Think back. Can you remember what it was like to change the channels of your TV manually? When channel surfing and volume tweaking meant bouncing back and forth between couch and console? Although folks from the generation that remembers these antiquated modes of control may not have realized it then, this was highly inconvenient. Fast forward to the era of handheld remote, where we have all the necessary buttons for finding and enjoying a TV program right at our fingertips.A home automation system offers that same kind of convenience, but on a much broader scale and often without any button pressing required. In addition to firing off commands to video equipment, an automation system can supervise lights, thermostats, security devices, lawn sprinklers, motorized window treatments and more. In seconds, your house is exactly the way you like it and all you had to do was tap a button on your smartphone.Needless to say, using an automation system to simultaneously adjust the lights, temperature, and other elements of your house for your arrival, departure, bedtime and other occasions is a huge convenience and time saver. But there are a host of other benefits you’ll realize by putting an automation system in charge.Enhanced Safety & SecurityNothing against residential security systems—they can do a great job of protecting your home and family. But when working hand-in-hand with a home automation system, they can provide an even higher level of safety. For example, typically when an alarm trips,
the security system will notify the provider (after 30 seconds or even a minute) who will then need to contact you. When tied to your automation system, you can receive a text message the instant that there is unauthorized access to your home. The automation system can also zero in on the breach by linking the nearest surveillance camera to your smartphone. From your smartphone, you can then view the situation and react accordingly.Instant StatusDid the kids leave the lights on in the game room downstairs? Are there any windows open in the master bedroom? Did your teenager remember to close the garage door? A home automation system keeps tabs on happenings in and around your house and can share that information with you while you’re at home or miles away on a vacation or business trip. Real-time status reports can be viewed on a variety of user interfaces, including the screen of a smartphone, tablet, TV, or touch screen. Using this information, you’ll be able to respond appropriately. For example, an automation system can be programmed so that touching one button on the kitchen tablet will turn off every light and entertainment component left on in the game room.Comfort & EfficiencyKeeping a home at its most comfortable state while still being mindful of energy use can be a challenge when you’re forced to adjust thermostats, position draperies, and turn on and off lights manually. Based on parameters that are pre-programmed into a smart home automation system by a professional, the thermostats can lower at night and all lights can turn off right before bedtime to save energy. An hour before you wake up the thermostat can adjust so that the house is comfortable the second you step out of bed. Meanwhile, the lights in the kitchen can turn on, the shades in the living room can open,
all while your bedroom music slowly wakes you up, raising in volume over a 10 minute span of time.Overall EnjoymentWhen you
are given the ultimate app for your home, you are in control of how you want it to function; whether it's for added relaxation or to transform into an entertainment oasis—or somewhere in between—it's entirely up to you. For example, from the smartphone, tablet, keypad or touchscreen you use to monitor and operate the lights, thermostats and other electronic gear, you can tell your home’s music system
to deliver songs from your favorite Internet radio station to speakers in the family room and kitchen. Later, you and your guests might convene in the media room where with one tap of a button the lights fade, the shades lower, and the A/V system
sets up to present a movie on a big projection screen.