One of the most important goals of home automation is to provide convenience for the owner. Additionally, value can be realized by using automation to save energy and to provide security and peace of mind. Finally, we all appreciate the fun and excitement of experiencing the latest technology in our home or business.
While there are many home automation solutions available today, they vary widely in terms of affordability, reliability and most importantly with their ability to withstand the all important test of time. It is true that everything you install today will at some point in the future be considered obsolete. There are steps, however, that you can take to minimize this undesirable consequence. It all starts with the creation of a realistic vision for your project.
You should simply ask yourself what specifically it is that you want to accomplish with your system. Consider the following:
What do I want to control? Lighting, heating and air conditioning, irrigation, lock sets, and other electronic devices can be controlled easily by replacing light switches, thermostats, door lock sets and irrigation controllers. Motors for blinds, water valves, pool pumps and electric water heaters can also be controlled with automation. Which devices in these categories could be remotely controlled and monitored to make your home more convenient, secure and energy efficient?
Will control be limited to local access? Would devices need to be triggered by timers or only manually? Is remote internet access a requirement and if so would I be willing to leave a computer on or would I prefer a network solution that does not require a computer to be left on?
Am I a minimalist and want to use existing technology on my iPhone, other smart phone or laptop for control or do I want to interact with my system with hard wired touch screens?
Is cost a concern? What is my budget for a solution. If I were really impressed with a better solution what is my maximum budget?
Do I need surveillance at the property? If so, do I want to record the data for security purposes.
Will I be installing this system myself. Would I prefer to have a company in my local area design, install and support this system at a higher cost or do I prefer to do the work myself and save money.
As you evaluate these concepts also consider the fun factor. Today's technology allows for all these features to be included rather easily in your home. Many homeowners can install the equipment themselves and some of the value goes well beyond convenience by providing a wow factor of experiencing leading edge technology in the home.
Do you have a fairly clear concept of what you would like to achieve with automation? Would you consider yourself a tech oriented DIYer (DO IT YOURSELFer) or are you willing to hire an electrician or other technician to assist? Would you prefer to install a system at significant savings over other companys' solutions? If you are answering, "Yes" to these questions then Orchestrated Home can help you in the form of cost effective home automation products that will bring pride of ownership and maintain their value well into the future.
Putting together an appropriate solution is next. If you already have existing equipment and you will be sticking with that protocol then you may skip the next section. Otherwise, the all important step of picking a protocol is next.