Home Automation & Controllers Articles
Smart Devices Push Home Automation Into the MainstreamSmartphone control over security, thermostats, and appliances goes mainstream.
- By Evelyn Royer
- Source: BUILDING PRODUCTS Magazine
- Publication date: 2011-08-15
Studies estimate the market for “smart” gadgets that allow users to remotely access their home’s operations via electronic devices will more than double by 2015 largely due to the ability of these systems to reduce energy use, improve security, and place total home control on the screen of a small phone. The recent explosion in residential products has taken them beyond the realm of luxury home builders into the hands of production builders and remodelers looking for a competitive edge.
The latest home automation systems are loaded with high-tech features. For example, systems from companies including Vantage, HAI, and ADT Security Services link security cameras, lights, thermostat control, and more over WiFi and 3G networks. Meawhile, systems including the Belwith Products’ SecuRemote technology, Schlage’s LiNK, and the ADT Pulse allow a smartphone to lock doors, grant temporary access, and receive texts when someone enters the home.
With live-streaming security camera capability, these systems also can detect flood, fire, or an intruder; take a picture of the situation; and e-mail it to the homeowner. Meanwhile, SecuRemote technology allows a parent to text the door key code to a locked-out child from anywhere with wireless phone service. Finally, when a smartphone is within 100 feet of the door, it communicates directly with the lock through a Bluetooth connection to ensure the lock works even when the Internet does not.
Building pros and installers like the new high-tech systems because they are wire-free and easy to install. “Wireless technology certainly streamlines installation,” says electronic systems contractor Rob Dzedzy of Media Rooms in West Chester, Pa. However, there’s a downside: The router must be fast and able to handle multiple IP addresses, something many home networks cannot do. “Just because it is wireless does not mean it works flawlessly right out of the box,” Dzedzy says.
The systems cost $200 to $500 installed, but return on investment is fast, manufacturers say, because they can lower energy costs by controlling the thermostat, monitoring energy use, and turning off lights and appliances in one touch. The ADT Pulse, for instance, will cut an average utility bill by 10% to 20%, helping to recoup the system’s monthly $40 to $57 fee, the company says.
Explore Home Automation & Controllers
- Smart Devices Push Home Automation Into the Mainstream
- GE's Nucleus Energy Manager is Consumer's Gateway to Smarter Energy Choices
GE's Nucleus energy manager with Brillion tec...
- WISP Window and Door Systems Continue to Raise the Bar on Hurricane Protection Incorporating 21st Century Smart House Technology
With smart house technology you can turn ligh...
- "Batten Down the Hatches" Takes on a Whole New Meaning: Introducing WISP Window and Door Systems, the New Standard in Hurricane Protection
High-intensity storms producing strong winds ...
- Dream Machine
Remote-controlled and out of sight, the Dream...
- View All
- Schlage LiNK Home Automation
from Schlage Residential Security
- Leviton L-200 Wiring Devices, Energy Management Solutions and Commercial Data Infrastructure Products
from Leviton Mfg. Co.
- Uponor Radiant Heating and Cooling Systems
from Uponor / Wirsbo
- Masco Verve Living Systems Whole House Lighting Control System
from Masco Corp.
- Tendril Residential Energy Ecosystem
from Tendril Networks Inc.
- In2 Networks Smart Energy for Builders
from In2 Networks
- In2 Networks Smart Energy Management Suite
from In2 Networks
- View All