Home Automation

 
Home Automation

Recent innovations in wireless technology have made controlling many facets of your home possible through your smartphone from anywhere in the world via a Wi-Fi connection. For those who haven’t yet made the jump to a wireless platform, you can still get the same results with a computer and Internet connection.

 

There are a growing number of products that can be linked to your technological platform and controlled remotely to make your home safer and more convenient.

 

Additionally, home automation will help you save on utility bills by controlling the amount of electricity you use on an average day.

 

There are also several price points that can serve as a springboard for how much technology you want to incorporate into your smart home, so you can start small and grow slowly.


As you shop, consider:


• What areas of your home would you like to automate?
• Do you prefer a wireless or hardwired platform?
• Would you prefer remote access?
• What home appliances would you like linked?


 

Home Platforms


Home Platforms Platforms, also called EcoSystems, are the nerve center of home automation systems. At The Home Depot, the Wink hub platform is the most popular because it works with a free smartphone app (also called Wink) and can control many home automation devices in your home.

Some products require the Wink hub to control remotely. The Wink hub platform connects to the Wink app and interacts with smartphones and other wireless devices to make real-time adjustments to your home devices.

 

Other products connect with Wink technology and can work via the Wink app.

 

Additionally, platforms such as Insteon, Revolv, Xfinity and WeMo are available. These home automation solutions may only be compatible with certain products, so be sure to check the product packaging.

 

Lastly, some EcoSystems charge a monthly access fee for their app or software, while others are free.

 

Some Products Require WinkHub

Compatible Products and Uses


Automated homes can have a variety of products incorporated into an EcoSystem:
 
Dimmers Programmable thermostats
Dimmers Programmable Thermostats
   
Light bulbs Water heaters
LightBulbs HotWaterHeaters
   
Smoke / CO detectors  
Smoke Detectors  

 
  • Window blinds
  • Garage door openers
  • Door locks
  • Ovens
  • Lights
  • Irrigation systems
  • Propane sensors                                                                                                                                                                       

Compatible Products And Uses

The Wink app enables you to set up a schedule that will automatically adjust your settings based on your living schedule. To make a change at any time, simply log onto the Wink app and make real-time adjustments.

 

If a delivery is scheduled and you can’t be there to open the front door, for example, you can use the app to open the garage door and close it once the delivery has been confirmed.


With the app, you can view any room in the house if motion or sound is detected. It can also send a message to all family members whenever a door is opened.

 

Before your next barbecue, pull up the app to see how much propane is left in your tank before your guests arrive so that you’ll be certain you have enough fuel and won’t have to run out for another tank midway through your party.

 

Security

Primary Purpose

Components to Consider

Benefits

Temperature Control • Automatic adjustment
• Remote adjustment
• Greater comfort
• Remote accesss
Lighting • Dimmers
• Motion sensors
• Timers
• Energy efficiency
• Increased safety
• Mood lighting
Security • Cameras
• Motion sensors
• Silent and audible alarms
• Close or open garage doors
• Customized settings
• Increased safety
• Remote access
Sprinklers • Motion sensors
• Timers
• Deter pests and animals
• Remote access

Interfacing


In addition to smartphones, EcoSystems can be controlled by touch-panel screens, keypads and remote controls.
 
These controllers communicate with products in a variety of ways. The most common is Wi-Fi as it enables large amounts of information to be relayed wirelessly.
 
Extension Cords

Mesh networks use source routing algorithms to determine the fastest routes for the messages to be transmitted from the controller to the components. Zigbee is a two-way mesh network interface, but can only transmit small amounts of information. Z-Wave is a radio frequency control that enables hubs to communicate with products via sensors.

 

Insteon uses its proprietary radio frequency and electrical wires already built into the home. It switches back and forth depending on interference and broadcasts messages until the command is received and executed.

 

Other systems use Bluetooth, but they will most likely only work with select products that incorporate Bluetooth technology.


Brands


The following brands offer products that are compatible with the Wink app:
 

Quirky  

TCP

Lutron

Schlage

Kidde

Rheem

Bali

GE

Philips

Kwikset

Chamberlain

Honeywell

Bali

Dropcam