Home automation is automation of the home, housework or household activity. Home automation may include centralized control of lighting, heating, appliances, security locks and other systems, to provide improved convenience, comfort, energy efficiency and security. Home automation can begin with easing up your daily activities and expand to providing increased quality of life for persons who might otherwise require caregivers or institutional care. The popularity of home automation has been increasing greatly in recent years due to much higher affordability and simplicity through smartphone and tablet connectivity. Nowadays, with the Internet of Things popping up as a big buzzword, more and more people are interested in home automation.
A home automation system integrates electrical devices in a house with each other. The techniques employed in home automation include the control of domestic activities, such as home entertainment systems, garden watering, changing the ambiance “scenes” for different events (such as dinners or parties). Devices may be connected through a home network to allow control by a personal computer, and may allow remote access from the internet. Through the integration of information technologies with the home environment, systems and appliances are able to communicate in an integrated manner which results in convenience, energy efficiency, and safety benefits.
This chapter describes the aspects of home automation as how I have experienced them since my first steps in this area late 2003.