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HOW CAN I GET STARTED WITH HOME AUTOMATION?
"Home automation" is a category that spans from simple to extremely complex tasks. It's easy to get overwhelmed by jargon and devices and standards. The simplest way to go into home automation is 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 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 pre-determined 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 in to 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.
6 EASY WAYS TO SAVE ENERGY WITH YOUR HOME AUTOMATION SYSTEM
Smart home automation systems provide you with the ability to control climate, security, lights, media, video surveillance and so much more from the convenience of your mobile device. It provides accessibility and confidence no matter where you are in the world, so you can fully engage in your priorities. An added bonus to your home automation system is decreased overall home energy consumption.
Home automation systems lower energy consumption and therefore household expenses! They also open the door to diminishing your carbon footprint—a great way to embrace responsibility for environmental change. Properly programmed lighting, temperature, shades, and ceiling fans along with utilization of the one-stop “all off” electronics command can create great monthly savings for you and your family to enjoy.
1. Lights Out - A home automation system will provide energy savings by turning off lights when kids or adults forget to shut them off as they leave a room. Motion sensors confirm lights are on for safety and room occupancy, and then turn lights off when they are no longer needed. There is no reason to waste energy by lighting an empty room, so motion sensors make sure you only have the lights on when they are necessary. Additionally, lighting can be programmed to automatically dim as the sun sets, to create an inviting evening atmosphere.
2. Temperatures Regulated - Your home’s automation system provides the opportunity for you to schedule the temperature changes throughout your home to meet your specific needs. Energy savings are evident as air conditioning and heating are decreased automatically when you are away from home. And your temperature changes can be coordinated with your other automated electronics, such as shades, fans, and lights. Simply put, when you introduce a programmable mode to your home’s temperature, you will enjoy consistent savings.
3. Shades Down - Have you ever noticed how hot a room can get when the sun is beating through the window? There is no need to tax your air conditioning system due to the effects of sunshine bursting through your windows. Automated motorized shades are programmable to close at specific times of day and keep your house cool and operating at peak efficiency. Plus, enjoy the added benefit of being able to lower the shades with the touch of a button as you sink into your favorite couch to enjoy a family movie night!
4. Ceiling Fans On - Programmed ceiling fans are able to turn on and off at predetermined scheduled times. They help your air conditioning and heating systems work most efficiently by circulating the cool or warm air. They decrease the energy consumption of your home year round, saving you money regularly.
5. “All Off” Command - While leaving home in a hurry, have you ever left the television on by accident? You may have been heading to an important meeting or possibly even leaving on vacation. Your automation system can be programmed to sweep through your home and turn off or modify any electronic devices still running. There are a variety of ways to activate a complete or customized “all off” household feature: by the arming of your security system, the signaling from a motion sensor, or the closing of your front door. The “all off” feature allows you peace of mind that you didn’t forget anything and provides another means of energy savings.
6. Decrease Phantom Energy Drain - Surprisingly, a variety of appliances drain a reasonable amount of power even when they are turned off, including everything from your dryer and toaster to your microwave. The energy used from appliances that are plugged in, yet turned off, represents up to ten percent of your monthly electric bill. In the past, the only way to avoid this energy drain was to unplug appliances when they were not being used. Your home automation system can undo the appliance “standby” modes, appropriately and effectively saving you monthly on your electricity bill.
You can enjoy the many benefits of a home automation system, including increased energy savings and decreased household expenses.
Source: BlueSpeed AV
PUTTING THE SMART IN BUILDINGS
The prestige of location is no longer the only priority for global powerhouses and businesses. Thanks to a rapidly growing urban population and increased environmental regulation, operational efficiency is now top of the agenda. And with innovation and IoT able to reduce operating costs by up to 30 percent, according to the technology research company Gartner, "smart buildings" are clearly the way to a prosperous future.
A smart building employs automated operations i.e. IoT to control its processes. This impacts design and construction, energy usage and how employees engage with the space. Systems are integrated and data are collated and analysed to cut energy waste and operating costs — and ultimately boost human and business capital. To do this, the power of new technology including mobile, cloud-based systems, artificial intelligence (AI), self-monitoring and collaborative platforms is harnessed to make radical improvements to the performance of the building.
Given the inherent issues associated with more traditional buildings — adhering to new regulations, inefficient system costs and implications of investment reputation — the value of using cutting-edge technology in buildings is obvious. And lucrative. Research by McKinsey Global has revealed IoT economic impact on buildings could reach $6.3 trillion by 2025.
PRIORITIZING IOT LEADS TO SUBSTANTIAL SAVINGS AND REVENUE
The goal for businesses today is to leverage the potential of buildings, transforming sites into valuable, smarter and more sustainable, people-friendly operating assets.
Smart buildings that embrace cutting-edge automated platforms offer longer term operational savings than traditional counterparts.
And as the opportunity to invest in smarter buildings continues apace, a great starting point is to partner with an IoT expert to assess potential before implementing a system. That way, nobody misses out on a smart investment and sustainable opportunity.
Agility in responding to IoT innovation is critical if businesses are not to miss out on burgeoning retail buying/rental revenue. Research by JLL has revealed that energy efficient buildings are not only sold at a 2-17 percent premium over more traditional properties, but also achieve 8-35 percent higher rental income and 9-18 percent higher occupancy rates. Little surprise then that developers and firms are racing to adopt cutting-edge technology.
ENERGY CONSERVATION LEADING TO COST SAVINGS
"Did you know that you use the most electricity in the bedroom? The chart beside illustrates the consumption pattern of a typical Filipino household consuming 350 kilowatt-hour (kWh) per month." -Rappler
Significantly conserve electricity by only utilizing lights and appliances when needed.
Remotely control appliances, use sensors that trigger power, or schedule devices to turn on or off. Maximize electricity usage thereby saving money and the environment.