Whole house control Systems Miami Beach Coral Gables
Whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation gives you access to control devices in your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables from a mobile device anywhere in the world. The term may be used for isolated programmable devices, like thermostats and sprinkler systems, but whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation more accurately describes whole houses in which nearly everything lights, appliances, electrical outlets, heating and cooling systems are hooked up to a remotely controllable network. From a whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables security perspective, this also includes your alarm systems, and all of the doors, windows, locks, smoke detectors, surveillance cameras and any other sensors that are linked to it.
Whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables Automation Developments
Until fairly recently, automated central control of building-wide systems was found only in larger commercial buildings and expensive whole houses. Typically involving only lighting, heating, and cooling systems, building automation rarely provided more than basic control, monitoring, and scheduling functions and was accessible only from specific control points within the building itself.
Whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation is a step toward what is referred to as the “Internet of Things,” in which everything has an assigned IP address, and can be monitored and accessed remotely.
The first and most obvious beneficiaries of this approach are “smart” devices and appliances that can be connected to a local area network, via Ethernet or Wi-Fi. However, electrical systems and even individual points, like light switches and electrical outlets, were also integrated into whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation networks, and businesses have even explored the potential of IP-based inventory tracking. Although the day is still far off when you’ll be able to use your mobile browser to track down a lost sock, whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables networks are capable of including an increasing number of devices and systems.
Automation is, unsurprisingly, one of the two main characteristics of whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation. Automation refers to the ability to program and schedule events for the devices on the network. The programming may include time-related commands, such as having your lights turn on or off at specific times each day. It can also include non-scheduled events, such as turning on all the lights in your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables when your security systems alarm is triggered.
Once you start to understand the possibilities of whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation scheduling, you can come up with any number of useful and creative solutions to make your life better. Is that west-facing window letting in too much light? Plug your motorized blinds into a “smart” outlet and program it to close at noon each day. Do you have someone come by at the same time each day to walk the dog? Program your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems to unlock the front door for them, and lock it up again when they’re done.
The other main characteristic of cutting-edge whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation is remote monitoring and access. While a limited amount of one-way remote monitoring has been possible for some time, it’s only since the rise of smartphones and tablets that we’ve had the ability to truly connect to our whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables networks while we’re away. With the right whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, you can use any Internet-connected device to view and control the systems itself and any attached devices.
Monitoring apps can provide a wealth of information about your whole house, from the status of the current moment to a detailed history of what has happened up to now. You can check your security systems’ status, whether the lights are on, whether the doors are locked, what the current temperature of your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables is and much more. With cameras as part of your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, you can even pull up real-time video feeds and literally see what’s going on in your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables while you’re away.
Even simple notifications can be used to perform many important tasks. You can program your systems to send you a text message or email whenever your security system’s registers a potential problem, from severe weather alerts to motion detector warnings to fire alarms. You can also get notified of more mundane events, such as programming your “smart” front door lock to let you know when your child returns whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables from school.
The real hands-on control comes in when you start interacting with the whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems from your remote app. In addition to arming and disarming your security systems, you can reprogram the scheduling, lock and unlock doors, reset the thermostat and adjust the lights all from your phone, from anywhere in the world. As manufacturers are creating more and more “smart” devices and appliances all the time, the possibilities for whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation are virtually limitless.
Whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables Automation Components
What kinds of things can be part of whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems? Ideally, anything that can be connected to a network can be automated and controlled remotely. In the real world (outside of research labs and the whole houses of the rich and famous), whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation most commonly connects simple binary devices. This includes “on and off” devices such as lights, power outlets, and electronic locks, but also devices such as security sensors which have only two states, open and closed.
Where whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation becomes truly “smart” is in the Internet-enabled devices that attach to this network and control it. The classic control unit is the whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables computer, for which many of the earlier whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems were designed. Today’s whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems are more likely to distribute programming and monitoring control between a dedicated device in the whole house, like the control panel of security systems, and a user-friendly app interface that can be accessed via an Internet-enabled PC, smartphone or tablet.
Manufacturers have produced a wide variety of “smart” devices, many of which are full of innovative features but few of which offer the kind of integration needed to be part of a complete whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems. Much of the problem has been that each manufacturer has a different idea of how these devices should be connected and controlled. So while you may have a “smart” TV, washing machine, refrigerator, thermostat, coffee maker or any of the other Internet-ready whole household devices on the market, the end result is usually a separate control scheme for each device.
In the near future, whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation may be standardized to let us truly take advantage of all of these additional possibilities. For the time being, the whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables security providers that specialize in whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation have focused on the most critical and useful parts of a connected whole house. At a basic level, this means the doors and windows and environmental devices (thermostat, smoke detectors, temperature, humidity, fire and carbon dioxide sensors) that keep you safe and comfortable. For additional real-time security, convenience, and control, whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems from security providers should also include options for video cameras. With the best systems, you’ll also be able to include lights and individual electrical outlets into your whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation package.
One clear advantage of whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation is the unmatched potential for energy savings, and therefore cost savings. Your thermostat is already “smart” in the sense that it uses a temperature threshold to govern the whole house’s heating and cooling systems. In most cases, thermostats can also be programmed with different target temperatures in order to keep energy usage to a minimum during the hours when you’re least likely to benefit from the heating and cooling.
At the most basic level, whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation extends that scheduled programmability to lighting, so that you can suit your energy usage to your usual daily schedule. With more flexible whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, electrical outlets or even individual devices can also be automatically powered down during hours of the day when they’re not needed. As with isolated devices like thermostats and sprinkler systems, the scheduling can be further broken down to distinguish between weekends and even seasons of the year, in some cases.
Set schedules are helpful, but many of us keep different hours from day to day. Energy costs can be even further reduced by programming “macros” into the systems and controlling it remotely whenever needed. In other words, you could set up a “coming whole house” event that turns on lights and heating as you’re driving whole house Miami Beach Coral Gables after work, for example, and activate it all with one tap on your smartphone. An opposite “leaving whole house” event could save you from wasting energy on forgotten lights and appliances once you’ve left for the day.
We live in a time unlike any other. With so many technological advancements at our fingertips, our lives are made easier, which is fortunate considering the fast-paced lives most of us lead. In recent years, great strides have been made in making houses a bit more “tech savvy.” This technology, in short, allows the house Miami Beach Coral Gables owner to run his or her house Miami Beach Coral Gables while away through a remote, often on a Smartphone or iPad. In fact, these houses have been labeled as being “smart,” due to the fact that they can seemingly think on their own. This ability to “think,” also known as being an automated house, helps house Miami Beach Coral Gables owners in a number of ways: 10, in fact. What are the ways in which house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems can benefit you?
Benefit #1 – Adds Safety through Appliance and Lighting Control
Another house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation advantage is added safety for both your family and house. You have the ability to control the small appliances and lighting, again with the simple tap of your finger on your favorite technological device. You can always check to make sure your daughter turned off her curling iron or ensure that your oven has been flipped off from the morning family breakfast. Your house Miami Beach Coral Gables and family also enjoy an added measure of safety through your ability to control the lights in your house. Not only does this allow you to make sure lights are off when you are gone to save electricity, it also allows you to turn them on at specific times if you would like it to look like you are a house. This also helps increase the safety and security of your house.
Benefit #2 – Secures House Miami Beach Coral Gables through Automated Door Locks
Perhaps one of the greatest benefits of automated systems in your house Miami Beach Coral Gables is automated door locks. How often have you left for work in the morning only to realize that you forgot to lock your front door? Through automated systems, you can lock your doors with the tap of your finger. This quickly eases your mind, so you can focus on your day’s work rather than who may or may not be entering your house. This is also a great benefit for you if you have to leave to work before your children leave for school. Often, children run out the door to catch the bus and forgot to lock the door. You can easily have control of the situation by locking the door from your office each day. The fact that you can be alerted each time someone enters your house Miami Beach Coral Gables also allows you to monitor who is entering your house Miami Beach Coral Gables at all times, even when you are not there.
Benefit #3. – Increases Awareness through Security Cameras
Unfortunately, we just cannot be everywhere at once. This means that we often miss things that happen, perhaps even in our own house Miami Beach Coral Gables or yard. With house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, you can easily see what is happening. Now you can make sure no unwelcome guests arrive unbeknownst to you or your family. Security cameras increase family safety by recording clips when detecting movement or at specific times of the day or night.
Benefit #4 – Increases Convenience through Temperature Adjustment
Often, we leave for work early in the morning and forget to adjust our thermostat. As a result, we come house Miami Beach Coral Gables to a house Miami Beach Coral Gables that is severely too hot or too cold. This is inconvenient, as it usually takes a good amount of time for the household temperature to increase or decrease after being adjusted. However, with house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, you can simply adjust the thermostat from the convenience of your office a few hours before heading house. This is both costs effective and saves on energy, and it helps you stay “on top of” your life when you have run out the door first thing in the morning without considering much else besides arriving to work on time.
Benefit #5 – Saves Time
The Passage of Time
It is no secret that today’s world is busier than in days past. If you are like most people, you are constantly running from place to place, working to accomplish everything on your never-ending “to-do” list. Because of the high-tech nature of house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, you never have to worry about running house Miami Beach Coral Gables to open the door for your children after school or making a quick stop at house Miami Beach Coral Gables in order to adjust household items. In short, you easily save precious time and experience more daily productivity.
Benefit #6 – Saves Money and Increases Convenience
As mentioned earlier, house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems saves money. The most beneficial impact the systems will have is on your monthly utility bill. No longer will you be spending money for household appliances left on in your family’s absence. You will also save on gas costs, as you will never need to stop by the house Miami Beach Coral Gables in order to turn something off or on. This is certainly convenient. You will have complete control to make sure costs are low without exerting any additional effort
Benefit #7 – Contributes to Economy
Three Trees – West Elevation
Simply put, you are contributing to the economy when you purchase and utilize house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems. You ensure that you are only using the energy and resources that are necessary while you are a house.
Benefit #8 – Increases Peace of Mind
Perhaps this benefit will not apply to everyone, but for those who habitually worry about whether or not they have taken care of everything at house Miami Beach Coral Gables before leaving for the day, house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems is a perfect investment. In short, it offers peace of mind. This is quite beneficial for those individuals who leave each day, obsessively worrying if everything is in order. With so many stresses in daily life, it is nice to take at least one off the list by being able to see what is going on at house Miami Beach Coral Gables without physically being there.
Benefit #9 – Allows You Control When Out of Town
Savant House Miami Beach Coral Gables Automation Control Media Room
Have you ever gone out of town and given a key to a neighbor? Many do this in order to allow the neighbor to perform household chores that cannot be neglected such as feeding the plant, taking care of the dog, or delivering the mail. House Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems allow you just a bit more control than simply turning over a key, which is a great relief to some house Miami Beach Coral Gables owners. You can easily set up a time for the person to enter your house Miami Beach Coral Gables and let him or her in yourself through your smartphone or iPad.
This allows you to stay in control of the situation. You no longer need to worry about the neighbor losing that key or having complete, unrestrained access to your belongings. In addition, you can make sure the chores are actually being completed, so you do not have any surprises when you return house.
Benefit #10 – Keeps Tabs On Your Children
Through the house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems, you can easily keep tabs on your children. You can ensure that they make it safely into the house Miami Beach Coral Gables each night, letting them in without getting out of bed to greet them. You can also see their comings and goings on security cameras, as well as make sure the porch is lit when they arrive in the house.
This helps you keep them safe, as well as helps you know what they are up to each day, which can be quite helpful for a busy parent. In sum, investing in house Miami Beach Coral Gables automation systems will benefit you in several ways. It is cost effective. It will save you time and energy. And perhaps the most important? It will keep you and your family safe and your house Miami Beach Coral Gables secure.
“Home automation” is a category that can span really simple to extremely complex tasks depending on who you ask. It’s easy to get overwhelmed by jargon and devices and standards. The simplest way to wade into home automation is to eliminate the clutter and focus on what you actually want to do.
Deciding what you want will go a long way in determining your budget, your method, and how much time you’ll be investing setting things up. With the right level of ingenuity, the sky’s the limit on things you can automate in your home, but here are a few basic categories of tasks that you can pursue:
Automate your lights to turn on and off on a schedule, remotely, or when certain conditions are triggered.
Set your air conditioner to keep the house Miami Beach Coral Gables temperate when you’re home and save energy while you’re away.
Open your blinds during the day and shut them at night (or when it’s particularly hot).
Feed your pets on a schedule and with predetermined amounts of food.
Open your garage door with voice commands.
Set your coffee maker to have a fresh pot ready as soon as you wake up.
Create an emergency party button that goes from one to funky in seconds.
This is, of course, just a sample. To put it very simply, if you do something repeatedly, you can probably automate it one way or another. Just about everything that runs on electricity, and several things that aren’t can be made smarter and possibly even hooked into a central system.
What kind of system should that be, though? Well, there are a few approaches you can take. Let’s begin at the beginning.
Automate the Easy Way with Specialized Boxes
The most dead-simple way to get started with simple home automation tasks is to buy tools that are specialized for certain tasks. For some things, you can use simple timers and sensors to turn the ordinary devices you already have into smart robots from the future. As an example, in the video above, a simple Christmas light timer is used to automatically turn on a coffee pot so that it’s already brewing when you wake up. A lot of coffee pots even have this built in.
In the same vein, there are very simple remote control outlet units that allow you to press a single button anywhere in the house Miami Beach Coral Gables and turn anything connected to a power outlet on and off. Of course, this isn’t “automation,” strictly speaking. If you want to get a bit more advanced, you can use a device like the Belkin WeMo.
The WeMo is a simple, self-contained wireless automation unit that plugs into your power outlet. It connects directly to your Wi-Fi and can be controlled with an iOS device (and Android app is currently in beta, aimed at a fully supported release this summer). This gives you a bit more flexibility than simple timers, allowing you to activate switches manually, set schedules, and monitor their status remotely. You can even hook it up to the web app-automating IFTTT for some really cool stuff. It’s a great device for beginners to start automating stuff.
Smart thermostats are a similar category of dedicated units that function a single automation purpose, rather than attempting to be a complete solution. They can be used to remotely control temperature, learn your preferences, and even intelligently disable your heat/AC while you’re out and reactivate it before you get home so it never feels uncomfortable. In addition to being convenient, these can help save a lot of money on your utility bills, depending on your situation.
This certainly isn’t a comprehensive list of all the specialized automation boxes you can find. If you want to bring your home into the 21st century with as little heavy-duty setup and installation as possible, these are a few good ways to get your feet wet for very little cost.
Step Up Your Game with a Central Protocol
A $50 power outlet plugin is neat, but it’s hardly a complete home automation system. If you want to get into some more advanced systems, you’re going to need to start choosing a network protocol that allows your various peripherals to communicate with a central device.
There are a number of standards out there that you can choose for your devices, and if you decide to go this route, the bulk of your time will probably be spent deciding which one to go with. Here are a few of the bigger protocols in the home automation world today:
Z-Wave – Check out this quick start guide to get familiar.
Insteon – Here’s a fine collection of guides.
Zigbee – This is a nice primer on the protocol.
X10 – See this introduction page, with links to a broader knowledge base.
Debates can go on and on over which standard is best (and many of our commenters have plenty of advice on the subject). Picking a protocol for your needs is beyond the scope of this article, but your best bet is to map out exactly what you want in your system first, then choose a standard that will accommodate your immediate needs and allow you to upgrade as you deem necessary. Remember as you do your research that the best solution is the one that works for you.
Once you’ve picked your standard, you need three things:
Software: Whether you’ll be controlling your system via your desktop, smartphone, or tablet, you’ll need software to run the system. You can get much of this for free either by buying dedicated devices or using open source software, however, some solutions offer subscription packages that can range up to $99/year.
A transceiver/coordinator: Your commands are useless if your master control software can’t talk to your peripherals. A transceiver or coordinator device is a box (or set of devices) that issues wireless commands to your network. Devices like the Veralite ($180) are simple, self-contained units that even come with some software. You can scrape the cost of the coordinator down to $40-50 if you need to, but be careful as much cheaper, USB devices don’t come with software or require that dreaded subscription.
Sensors, switches, and peripherals: Something has to carry out your commands. Depending on what you want to automate, you may need to install wall switches, replace a door lock, or do other light maintenance. Peripheral devices can be as cheap as $40-50 per unit but can get as pricey as a few hundred bucks.
You don’t have to stick with the basic software, either. While you have one device that acts as the master control program for your network, there are always neat ways to extend your setup. As you see in the video above, one Veralite user built on top of his setup with Tasker and AutoVoice to make a completely voice-controlled system.
Altogether, depending on how elaborate you want to get, you should expect to spend anywhere from a couple hundred bucks at a minimum, though more elaborate systems could easily reach up to $1000 if you have a lot of hardware to install and don’t shoot for the cheapest units you can get. Putting in a smart switch in three bedrooms, a living room and a kitchen can be $200-250 by itself, and that assumes a fairly Spartan setup and excludes any power outlet installations. Be sure to tally up all of the parts you’ll need before you start buying anything.
Get Crazy with Arduino and Raspberry Pi
Buying a box to control your home automation setup is for wimps who can’t tell a BIOS from Bio-Dome, starring Pauly Shore. Real hackers build their own automated systems from scratch. Platforms like Arduino and Raspberry Pi offer the dedicated developer the ability to build customized solutions for unique situations.
Okay, but what are these things anyway? To put it overly simply, an Arduino or Raspberry Pi is a small, programmable mini-computer. You can attach sensors, motors, switches, and all manner of fun stuff to it. Because it’s so small and so modular, you can use it to build specialized electronic devices.
As an example, in the video above, an Arduino is used to build a light-sensitive automated blind system. For another example, a Raspberry Pi board can be used to create an automated pet-feeding dispenser. How about another? Our own Whitson Gordon shows off how to build a portable XBMC media center in under thirty minutes or your pizza’s free (offer void everywhere). The versatility of these little devices is incredible.
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