With the progression in technology, we are becoming advanced day by day in almost every field of life.  The places we live in are not exempted.

Now our homes are equipped with sensors, gadgets, software, and other systems to automate the domestic tasks we perform routinely. This concept is called Smart Home or Home Automation System.

As technology is advancing over time, smart home and smart home devices are increasingly becoming popular and adopted in recent times. By the way, who would not like to control the home appliances remotely just via smartphones or using a central smart home controller?

This article explains what is a smart home, and how it works. The article also discusses the need and importance of a smart home while mentioning some of the issues you may face. After reading this article, you will be able to fully understand the home automation/smart home concept and to decide whether it is your need or not. 

Should we need a smart home?

Aren’t you tired of doing the same routine tasks repeatedly? It would be boring to perform small actions again and again such as turning on and off the lights, and cooling systems when you leave or enter a room.

Similarly, locking and unlocking your doors each time you go out requires some effort. Also, you can remain in doubt and can have stress while thinking about whether you have locked the main door or not? Instead, it would be better to have a smart home automation system via which you can perform these tasks and control your home more confidently.

Suppose that you are coming back from a trip with your family, and you are just a mile away from your home. Now you want the smart home controller system installed in your home to open the garage door for you automatically.

You may also want the home automation system to turn on some lights and start the HVAC system to cancel out the chilling or warm effect of weather in your house.

Yes! You can perform all these tasks via your smartphone if you have a smart home. 

Let’s see another scenario, in which you have left for the office. Then realized that you forgot to turn off an important machine back home. If you have set up a smart home then you do not need to worry about it as you can turn off the machine remotely.

All these examples given above are strong advocates of having a smart home. But let’s have an understanding of this concept first.

What is a Smart Home or Home Automation System?

As its name implies, home automation means a home where domestic chores can be performed automatically. A smart home does not require humans to perform their chores manually anymore.

A smart home or home automation system simply refers to the electronic (and hence the automatic) control of household activities and appliances.

Home automation can be considered as a method of upgrading your old (manually controlled) home to one that can be controlled via your smartphone even from far away distances. It is just all about updating your home to the next advanced level.

There was a total of 22.5 billion smart homes in Europe by the end of 2017 and it is expected to grow to 84 million homes at the end of the year 2022.

The term home automation system refers to a network of smart devices connected to a central controller.

The central controller may also act as a gateway, as it allows controlling all the connected devices even remotely. This means that you need to operate the central controller to handle all the connected devices from one place.

A home automation system monitors and controls different aspects of your home such as lightning, entertainment systems, and climate. Another important aspect is home security which includes alarm systems and access control.

As it gets improved day by day home automation will soon include an automated smart kitchen where the kitchen appliances (such as rice cookers and crockpots) will be controlled remotely.

How does a Smart Home Work?

Following are the three different ways in which a smart home may operate.

  • A smart home may consist of several smart devices (or electronic appliances) each operating and controlled individually.

A smart device is a device that has a microcontroller to process the incoming data and respond accordingly. Some examples are smartphones, smart TV, smart refrigerator, smart bulb, and so on.

According to MediaPost, 69% of households in the USA have at least one smart device, while 12% of those (about 22 million homes) have several.

  • It is also possible that the smart devices are connected with each other forming a local network of devices. These devices with send and receive data to each other through communication mechanisms, such as WiFi, Bluetooth, etc. These devices may also be connected to a central smart home controller, which may also be operated from a smartphone.
  • Home automation may also be achieved when the devices are interconnected with the Internet. This concept is called the Internet of Things (IoT).

Whether these devices are working individually or in a network, they can be controlled in different ways. For example, using an app, a custom-made software, or with the help of a voice assistant such as Alexa, Siri, Google Assistant, etc.

With a smartphone, you can remotely monitor and control all your smart home devices. You can operate them to make sure that all the devices are properly turned off. In this way, your home can be kept safe from many disasters such as gas leakage, accidental fires, water leakage, and other home-based disasters.

Conclusion

The home automation system can be considered a modern tool that frees us from our daily household routine tasks. This can make our life easier and more comfortable which is the primary objective of developing this concept as well.

It can be a lengthy discussion on deciding a smart home is a luxury or a need of modern life. On one side, you can consider that a smart home is not a luxury anymore but a necessity. Because it keeps you relaxed knowing that your home is safe and secured and frees you from regular household tasks and keeps you comfortable.

On the other side, building a home automation system requires that you must have different smart devices present in your home. Replacing all the manually controlled appliances with new smart devices and then connecting them with the central smart home controller is not easy and it will be costly as well.

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