The term “smart home” is a reality now. There are many devices in the market that you can use to automate your home Lights that turn automatically on when it gets dark, a raising gaming desk for your hobby room, and more. The opportunities are endless!
But with so many devices and automation solutions available, it can be challenging to know where to start automating your home. You will surely ask yourself many questions. However, after gathering some information and following some simple rules, you’ll be able to start automating your home.
But before you embark on a home automation project, you should get a basic understanding of how home automation works. For starters, there are three different levels of home automation:
- Monitoring. It consists of sensors that measure different physical parameters at home (temperature, humidity, etc.). It also includes sensors that verify the status of home components (whether the main door is closed, for example);
- Control. It consists of systems that can alter some physical parameters at home in response to a command. For example, lights that you can turn on remotely using an app;
- Automation. It consists of systems that perform actions in response to sensor inputs. For example, a heating system that turns on when the temperature drops below a minimum threshold.
Most home automation projects are at the control level. That’s because the highest level of automation requires more advanced devices. You can even use robotic parts to close doors or windows when sensors detect they are open. Such parts are called linear actuators. You can also use them for standing desks. Linear actuators provide the up-down motion to adjust the height of the tabletop.
So, how do you start automating your home? Here are some tips to do it.
You Don’t Need to Plan the Automation of Your Entire Home
A common mistake is to stress too much about the automation project. Planning the automation system for your entire house can be overwhelming. It doesn’t have to be like that. In fact, it is better to automate your home at different stages. Your initial ideas may evolve over time. Newer automation solutions are constantly hitting the market.
Hence, it is better to focus on an area of your home first. For example, you can start by automating the kitchen. There are many possibilities. You can automate the shelves where you store spices and other items. Next, you can make an adjustable table or implement any other idea.
Start with Simple Applications
If you are not experienced with DIY projects, you should start automating your home with simple things. It is common practice to start automating the lights of your house. But it is not a must. Start with something you feel comfortable with. When you finish this first stage you probably will ask yourself: “what can I automate next?”
Don’t Buy More than You Need for Your Project
After deciding what part of your home to automate first, you need to buy the necessary equipment. It is recommendable to buy what you will use, no more than that. If you choose to automate your lights, buy the sensors and lamps you will immediately use. Buying extra equipment can impact your budget negatively.
Choose Your Automation Platform
You have to choose an automation platform that allows you to interconnect different devices. Some platforms support devices from multiple manufacturers, whereas others support proprietary devices only. It is advisable to select a platform that gives you more versatility. It is much more convenient to be able to control all your automated devices from a single hub. In most cases, you can interact with the hub via a mobile app. You can have one app to control all your home automated devices instead of multiple ones.
Make Sure All the Devices You Buy Are Backward Compatible
The products for automation in the market are continuously evolving. Some products are discontinued and new ones arrive. So, you have to ensure backward compatibility for your automation projects. In this way, you can continue expanding your automation system without replacing older devices. Hence, when you buy new devices, check their technical specifications. Ensure they can interconnect with devices you have at home already in operation.
Use the Correct Linear Actuators
When you come to the highest level of home automation, you will likely use linear actuators. Building a TV lift or a height-adjustable table can be an exciting project. However, it requires more experience and skills from your side. Most importantly, you have to select the correct linear actuator for the application. There are many different linear actuators in the market.
Before buying anything, make a list of your requirements. What weight will the actuator lift? What’s the length of the linear movement you need? Ask these questions to choose the correct actuator for your application.