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Smart Home Technology

 

What makes a home or house smart?

Smart Home technology should not be confused with Eco friendly. Installing smart home technology can make your home run more efficiently and therefore reduce energy consumption. However, for most people it is more of a case of big boys toys.

The problem with the technology at present is that it is not integrated. This means that the systems in the house that you want to control are stand alone systems.

What can you control?

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The things in your house that you can control are: Lighting, heating, entertainment, security, doors and windows and utilities. All these things are normally made by different manufacturers and have different control technologies.

So how is it possible to take all these technologies from different manufacturers and make them talk to each other? Otherwise you would have to be armed with twenty different remote controllers strapped together to make a smart home system.

There has been a growth in manufacturer’s to extend their technologies and add associated products and systems to their core product base. A classic example is somebody like Apple who are now extending their product profile with the benefit that new additions can either talk or can be controlled by others in the portfolio.

What is the solution?

The solution to the integration of systems is to make each component intelligent and enable eachentity to communicate and interact with the other entities. So your lights can speak to your sound system and your sound system can talk to your heating etc.

In effect the controllers of all individual systems have to have intelligence and one way of doingthis is to give each one a unique IP address. Then by connecting all the IP addresses together then you can use software to send controls for the devices tointeract together. Even mechanically operated things can be connected to a relay and the relay in turn can be allocated an IP address.

So in theory you can open a valve electrically by a relay that is controlled by software. Therefore filling your bath tub remotely without having to actually physically turn the taps on. This is the same with almost every compliance in the home and with software you can design programmes to produce certain events.

Imagine coming home and taking a control panel, possibly a tablet and pressing an icon saying party mode. Then a preset number of instructions are sent to the devices you have selected to be a part of your party mode.

The lighting will then come on at a preset level, the sound system will play preset tunes, the TV Screen will show preset videos and the heating or aircon will come on at a preset temperature.

This technology is available now, the drawback is that it is expensive to install and is difficult to retro-fit. However, when you are considering a new home or the refurbishment of an existing property then this technology should be considered.

If used correctly then it can save you money, for instance light sensors can reduce luminance of the fittings or turn the fitting completely off if there is enough natural light in a room. Or the same sensors can turn off any lights if nobody is present in a certain space.

Smart home technology is here now and available to be used, it can give the wow factor to your property or help reduce bills. It can also make the difference of selling your property in a move. Whatever you may think of the technology it is here to stay and will only get more sophisticated.

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