you’re not, shall we say, technically inclined, the
idea of using home automation might seem out of
this world. But the good news is, there’s a variety of
gadgets and gizmos on the market to help even the least
tech-savvy person live in a smart home.
steps to a smarter house
easy — you don’t have to go "all in" when
deciding to embrace home automation.
an initial feature of your home you would use the most
in terms of automation, and expand from there,"
says Lee Travis, owner of Wipliance in Bellevue,
also keep in mind that you might want to add more smart
technology to your home as time goes on. Investing in
products that are compatible with a central automation
system will help simplify the process down the road.
consumer can buy a thermostat or light switches and make
them smartphone accessible, and have an app on your
phone for each one," says Kellan C. Warren,
vice-president of Kelltech Systems in Dallas.
"But keep in mind what your end goal is and
purchase products that get you on that path. Once you
start integrating, everything can work together. You can
open the garage door, turn on the lights and set the
thermostat with one touch. You make the rules."
of the most popular automation integration systems
experts recommend is Control4, which starts around
great thing about products like Control4 Home Automation
is that you can install the system to control one
feature initially; whether it’s your lights, your
entertainment system, your security, or more,"
Travis says. "Then as your needs change, you can
expand on the existing system with those additional
there be light
your lights automatically come on when you walk in a
room or being able to turn lights on throughout the
house when you’re not home is more than just
convenient — it’s a safety issue. You won’t have
to worry about stumbling over footstools in the dark or
potential vandals casing a home that appears empty.
the temperature just right
an energy-efficient lifestyle not only helps save the
planet, but it also pads your wallet. It’s a win-win!
A smart thermostat can help you cut down on energy bills
by learning your habits and knows when to make the house
warmer or cooler just for you.
days you might want to flood your house with sunlight.
Other days, you might want to hibernate in the darkness.
With automated window treatments, the decision is
literally at your fingertips.
your blinds, curtains or shutters can also help keep
your home’s interior at a comfortable temperature
(blocking that late afternoon sun!) and give you privacy
in an instant from the outside world. Shades can be set
to open at sunrise and close automatically at sunset, or
whatever time you prefer.
lock and key
hiding that spare key under the doormat? With the
advances in electronic locks and wireless control, you
don’t ever have to worry about losing your house key
again. Electronic locks allow you to lock or unlock the
door from your cell phone or you can set a temporary
code and timeframe if you’re expecting a visitor. The
lock will also send you a text message when your kid
gets home from school — just like magic!
many times have you backed out of your driveway, driven
halfway down the street and looked over your shoulder to
make sure you actually closed your garage door? There’s
no need to risk a neck sprain (or running off the road)
anymore once you’ve installed a remote access package
to your garage door opener. From your smartphone, you
can open or close the door and also receive activity
notifications of any door movement.