8 Things you need to know before starting Home Automation
1. Decide on a Budget
Before you zero in on the manufacturer and products you want to purchase, you need to decide how much you are ready to invest in the whole process. If you are not sure what the costs of home automation systems are, you should do research on the different home automation solutions that are available in the market. That will give you an idea on how much everything costs. Bear in mind that in addition to the cost of the products you’ll need to factor in the electricians fee and other incidentals. So when setting aside a budget make sure it’s on the higher side.
2. Starting Small
If you are new to the whole home automation game and don’t know where to start it’s best to take small steps and start out with a few lighting solutions like plug-in modules and dimmers as they are the most economical. Think of investing in a starters kit. You’ll find that most manufacturers offer starter kits in various configurations.
3. Product Research
Whether you are looking at a high end or more economical home automation solution it is imperative that you do research and find out all you can about the company and their product range. While it is good to visit the company’s website and collect information you should also make it a point to visit forums that are dedicated to providing product feedback and reviews on various home automation systems. You’ll be able to get an unbiased opinion on the product that you are considering.
4. Basic Home Automation Technologies
The most common type of technology that is used in home automation systems is powerline, X10, and wireless. Powerline is nothing but connecting your devices on your home network through electrical wiring, X10 is one of the older home automation platforms and to ensure the technology is not obsolete many devices are designed with X10 compatibility and wireless technology or RF (radio frequency) which are a relatively new entry in home automation.
Hybrid devices use dual mesh technology as they work on powerline, RF and wireless technology and many wireless products can work with powerline systems by using a bridge device.
5. Ensuring Network Strength
Since many home automation systems can be controlled remotely through remote access and a wireless network, you need to make sure that you have a strong Ethernet or wireless system. Remember that walls and beams can act as network killers.
6. Check Product Compatibility
If you have already invested in a home automated system and are planning to add products to your network you need to make sure that the products you pick up are compatible with your network. Purchase products that are backwards compatible. This will ensue that instead of investing in a totally new and expensive home automation system you are making your existing system work for you.
7. User Friendly Solutions
While some home automation systems have a good user interface others can be difficult to install and operate. That is why when choosing a home automation system you need to make sure that lighting and heating systems are capable of functioning independently.
8. Good Days and Bad Days
There are days that your home automation system will work like a charm. All your commands will be obeyed and all your devices and network will behave well. Then there are the bad days. Where your commands are ignored or your settings will automatically get refreshed. Instead of panicking stay calm. Once in a while even the world’s best software and hardware plays up. The way to fight this is to start learning all you can about your home automation network so that when the next bad day appears, you’ll be able to troubleshoot and find the solution yourself.