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A collection of connected devices in a home, all working together, to make your life better.
It all starts with a good solid platform, a home base for all your devices to report in to. We use Home Assistant to gather all the info like this:
Smart Light - I’m on, and on 50% brightness.
Camera – I’m recording the back yard with no motion detected.
Door sensor – Front gate is Closed.
Power Monitor – Geyser is drawing 3590w of power.
Thermometer – Its 20° in the living room
Light Sensor – I detect 58 Lux
Now, using this platform to access vast information, users have the ability to monitor their homes in a meaningful way. With remote access they can get this information from anywhere with an internet connection. They can even get notifications when certain devices report certain information. I.E. “Front door is open”
The next step to a home automation system is the ability to control devices, whether from home or remotely.
Well, it is very clever and very useful!
However, to be a true home automation system, it should accomplish some tasks in an automated way. Without you having to do anything at all.
If this clever system knows that it is getting dark, and that there is motion in the home and can control lights …. well there is only one this left to do .… turn on the lights of course.
A home automation system uses the same factors that you would use to make decisions. “I’m here, it’s dark, I need lights!” A well setup automation will have the lights on before you even think about it!
“I have left home, I don’t need air-conditioning!” Thanks home automation system. Aircon’s are powered down.
The benefits are obviously pointing to convenience, how lovely to have an invisible robot in your home doing chores for you, even if you aren’t there.
But what about energy saving? In today’s world, this is of huge importance! Simply put, turn off things that aren’t being used, automatically. When we power down devices and appliances in an automated way the energy savings are far greater. This is because they are turned off sooner and they are turned off consistently. You can’t forget, because it’s not your problem anymore. Think about the positive compounding impact over a few years rather than just day to day.
Home automation systems communicate via various channels. Its often easiest to simply beef up your existing wifi network and build your system from wifi connected devices. There are benefits to using RF, Zigbee, BLE, and z-wave devices, but just know that you will likely need a bridge of sorts to convert from one of these to wifi, to communicate with your chosen platform.
Milney uses Home Assistant because it can integrate with SO many devices its actually ridiculous. Its installed locally, meaning you aren’t dependant on a 3rd party cloud server somewhere else. (Think security and reliability)
The keen tech tinkerers like to set Home Assistant up for themselves. For everyone else, Milney will do it for you!