Home automation, also known as domotics, was created to make daily life easier. It transforms your home into a smart space by automating diverse tasks, enhancing comfort in the progressively technical setting of a future-oriented dwelling. But how does home automation work exactly? How does it ensure that everyday tasks, such as controlling lighting, heating water, preventing peak loads, and regulating the indoor climate, happen automatically? All will be explained in this article.
It all starts with a smart home platform
Home automation is essentially an umbrella term for various smart technologies and devices that can be installed in a home or office. Various examples are controlled outlets, lamps, or thermostats for dynamically and efficiently regulating indoor temperatures. To enable these technologies to function intelligently, they must first and foremost be connected to a smart home platform. This platform acts as a central command center, facilitating communication between your devices and allowing for remote control. The connection between the devices and the smart home platform can be established in two ways: through a wired home automation system on the one hand, or through a wireless system on the other:
A wired home automation system consists of two separate circuits: a power line and a data line. The data line connects the various devices, enabling the exchange of signals. Although this system is more resistant to interferences, its installation in an already-built home without the option for new construction can present difficulties.
On the other hand, a wireless system can be implemented at any time, even in non-new builds. In these instances, smart home devices establish communication using a protocol or standard, such as Bluetooth or Wi-Fi.
A smart home platform often takes the form of an application on a computer, phone, or tablet. This then connects to a server, allowing all smart devices to be controlled. Sensors or smart switches can also be used to control devices.
Unified language enables the operation of home automation systems
In addition to the presence of a smart home platform, there is another crucial requirement for the functioning of home automation. The various smart technologies must also speak the same language. There needs to be a unified method for transmitting signals between devices.
If the different home automation applications do speak different languages, then an interpreter is needed to facilitate communication. In the world of home automation, this interpreter is an electro-technical specialist: the System Integrator. This individual possesses the necessary expertise to configure all electrical systems of the home or building in a way that enables various devices to communicate with each other. There are simple home automation systems that focus on integrating basic functions such as lighting and sunshades, but other systems, with a wide range of interfaces, can facilitate communication between nearly all devices.
How does home automation work: conclusion
When all home automation applications (lighting, climate control, sunshades, solar panels, charging stations, digital meter, access control, etc.) in your building are connected to the smart home platform, and all devices speak the same language, home automation can perform its functions. For example, if you lower the temperature in your home automation app, signals will be sent out to the system, prompting it to follow the requested setting.
However, you can even take it further, allowing you to have different devices communicate with each other. For instance, when you go to sleep at the end of the day, pressing the 'bedtime' or 'sleep' button will signal a series of light circuits, room temperatures, ventilation, outdoor lighting, audio speakers, alarm systems(...) to be set to a specific status.
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