As technology advances, more and more electronic appliances and devices are becoming smarter: they can be controlled remotely and their behavior can be programmed. Thanks to them you can do everything, even turn on a PC with an online casino Canada while being at work to start playing instantly after you come back home. Within the home, such solutions come together to form a coherent ecosystem, making the home truly smart.
What Is a Smart Home
A smart home is a system for remotely controlling and automating electrical appliances in the home.
The idea is that there are many routine, constantly repetitive tasks in the home that can and should be automated. The smart home system helps with this. For example, you can use it to set the lights and music to turn on in the morning when you wake up, or turn on and adjust the underfloor heating. When you leave for work, the smart home will remember to activate the alarm and turn off the lights everywhere.
With a smart home system, you don’t have to worry about some minor household tasks. With its help, living in the house can be made more comfortable and convenient.
The Main Opportunities
- Remote control of devices with smartphones.
- Activation of devices by timer: switching on the light in the evening, activation of the washing machine at night.
- Activation of devices on registration of certain events: activation of fire safety when there is smoke, switching on the air conditioner when a certain temperature in the room.
What a Smart Home Consists of
A smart house system consists of three main components: sensors, actuators and control devices.
A sensor is a device that registers some event and reports it to a control device. Sensors can respond to water, smoke, humidity, light, temperature, and motion.
These are the basic types of sensors, although there are others that are more specific.
An actuator is a device that executes a target command. It can be a household appliance, device or electronic device: washing machines, multi cookers, vacuum cleaners, music centers, outlets and lamps.
Different relays and switches can also act as performers. Usually relays are installed in hard-to-reach places, so they have additional outputs to connect external switches in case of emergencies.
The control device is the device from which the actuators are controlled and configured.
Most often it’s a smartphone or a smart speaker. But there are also all sorts of remotes and wall-mounted touchpads. From a laptop or PC, you can also control the smart home through the appropriate software.
Smart Home and Security
There are different sensors against leaks, but they all work like this: when water enters, an electric circuit closes and the sensor sends data to the executive device, which cuts off the water.
As the performer can be an automatic faucet installed on the riser and shutting off the water itself.
Smoke protection systems usually perform an alarm function in case of fire, unless a special automatic sprayer is put in place.
Burglary and Theft Protection
This includes motion, vibration and window and door opening sensors. Their complex operation can include alerting owners and services, as well as activating sirens and lights that can scare off intruders. The system can also activate video surveillance recording to record what’s going on.
The security system can also simulate the presence of the owners of the house when no one is actually there: automatically turning on lights and music at preset times and turning them off at night.
Smart Home and Comfort
Lighting fixtures and even their brightness can be controlled both manually via the app and flexibly set to auto-activate by time. With the light sensor, you can achieve auto-adjustment of the brightness in the house to the light level.
There are also special temperature sensors installed on central heating batteries. And to control electric heaters, they can be plugged into a smart socket.
Smart Home Protocols
You should consider the compatibility of smart devices with different types of connection. Usually they are connected via a wi-fi router, but sometimes you can find a connection via bluetooth low energy. The latter are extremely rare and almost always come with wi-fi.
The most common wireless connection protocols for smart devices are standard wi-fi and Zigbee. With standard wi-fi everything is simple: you only need a router to connect and no other additional equipment is required. Most smart devices support this type of connection, but most often at 2.4 GHz. Therefore, you should check the operating frequency of your router beforehand.
The main disadvantage of this connection is a large unpredictable load of the home network. That is, the more devices are connected, the less stable the connection can be. Zigbee doesn’t have this drawback. It’s designed for stable connection and safe data transfer at low speeds. But it requires a separate hub to which the executing devices are connected.
This approach allows you to avoid unnecessary loading of the home network, ensure uninterrupted operation of smart devices, safely transfer data, and even save battery life of standalone devices due to the peculiarities of the protocol itself.