When creating your smart home, you have the freedom to select the system and products that perfectly suit your requirements. What should be your first step? How can you begin?
"A good option when you are starting out is to find a system which is scalable, so that it grows and develops with your needs."
Where to start?
There are many options available if you want to automate your home, and as a result, it can be hard to know where to start. The best thing to do is think about how you want your home to feel.
Do you want to feel safe and secure? Comfortable and in control? Energy-efficient? Or do you want to experience convenience?
What do you want to control?
If you’re thinking about a smart home system, chances are there is something that’s been bugging you about your home that you want to be able to control better.
Perhaps it’s wanting to reduce your energy use for the good of the planet and your wallet? Or maybe it’s when you are sitting, snuggled on the couch and you want to be able to turn off the lights in the kitchen without getting up?
A smart home automation system can give you control over just about every system in your home. Not just for lighting and security, home control systems also feature smart outlets which enable you to turn off plugged-in appliances remotely or to set timers that allow you to schedule when the appliance is on.
Imagine having your heated towel rail operating between 6-9am each day, or for your hair straighteners to automatically turn off after 30 mins of use – no more wondering if you turned them off after you have left the house.
How much does a smart home cost?
As with many home improvements, pricing on home automation and security varies widely depending on the system you choose to go with. There are stand-alone, individual smart products available, as well as mid-range automation and control systems, right up to high-end solutions which integrate everything into the one system.
If you are on a budget, a good option when you are starting out is to find a system which is scalable, so that it grows and develops with your needs. An excellent example of this is Clipsal by Schneider Electric’s Bluetooth Low Energy solution that works with the Iconic range of switches and power points.
Adding Bluetooth to your outlets allow you to set schedules, timers and to control light dimming levels via an app on your smart device. The system sits behind the Iconic wall switches and power points, so there is no special wiring needed, and it uses the technology you are used to, so it is easy to operate.
For a more mid-range smart home solution look no further than Clipsal Wiser Smart Home. It provides additional benefits of grouping together automation actions into a “Moment".
Imagine turning all the lights and appliances off at the touch of a button as you leave the house or your heater towel rail and bathroom fan turning on in the morning, just in time for your shower.
Wiser also gives you remote access to the system from anywhere you have an internet connection. It is the ideal solution if you want to make a smaller initial investment and upgrade as your needs change.
For a full home automation system with all the bells and whistles, you can’t go wrong with a C-Bus system. Although this is the most expensive option, it allows you to control all aspects of your home from the one interface, with remote access and energy monitoring capabilities.
C-Bus is the ultimate solution for sophisticated control, such as proximity activation of security devices, so your front door unlocks as you approach.
You can also set your LEDs to light up in different colours – great for parties or special occasions, as well as controlling everything from underfloor heating, irrigation and security cameras. Designed to integrate easily with new technology, C-Bus can help you create a home that adapts to the future.
Electric Home Design Magazine
Room-by-room smart home inspiration and planning advice