The "smart home" has been developed into a true trend in recent years. More and more processes can be centrally controlled and automated - from the light to the coffee machine. We explain how the technology works, what a smart home costs and where intelligent control is worthwhile.
What is a smart home?
In a smart home, home automation, household appliances and consumer electronics are connected via a common network. All functions can be centrally controlled remotely. With smart home technology device settings can be quickly adapted to individual needs. Lighting, heating, ventilation, multimedia systems and many other areas are ideal for smart control. Smartphones and notebooks with appropriate software are often used as input devices. Even a terminal-less control over voice commands and gestures is possible.
The household technology can be automated in a smart home via an intelligent control system. A cleverly networked home takes on many control tasks and everyday tasks. This increases living comfort and saves time. Efficient processes also make it possible to save costs. An intelligent heating control automatically switches off when the occupants leave the house. In a smart home, device data such as power consumption and run-times can also be stored. Irregularities can be specifically identified.
Advantages of a smart home
- Energy efficiency
- Increased security
- Central controlability
- Data storage and cost control
How much does a smart home cost?
The costs of a smart home are very individual and dependent on personal requirements. In recent years, the smart home has become a true trend. The prices for an entry into the technology are surprisingly low. Upwards, the technology is limited only by the wallet. Modern houses are partly planned as smart homes in the planning phase and equipped with state-of-the-art technology.
If you want to try out how a smart home feels, you should compare the entry-level packages from different manufacturers. The entry into the technology costs between 150 and 300 dollars. The installation is simple and can be done by yourself. Starter packages include thermostats, motion sensors, communication-ready outlets and other components, as well as a central control unit. If necessary, the Smart Home can be retrofitted.
Medium price segment
In the middle segment you move quickly between 1,000 and 2,000 dollars. Here higher quality components are used. In addition, more aspects of everyday life are integrated into the network. With "smart metering", which uses intelligent counting units, it is possible to better monitor power consumption. If the values are consistently monitored, the electricity costs can be reduced.
High price segment
In the higher price segment often thousands of dollars have to be spent. This gives you a future-proof system with many functions and expansion options. The possibilities are limited only by the ideas of the inhabitants. From regulating the humidity to preheating the bath and cooking the coffee, all processes can be controlled or automated. The installation of a modern smart home system requires the help of experts.
Smart home examples - what makes sense?
Basically, almost all aspects of everyday life can be integrated into the smart home. Every year many new products are offered. A good home system should allow retrofitting to stay up to date. Many applications are more like gimmicks, but there are areas where a smart home brings real benefits. When planning the following points should be considered:
- Heater: An intelligent heating control is mandatory for the smart home. The living comfort can be increased significantly, while at the same time money is saved. Particularly modern systems analyze user behavior in a self-learning phase. The heating is then dynamically adjusted to the time of day, the outside temperature and other factors.
- Safety: Home security also benefits significantly from a smart home. The applications are varied. Motion detectors, face recognition cameras, smoke detectors and humidity and water sensors detect possible dangers early on. In addition, it can be checked, for example, whether the children have arrived home well after school.
- Lighting: An intelligent control of light sources is one of the classic applications of smart technology. The atmosphere of the lighting can, for example, be adapted to the time of day or current mood. The right light can have a great effect on well-being and give the house a completely new feeling of living.
- Multimedia: In the multimedia sector, intelligent sound systems are currently very popular. This way you can create your own playlists for the bathroom, kitchen and living room. Depending on the time of day, different songs can be played. Smart TVs are now also standard and can be easily controlled via the smartphone.
- Household: Also in the household sector is increasingly set to smart technology. Vacuum cleaner robots spare annoying cleaning work, the smart coffee machine automatically boils espresso in the morning, the refrigerator shows the contents from the outside via a display. The devices are currently still quite expensive, but in the future probably belong to the standard.
How does a smart home work?
The functionality of a smart home is quite simple, at least in the concept. For every application, there are individual components that are equipped with sensors and active elements. The various components can be individually controlled or controlled by a central control unit. The data transfer takes place in most cases via radio or cable.
Smart Home Central
The center is the heart of the smart home and is also called hub or gateway. From the control panel, all devices can be remotely controlled via an input device. In addition, automation and programming of the individual components is possible. With a central data collection, all functions can be monitored.
The components use sensors to measure values such as brightness, temperature or movement and pass them on to the control panel. Here, the values can either be processed automatically or changed by entering the user. So-called actuators, ie the active counterparts to the sensors, finally adjust the values.
The control of a smart home is via software that can be installed on different devices. Smartphones, tablets and notebooks allow uncomplicated access. Depending on the manufacturer, different input options are offered, such as touch function or voice control. An automatic control that responds, for example, to the current location is also possible.
Smart home installation
The individual components for the smart home can be connected to either a wired or radio-based system. Both variants have different advantages and disadvantages. If possible, a system with open bus standard should be chosen. This allows the combination of devices from different manufacturers.
The big drawback with wired systems is the lack of flexibility. Without conduits in the wall retrofitting is complicated and expensive. The laying of cables should be done by experts and must be planned carefully. In a new building, the wiring can be done in the shell construction phase. This saves you on-site construction work on the house.
Networking via radio is associated with relatively little effort and performed quickly. It should be noted here that all devices used use the same radio frequency. Some manufacturers also offer solutions that combine different frequencies. In both cases, the radio range is the limiting factor. When planning, thick walls and reinforced concrete ceilings should be considered.
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