HOME AUTOMATION NATION
No longer an extravagance, home automation products have evolved into common household features, easily accessed and controlled through apps and smartphones. As the technological world continues to make significant advances, the modern lifestyle has become increasingly reliant on these technologies. Kirrily Ireland sits down with Jack Petersen, director of InVista, to discuss the benefits of home automation, and how you can incorporate it into your everyday life.
Written by Kirrily Ireland.
We have come a long way since the remote control and clapper lights. These days, a simple voice command can turn on your TV, and tapping a few buttons on your smart device can light up your whole house. Home automation has been in the works for decades and now with the widespread use of smartphones and Wi-Fi, this vision for the future has well and truly become the present.
INTRODUCING THE SMART HOME
It may sound new-age, maybe even extreme, but the transitioning to a smart home is a lot simpler than it sounds and doesn’t necessarily mean converting your entire home. Whether you want to revamp the lounge room with multi-zoned audio or would like the ability to switch on the lights before you get home, the options are endless and accessible to all.
“Home automation allows you to manage your security system [and] energy consumption, whilst bringing your home to life for an all-in-one smart home experience,” Petersen explains. “There are many different levels of home automation, ranging from entry-[level] to advanced.” If a smart home has piqued your interest but you’re not sure where to start, start small. If you want automated lights, for instance, you don’t have to change every light bulb in every room to a smart bulb. Start with a couple of lamps in the bedroom and work your way up from there.
This approach is also cost-effective and allows you to prioritise what is more important to you. Instead of blowing the budget on a full-home installation with features you haven’t got a use for, do some research, compare products and decide what you actually need. That’s not to say you can’t go all out – there are lots of benefits in experimenting with different systems and with an abundance of exciting gadgets and features available, adding a touch of technological glamour to your home has never been easier.
ALL SYSTEMS GO
Once you’ve worked out which smart home features you’d like to include, next comes the installation process. Petersen encourages you to seek advice from a home automation expert before attempting any set up yourself, but this is not as daunting as you might think. With a bit of guidance, you can easily set up many of the simpler technologies, which only have a few functions, on your own. These solutions often require you to install an app on your smart phone or tablet, which you can use to set up the device once it’s been plugged in and connect it to the internet. You’ll also use this app to control the device – for example, switching on the lights and even choosing the globe’s brightness level and colour to suit the mood.
Another clever design feature of home automation is that, even with its relative newness, most products are compatible with your prevailing electronics.
“InVista product choices can be adapted to most technology currently utilised in the home,” says Petersen. If you’re looking for a less invasive option, choose gadgets that have backwards compatibility rather than forwards compatibility, where backwards fit with the devices you already have and forwards rely on new technologies. Keep in mind you may still have to invest in a few smart plugs and other gear, depending on what kind of home automation you’re after, but the results will be worth it.
There is a more complicated side to home automation, where additional equipment and improved internet services are required, but do not fear. Companies like InVista will send someone to give you a hand setting everything up. Petersen explains that, “There are many variants of smart automation products. For a complete solution, and for [the] safety of all gear installed, [it’s best to] speak to a home automation expert.” – who can install your products for you.
TAKE [REMOTE] CONTROL
One of the major benefits of setting up a smart home is the security that technology provides property owners. You can set up cameras and motion detectors that send alerts to your phone and if you’re away on holiday, set a timer on your smart light so it switches on each night or simply operate it from your device, giving the appearance someone is home. As you’ll have remote access to all areas of your home, you can easily close your blinds or garage door and turn off your lights should you forget to before leaving the house. “Being able to visually monitor your home from anywhere in the world [is a huge benefit of home automation],” says Petersen. “Imagine a life with less worry. InVista takes security very seriously, implementing only the best when it comes to the safety of your family and major assets.”
To prevent the damages and stress that power failure could have on your system, InVista equips its devices with an “[uninterruptable power supply] and battery backup system to ensure there is minimal, to no loss, if a blackout occurs”. So you won’t be fretting when you hear of the power outage back home while you’re sunbathing on the beach.
Installing even a simpler home automation system can significantly increase your control over your energy consumption, especially if you’re one to forget to turn the lights and other appliances off when you leave the house.
More complex systems offer full customisation of your power usage for each device, allowing you to pick and choose which appliances operate, and when. “[Home automation] creates a much more energy-efficient home, enabling management of energy consumption with InVista’s custom-made, intuitive, easy-to-use application.”
When it comes to home automation, there’s something for everyone, no matter your age or lifestyle. “Our products have generational appeal, as they assist with security, safety and convenience,” says Petersen. “… Home automation [has become] increasingly popular due to accessibility. With the ability to control many aspects of your home automatically, there has never been a better time to automate.”
We are living in the golden age of technology – it’s worth investigating and incorporating home automation into your life as it becomes the norm. According to Petersen, this is just the beginning. “Technology is ever evolving,” he says. “We are excited to see what is to come!”