What is involved
Any well designed and implemented Home Automation system will make your life simpler and stress free. It can save you energy and give you peace of mind. The secret of good Home Automation systems is that the technology itself is transparent. You touch a button and something happens. How this happens is immaterial (that ‘s our concern). All you need to know is that when you touch that button you will get the same result – every time, without fail.
In a Home Automation system some things may take care of themselves. For example your garden lights can automatically come on every night at dusk, and then slowly turn off at midnight. Some events can be triggered by an unrelated command. For example opening you garage door after dusk can turn on the lights both in the hallway leading from the garage and in the kitchen, plus disarm the security. A simple single command can trigger a sequence of events. The goodnight button next to your bed can turn off all of the house lights – with the exception of the kids rooms in case they are still up studying – close the external shutters, shut down the water features in the garden and arm the downstairs security.
These features can be accessed remotely. You can answer the front gate intercom system from your mobile phone (and unlock the gate if you wish to let the caller in), check the security cameras on your laptop, even set the recording time on your PVR over the internet or via your smart phone.
In fact – the only limiting factor when it comes to home automation, is your imagination.
There are a number of factors that are important when considering an automated system. While you may be aware of them, it is the responsibility of the integrator (us) to ensure that all these factors are addressed:
- In any automated home all the subsystems (i.e. air conditioning, lighting control) will need to ‘talk’ to each other.
- The control system you are using will need to be upgradable. Technology is changing at an increasing rate; so it is important that you are not locked into a system which cannot keep pace.
- Your automation system needs to be expandable. If you wish to convert the garage at a later date, or add a new room to the back of the house the system will need to grow with your dreams. This is one reason why correct cabling is important at an early stage.
- Interface. This is the screen that you will look at to control your home. This has nothing to do with the brand of controller, and everything to do with the skills of the person who is doing the programming for you. The best automation system in the world is of little use if the control panel is not laid out in a user friendly and practical manner.
- Proven track record. Home Automation is still a relatively new phenomenon, and there are new players popping up every day. Some will survive, many won’t. Your home is too valuable to be used as a guinea pig. Only use a brand with a proven track record, and with visible support. Dealing with a specialist will assist with this. We take the time to bench test all our products to ensure compatibility when installed in your home.
- Own the program. When any home is automated the program is written specifically for these premises. The integrator you have chosen will always keep a copy of this program should you wish to add to or change the way the program operates. However what happens if that integrator disappears? If you want to make a change it is conceivable that the program will need to be written again from scratch, a very expensive and time consuming job. All CHM Electronics clients are given a copy of the program which they can file away in a safe area – just in case!