Home Automation

Top Must-Have Home Automation Devices

Home Automation Controller

One of the best approaches to achieve a low

cost and well-integrated home automation environment is to focus on a system that centers around a single smart home controller and multiple less intelligent, and therefore less expensive devices

Light Control Switches and Dimmers

The usefulness of remotely controllable switches is about as limitless as the varieties of switches that are available. Program your outside lights to turn on and off while you’re away to give the appearance that you are home. Turn your porch lights on before heading home after dark. Add a remote dimmer to your inside hall lights and program them to turn on as a nightlight in the evening for added safety and security.

Energy Monitoring Switch

This devices allow you to control power to your appliances and devices via timers, rules, and remote manual operation, by having at least one portable energy monitoring switch in your home, you can gain an understanding of how much energy your devices are using. Is your refrigerator energy-efficient compared to the latest models? Is your old cable modem an energy vampire?

Smart Home Thermostat

Programmable thermostats have been around for decades, and even the simplest of these devices have served the needs of most users. Now, with the built in capabilities of some thermostats, or by using the power of  recipes for others, it is possible to boost the performance and energy efficiency of your home HVAC system to a new level. Adjust your home temperature to account for the effects of humidity or outside temperature. Set up a rule to adjust your temperature or send a notification reminder to open your doors and windows if the outside air is at a more comfortable temperature than the inside.

Smart Doorbell

It’s puzzling to me that this singular button that can trigger entry into your home has been so neglected by smart home automation device developers. As a minimum, I would like to receive an alert, text message or email if someone is pressing my doorbell so that I can quickly view my front door security camera or turn on my porch light. Did I receive a UPS package? Is someone with ill-intent attempting to verify that I am away? Enhanced automated responses might include turning on an inside light to give the appearance that I am home or taking snapshot security camera images.

Security Camera

The security camera is a worthy home component with or without a complementary home automation system. The number one criteria for top pick for me in this category is minimal to no monthly fees. Whether it be for home automation services or streaming video, monthly service fees for cloud-based services can quickly consume several times the amount you spend on the devices themselves. The second criteria for this category pick is the ability for outdoor operation.

Smart Door Lock

Smart door locks are an obvious device to consider for your smart home, and there have been several new door lock gadgets introduced over the last year or so, each with their own benefits and issues.  Along with the promise of added convenience and safety, these devices also have the potential to open the door (pun intended – again, sorry) to additional security concerns.

Home Automation garage gate opener

With this device and a corresponding Z-Wave capable controller, you can check on the status of your garage door while you are away, and close it if it is open.

As an additional means of entering the home if you do not have your key or a standard garage door opener, but do have your phone or as an additional or emergency means to grant friends or trusted neighbors access into your home or garage while you are away.

If you want to receive notifications when your garage door is opened or closed, or you want to receive a notification if your garage door is currently open during a certain time of day or night. For example, you might want to receive an alert or SMS Text message as a reminder if it’s after midnight and your garage door is still open.

So that you can add additional smarts to your system such as voice control, or to define rules on when to automatically open or close your door.

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