Home automation was once the stuff of sci-fi movies, and those glossy control panels seemed a rather strange addition to the home. Little could we have known how popular the tablet PC would become, and how versatile it would be in helping us live more efficient life styles.
Automation technology is very affordable and accessible these days, with smart smoke alarms and intelligent ‘learning’ thermostats retailing for a few hundred pounds. Automated home lighting is even more affordable, and offers useful energy efficiency and security benefits.
Features and Benefits
If you’re not at home, you might wonder why you’d want to switch the lights on from somewhere else. While it sounds bizarre to have this level of control over the lighting, there are actually lots of good reasons to be able to switch things on and off.
How many times have you gone on holiday while forgetting to set up the timer switch? If you have an app to control the lights, you can switch them on and off at will, making the patterns more random and ensuring no room is left in darkness.
It’s really easy to control your lighting remotely, and you probably have most of the kit you need:
- A smartphone (or a tablet – we just like using phones as they’re so portable)
- A broadband connection to the internet
- A data connection on your mobile device (WiFI, 3G or 4G)
At home, we’ll install special bulbs that connect to your WiFi network. If bulbs are impractical, we can supply special sockets that plug into the mains, so you can switch the power on and off as required. This also allows you to switch other appliances on and off (such as a radio).
We’ll also install the lighting control app on your phone, and we’ll ensure your router is correctly configured to receive commands from your app.
It’s important that your router is left on when you’re out so that your lightbulbs and switches are connected to the internet. You will also need to maintain a good quality data connection on your mobile device.
One Step Further
Once you’ve got your remote controlled lighting set up, there are all kinds of clever things you can do. Using free services like IFTTT (If That, Then This), you can have your lights switch on when you approach the house (or, if you prefer, they can switch on when you leave). You can also link the lighting to the heating, so when the boiler turns off, the lights do too.
All of this helps you to be more energy efficient, getting bills down and reducing your carbon footprint. It also makes it much more difficult for an intruder to guess that you’re out.
For an affordable home automation set up, contact MD Bespoke Solutions. We’re experts in mobile technology and electrics, and we can recommend a set-up that will work perfectly for your lifestyle.