Your three-step guide to a DIY home automation system
With so many home automation systems in the market, most customers have a hard time choosing one. The ones who are new to the whole home automation world spend hours pouring over reviews others who have a little experience end up just as confused. Listed below are three easy ways to find out whether DIY home automation is for you.
Home Automation Platforms
Each home automation manufacturer offers customers a choice of home automation software and technology to choose from. Some of them are highly sophisticated – change the colour of light emitted from light bulbs, switch lights on and off as you pass, open garage doors, switch ACs, thermostats and coffeemakers on and off from your smartphone or computer. If you want something basic then you have a choice of that too. If you are comfortable with technology then go in for a DIY home automation system that has a central unit, a hub that controls all the sensors and actuators.
Once you decide on a platform you need to decide how you want to connect your devices on your home automation system. Today you can connect through Wi-Fi, ZigBee, RF modules, Bluetooth and Ethernet. Wi-Fi is a popular solution as it allows easy iPhone home automation or from android powered devices and computers. You can connect all devices on your home network directly from apps or specific home automation services. RF moduels are one of the most affordable wireless solutions in the market. These modules are programmed to work on a 300-400 MHz frequency range and transmit data in one direction. ZigBee devices can also transmit data over long distances and provide a more reliable communication between different modules. For those who want a simple, low power home automation system, then RF or ZigBee is perfect for you. Bluetooth is just gaining momentum in the home automation world as it offers a low power solution with good bandwidth. Home automation connected through Ethernet promises reliable and fast communication between the different components.
Custom boards and cases
While most home automation companies offer their own boards and cases you can decide whether you want to use this or custom make your own. You can integrate all the components in the board or you can design your own 3-D print cases to make your boards and cases look more professional. If you are tech savvy then you design your own home automation box that you can control with your smartphone. Go one step further by custom designing your own app.
Building your own DIY home automation can be a lot of fun. You can choose whatever devices and components you cannot do without. Not only is it exciting to build, but you will also be saving a lot of money by setting up your own system. So before you can embark on your DIY home automation journey make sure you find out all you can about it and whether you are up for the challenge.