So this is where the geek comes out in me. I am in a love hate relationship with Home Automation. I love that home automation systems allow me to know and control more of what is happening in my home. But I hate the incompatibility of one product to the next and the confusion of what is compatible with what and why some will work and some will not. Why can’t my NEST work with my home automation system? Will the apple home line work with other products?
By no means am I an expert, but I have delved into the work of wireless home automation to figure this out for myself. I love the fact that I know when my kids are home from school because the system sends me a text that their personal entry code was used. I also love that I can have a daily lock up so all locks; windows and sensors are armed and locked every night. Just a piece of mind that if I pass out on the sofa, my home will be locked up.
There are also various “scenes” that you can run. Basically you set a trigger i.e. a sensor is used in side you home. This sets off a series of events that will happen in your home for you. The example is that you wake up in the morning, when you walk across your hallway the system know you are awake and runs the morning wake scene. Your coffee maker goes on, the light go on, blinds go up and your TV is turned on to the morning news.
These wireless home automation systems are designed to give you more information about what is happening in your home, while you are there are not. With most of us having such busy lives it is nice to know you can double check that you locked the front door, or closed the garage from your smart phone.
The down side is that if you are a conspiricy theorist, you are transmitting a lot of information about yourself wirelessly. Plus it can be costly to have a company maintain the systems for you. But there are more and more companies that are entering the market and some of the old security companies are changing to make home automation part of the line up. Or if you are particularly geeky you can run and manage your own system. But cost and still pricy and some of the tech still needs some work, but it has come a long way from the wired systems that only the ultra rich could afford.
I am leaning that I do like wireless home automation for certain things like knowing my home is secure, and I did not do something dumb like leave the front door unlock. Having piece of mind that a water sensor will alert me if there is water on my floor for any reason. Also being able to assign door codes to each person and specifying when the codes can and can’t be used. (I apologized to my kids in advance, when you decide to come home late the door will be locked and your code will be set to wake me up out of bed)
For whatever reason you are looking into wireless home automation. Decide what you want from your system; check out the background of the supplier. Do the have good reviews, does the hardware they have any compatibility with your existing home security. What happens if you decide that you want to cancel your subscription? How much will you pay? Do some asking around, Vivint and Liberty are some of the new Home automation companies but check with your old secrity providers like ADT. For those that are looking at systems without monthly fees Vera, Fibaro and Apple home may be the place to look.