Home Automation

Home control systems let you operate lights and appliances while away, making it a truly smart house

Home Automation

Home automation technology allows you to control various facets of your home from anywhere via a Wi-Fi connection through your smartphone, tablet or computer. You can also help lower your utility bills by reducing the use of energy through heating and cooling when you’re not home. 

This guide highlights the different types of home automation technology, including home platforms, individual products and interfacing.

Home Platforms

Home platforms, also called ecosystems, are the nerve center of home automation.

  • At The Home Depot, the Wink hub platform is the most popular. It works with a free smartphone app (also called Wink) and can control many home automation devices.
  • Some products require the Wink hub, while others can work with just the Wink app.
  • Other platforms, such as Insteon, Revolv, Xfinity and WeMo are available. Check compatibility to make sure they work with your products.
  • Some ecosystems charge a monthly access fee for the app or software, while others are free.

Compatible Products and Uses

Automated homes can have a variety of products incorporated into their ecosystems, from thermostats to water heaters, ovens to lights.

home-automation-products

Examples include:

  • Dimmers
  • Programmable thermostats
  • Light bulbs
  • Water heaters
  • Smoke/CO detectors
  • Window blinds
  • Garage door openers
  • Door locks
  • Ovens
  • Lights
  • Irrigation systems
  • Propane sensors

Wink App Ecosystem Uses

home-automation-products-wink
  • Set up a schedule that automatically adjusts 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 door, use the app to open the garage door and close it once the delivery has been confirmed.
  • View any room in the house if motion or sound is detected.
  • Send a message to all family members whenever a door is opened.
  • Before your next barbecue, use the app to see how much propane is left in your tank before your guests arrive so you’ll be certain to have enough fuel.

Primary purpose Components to consider Benefits

Temperature control

  • Automatic adjustment
  • Remote adjustment
  • Greater comfort
  • Remote access
  • Energy savings

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

Ecosystems can be controlled by smartphones, computers, keypads and remote controls.

  • Wi-Fi is the most common communicating technology as it enables large amounts of information to be relayed wirelessly.
  • Mesh networks use source-routing algorithms to determine the fastest routes for messages to be transmitted from the controller to the components.
  • Zigbee is a two-way mesh network 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 as 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.

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

  • Quirky
  • TCP
  • Lutron
  • Schlage
  • Kidde
  • Rheem
  • Bali
  • GE
  • Philips
  • Kwikset
  • Chamberlain
  • Honeywell
  • Dropcam