The continual progress and glamor of technology never cease to amuse us, yet the most rudimentary hurdle faced by every enthusiastic customer (especially in the Indian context) is "Is my money worth it?" Did you ever think that home automation is just an extravagant, eye-catching contrivance without bearing any compelling needs or consequences? If so, then it is time for you to reconsider your opinion and have an informed idea as to what Home Automation is and how critical it is in the context of pocket-friendly energy bills and smart security of your systems.

The technology that makes home automation possible can be overwhelming. In this article, we de-mystify this area for the layman.

Strengthen your understanding of home automation

Without going into much jargon, Home Automation refers to the application of technology to monitor and control several items around your house. Imagine what if everything (not just computers and smartphones) but lights, appliances, electrical outlets, doors, locks, surveillance systems etc. could all be tethered together to a remotely controllable network? The "Smart Home" is usually backed up by internet connectivity and cloud services, and they are a part of what modern-day IT industry calls "Internet of Things" (IoT). The Home automation system usually has 3 components:

Sensors: to detect changes in temperature, voltage, daylight etc,
Controllers: to send and transmit information eg. computers, smartphones etc.
Actuators: to control the mechanism of the automation system.

What can be automated?

Broadly speaking, automation can range from typical mundane events (like programming your front door lock to let you know when your child returns from home) to events like getting a text message when your security system is jeopardized! But for the time being let's discuss automation relating to your electricity consumption as follows: –

Lighting: Motion sensors to switch on lights when needed and switch off when rooms are vacant. Ex. Sensor-based LEDs that switch off automatically
Heating / cooling: Smart devices to learn your preferred temperature ranges and also their timings.Automatically turns down when you are away from home
Appliances and equipment control: Stand-by power controllers with smart power boards that automatically turn off when appliance is not in operating mode.
Energy monitoring: Information on energy consumption (known from the meter board) is transmitted wirelessly to a controller, which allows the user to view the cost, estimated greenhouse emission and also the renewable energy generated by PV solar cells.

Energy Efficiency

Following the trends of what has been discussed above, every electrical device can be automatically powered down when not needed. So automated homes are more energy efficient than conventional homes.An energy efficient home can reclaim the amount spent on automation within two to three years from the reduced power consumption. Some studies have revealed that you can enjoy upto 40-60% reduction in your electricity consumption with home automation.

On a concluding note, we may say that with the advent of modern equipment and technology, home automation is becoming more and more affordable and customized for purchase, rather than being constrained to affluent fantasies. Not only does it ensure security and cozy lifestyle but on a longer run it helps you to go green by the value of energy-efficiency and eco-friendliness.

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