Home automation hardware/controllers: what you should know
A brief overview of the basic hardware and controllers you will need to install a basic home automation system
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Home automation systems can reduce stress and cut costs. When you compare the price of home automation systems, consider carefully the tasks you want to automate. At the core of any home automation system will be the hardware or controllers and evaluating these will give toy a good baseline for comparison of systems and providers.
Most home automation systems start with a basic equipment package. While the specific hardware may vary by company, the core options are often the same. Basic home automation equipment includes:
- Touchpad or keypad for in-home operation
- Light adaptors
- Thermostat adaptors
- Key fobs or remote pendants for quick operation
- Environmental hazard detectors
In order for your automation system to work effectively, you will generally have to install replacement items for those systems in your house you want to automate (i.e. lights, outlets, door locks, thermostats.) Each automation product uses a wireless signal to communicate with the base unit; so you can turn it on and off remotely.
Most customers choose to install extra automation hardware to increase control. One of the most popular options is the thermostat controller, which allows you to warm or cool your house while you're at work or on vacation. By using a thermostat controller you can monitor electricity use, save on utilities and make sure the house is at a comfortable temperature before you get home. Plus, timer controls allow you to automate the thermostat's actions; the house can be cooled at night, and warmed before you wake up.
Upgrades for home automation systems can include the following hardware:
- Electric door locks
- Individual appliance controls
- Outlet adaptors
- Central control boxes
- Intercom hardware
- Outdoor and indoor cameras
- Wireless access points
- Burglar alarms
- Glass break detectors
Whether you need a home automation system with a self-install home security alarm or one that comes with mobile control applications, a list of criteria can streamline your decision-making process. Factors to consider when choosing home automation:
- Availability of service in your area
- Installation, equipment and monthly charges
- Availability of maintenance workers
- Length of contract
- Procedures and costs for moving
- Custom settings
- Options for future upgrades
- Procedure for adding additional controllers
If you’re considering integrating an existing home security system with home automation services, or if you’re just starting to consider designing a home automation-home security system, Reply! can help. We can connect you to local home security and automation professionals who can assist you in designing and installing a system that will work for you.