so your favorite cup is ready when you are.
Home automation goes a step further with hands-free control, which allows you to control your smart home with your voice. Turn off your lights, arm your home security system, and adjust the temperature in your home are just a few of the voice commands you can ask Alexa.
If you already have a smart speaker, Vivint works with both Amazon Echo and Google Home, so your new home automation devices will integrate with your current voice home assistant.
Some of the smartest home security cameras use motion sensors to automatically begin recording when someone is on your property or comes to your front door.
When part of a smart home system, you can also pair your security cameras with your smart lighting for even greater security. When your motion lights detect someone outside, they can trigger your outdoor camera to begin recording.
You don’t have to upgrade every device in your home. You can make just about any device or appliance “smart” thanks to smart plugs. You plug it into the wall, then plug your appliance or device into the smart plug and use the plug’s app to control it. TVs, curling irons, and even your favorite vintage lamp can be automated with smart plugs.
Some things you can DIY, but others are best left to the professionals. If you have a home security system, professional monitoring ensures your home is protected around the clock. If a burglar alarm, smoke alarm, or carbon monoxide detector in your home goes off, the monitoring center will contact you and send emergency services to your home if needed.
Getting started with home automation
Adding home automation to your home is a great way to make it a more comfortable, convenient place to live.
If you’re ready to get started with home automation, Vivint can help. Contact our Smart Home Pros today at 855.822.1220 today for a free quote.
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