Home automation and smart home: important facts at a glance
17/12/2021 · Autor: Durmus Avci, Head of Digital Products & Innovations
'Smart Home', 'eHome', 'Smart Living', or - in German - an intelligent home: This not only sounds modern, but also offers you many advantages. We explain for you in this article what the concept of smart home means, and give you lots of useful info and tips on the subject.
What awaits you in this article:
- We answer basic questions about smart home technology.
- You'll learn where and how to make your home 'smarter.'
- You'll be introduced to the benefits of this technology.
- you'll get useful tips on getting started and info on potential costs.
Smart home technology: how it works
What does smart home mean?A house or apartment becomes 'smart' by the fact that several technical devices are networked together and controlled centrally. The bulk of household technology has long offered additional digital functions for this purpose.
The core element of home automation is the control center, a so-called 'hub' or even 'gateway'. With this unit, you can network different technical devices with each other and control them on the go.
Smart home hub is therefore a kind of 'remote control' for your home. The integration of wireless connections, cameras or sensors that detect movement is also possible.
Quickly installed, easy to use: Smart home systems
Smart homes are becoming increasingly established in the real estate market and point the way to the future of living. This is due in part to the fact that smart home technology can now be used in many areas and is comparatively easy to install. The interaction of smart devices from the various areas then results in networking to form a 'smart home system'.
Current areas of application for smart home products:
- - Multimedia and entertainment technology
- - Lighting and illumination
- - Electrical appliances
- - House and entrance doors
- - Shutters and blinds
- - Heating systems
- - Power supply
- - Security systems
- - Gates for garages and driveways
- - Garden and irrigation
The basic equipment for home automation
In the meantime, 'smart' devices can be installed in your own household in just a few simple steps. The basics you need are an Internet connection, a corresponding app on the mobile device - and of course the devices you want to network together. By the way, many household and multimedia devices today offer integrated smart home functionalities. Just take a look at the operating instructions; maybe there is already a startable smart home device in your house.
But for some measures you may have to retrofit. Two examples are surveillance cameras, which must be equipped with radio, and the controller on the heating system, which also requires a 'smart' thermostat. Currently, by the way, smart home kitchen appliances are particularly in demand. You are welcome to in this article for ideas on how to network your kitchen.
Comfort gain, sustainable living and other benefits of smart home
Home automation increases living comfort in many ways. Heaters can already ramp up at home when the end of the working day approaches. Likewise, lighting conditions can be adapted to times of day and personal preferences. Lights switch on and off automatically when you enter and leave a room. And shutters are lowered by themselves as soon as the TV is turned on.
If you are the proud owner of a garden, you can ensure that your plants are properly supplied with water in the summer with the help of an irrigation clock or irrigation computer.Automatic irrigation systems are usually controllable via smartphone and offer a variety of uses: sensor-supported adjustment of water requirements, intelligent watering incorporating the weather forecast, dividing the garden into watering zones - turning a simple lawn sprinkler into a professional sprinkler system for your precious greenery.
More sustainability thanks to smart home technologies
Electricity consumption and smart home: this interaction can therefore mean significant cost savings for homeowners. For many, however, it is not only the security and economy of home automation that are in the foreground, but ecology also counts. Intelligent living allows you to make a valuable contribution to environmental protection by cleverly optimizing energy consumption. And - a useful side effect for property owners - you can count on the sustainable increase in value of your property thanks to integrated smart home technologies. Not to mention the added benefit for anyone who owns multiple properties or a second home: Smart security technology is an ideal way to control or monitor property so that it always looks like someone is home. Integrated cameras and motion sensors further enhance security.
A selection of ways to improve your energy budget:
- - Possible energy cost savings, as household electrical appliances can be adjusted to consumption habits
- - Successively optimized electricity and gas consumption thanks to self-learning systems that identify and harness potential savings
- - Greater consumption transparency: quickly retrievable via smartphone thanks to smart digital electricity meters ('Smart Metering')
- - Predictive scheduling through smart home heating control (possible turning on and off remotely)
'Smart Living' - more ideas for your smart home
It can - if you wish - go a big step further, however. eHome concepts today are increasingly also an expression of a lifestyle that is characterized by the joy of technology. Which smart home applications can be used in a home and what benefits they offer their users, can be quite individual.
As inspiration - all this is already possible with smart home:
- Personal mood ambience - with specifically controlled lighting and a music selected according to your taste, which starts automatically when you enter.
- Smart refrigerators - a camera sends live images to your smartphone and you can see in the supermarket, what still needs to be worried.
- Remote control finder - about tap on a light switch and the TV remote control makes a sound and is quickly found.
'Snack at night' light - just bright enough to find your way to the refrigerator without disturbing the whole family.
- Touchscreen behind a waterproof wall enclosure of your shower, so you can listen to and control music in the shower.
- Control washing programs via app on the go - with smart washing machines and
- Some current WLAN routers (Internet distribution jacks) can also be used as a smart home center - a separately purchased control unit can thus be omitted.
- Modern televisions can also be upgraded to smart home-capable devices, for example, with additional updates; ask your manufacturer about it.
- Many devices, if they are based on the same system, can be easily networked with each other and then also controlled with the same voice input. For example, a smartphone, a TV and a separate voice assistant that all work with the same operating system.
- Also worth a look are inexpensive starter kits from established German brand manufacturers. These not only allow a quick start, but are also supplied with understandable instructions as well as further tips for the setup.
An advantage of using already existing potential is that initially hardly any additional costs are incurred. Generally, in terms of cost, if you systematically plan automation according to your personal requirements, your budget is also most likely to be within your expectations. Anything beyond that is ultimately up to you: There is of course no limit to how many smart devices and applications you want to use.
Total: In terms of smart home, countless possibilities open up to you. However, what makes sense individually with you depends on your personal preferences, your budget and the given possibilities of your house or apartment. Especially in the areas of comfort, energy saving and security, smart home technology offers advantages that property owners quickly appreciate. Many automations are usually done with a click on the smartphone. Conveniently from the sofa - or even on the road .