You want install home automation at home but you don't know where to start? Here I leave you 10 tips to install home automation at home without dying in the attempt
The trick is to have some Good advices, to help you get started and clarify some ideas if you want to have a home automation.
Do you want to know what I have learned after more than 20 years installing home automation in houses of mine and clients?
I think I have learned enough and I have enough criteria and authority to give you some advice that I consider vital when it comes to domotizing your home.
Everyone has an idea of how your home automation should be, so I will try to develop these tips so that they are useful for as many people as possible, regardless of what they are going to do a small home automation installation with a couple of elements or that your goal is to have the smartest smart home in the world world.
- 1 Failsafe Smart Home
- 2 Home automation without installation
- 3 Standards and protocols
- 4 Think of today at 90% and tomorrow at 10%
- 5 What home automation manufacturers to use?
- 6 Start with the easiest
- 7 Home automation manufacturer compatibility (Intercompatibility)
- 8 Negative point for touch screens
- 9 Positive point for voice control
- 10 Resumen de los consejos para instalar domótica en casa
Wearable and friendly home automation
We could say that these 10 tips to install home automation at home are reduced to the golden rule of home automation And if this rule is not followed, nothing else makes sense.
Home automation should not be an impediment to that the house works normally as would be expected from a home without any home automation features.
You have to ask yourself, if my great-great-grandmother came to live in this house, would be able to handle it correctly with most of the normal things around the house?
You have to think that what is «normal»Is also evolving. 50 years ago it was not normal for a television to have a remote controlNow if and nobody stops knowing how to use a TV because it does not have buttons.
Automate everything is fine but everything should work as if there was no intelligent element. If you are going to turn a light on or off, you can do it from the switch of the wall of a lifetime, and that it has the most normal appearance possible and that it is in the place where anyone would look for it.
Failsafe Smart Home
It is important to think about that all the basic things in the house keep working if there is a problem.
Problems happen and things break down, and it is a matter of time before something goes wrong. It is important that when that time comes, the house continues to function like any other house.
There is nothing worse than spending three days in the dark or without being able to turn on the heating or air conditioning, because the controller has broken and needs to be repaired.
Home automation without installation
Or with easy and minimal installation. Don't complicate yourself with something you may need to replace in less time than you expect.
Home automation technologies, their standards and protocols change quickly. Home automation manufacturers come and go, appear and disappear. Is a volatile market and, although it takes a long time, it is not a market for large manufacturers and turnover figures, so things are not forever. Keep this in mind when getting into construction or making large investments.
I, like many other people, have done several large and medium-sized works in the houses I have gone through in these years and others for which I have worked or sold projects and, I must say, I have always been concerned with putting a lot of additional cables than you needed at the moment and leaving plenty of empty tubes for the future. It was worth it? No, without a doubt. It is possible that in some specific moments they have solved a problem for me, but the reality is that I have spent much more time and money in being proactive than the return I have obtained from it.
A few years ago, if you wanted a reliable solution, you had to install wired home automation, with installation. Home automation has changed a lot and now you have many wireless systems that work great and they have a reliability almost as high as that of a wired system.
Standards and protocols
Here we get a little technical, but you need to go through this.
There are many home automation solutions on the market, and we have to decide which one to install. This will depend a lot on what we want to do. If we only want to turn on a light with a remote control, we don't have to complicate our lives. Virtually anything will help us to do it.
If we want to install a complete home automation system, we have to think a little further.
- What home automation systems exist?
- What home automation technologies exist?
- What home automation protocols exist?
This is not the right place to develop these three questions, but you will have no problem finding the answers.
Think of today at 90% and tomorrow at 10%
Everything goes on. It's okay to think of things you would like to do in your smart home in five years, but you know what? Today's technology is probably not the same as it was in five years.
Don't complicate your lifethink about the things that Really You are going to install in a reasonable time (one or two years) and focus on it.
It's okay to think a little about the future, but don't make up your mind about what you're going to do today by thinking about something that maybe you do in several years.
What home automation manufacturers to use?
I would tell you: none.
My tip is don't focus on manufacturers but on technologies that have many manufacturers. They are usually systems cheaper And, if one of the manufacturers closes or disappears, not that you will be left hanging with a home automation installation with no future.
Start with the easiest
Here I don't mean that you start with the simplest or most limited system, but rather that, once you have a more or less clear idea of what you want to do, divide it into phases or stages and start with the simplest ones.
Keep in mind that you probably get the 80% of what you want to achieve with the 20% of budget and effort.
In addition, if it is your first home automation installation, it will allow you to learn and have the clearest ideas.
The vast majority of people who plan to domotize the house, they are not very clear what they want.
Home automation manufacturer compatibility (Intercompatibility)
Compatibility between home automation manufacturers is becoming more frequent for two reasons:
- There are more and more protocols used in home automation and shared technologies between various manufacturers.
- There are more and more systems that allow different technologies to talk to each other (like MQTT)
There are two groups of technologies so different manufacturers can be compatible:
- Open source technologies, that any manufacturer can use (X10, ZigBee, KNX).
- Licensed Technologies, where the manufacturer pays a license to its owner to be able to use it in its products (for example Z-Wave).
If you intend for your home automation installation to grow, make sure you choose items that can work together. In my case, for example, and after years with various systems that were sometimes very difficult to work together, everything I install has to support, in one way or another, the MQTT protocol. That way I make sure do not create «islands«.
It's not just about components of a system working together, like a knob and a switch, think about make complete systems work together, For example, think about the advantages of integrating your home alarm with the rest of the system.
Think: if the irrigation system is integrated with a meteorological station, you can make it not activate the sprinkler irrigation if it is very windy (it would irrigate where it should not) or that it does not irrigate without it has rained (these rain data can also be obtained by internet system and is another form of integration).
If the alarm is built in, you can do that, if the fire alarm goes off, the home automation system is in charge of turning on the lights towards the exit and raising the blinds to facilitate evacuation. You can even give some messages that help in that moment of nerves through your smart speakers.
Negative point for touch screens
Aunque cada uno tiene su opinión, no podía dentro de un artículo con consejos para instalar domótica, basados en mi experiencia, dejar este tema sin tocar.
Las pantallas táctiles llaman mucho la atención pero, siempre en mi opinión, they are very impractical. Over the years I spent a lot of money on touch screens, the reality is that they were never very practical and the use I gave them was minimal.
- Is difficult to design screens so usability is good
- If it's portable you have to be searching where is it
- If it is fixed you have to get up up to her
- For people with vision problems, or at a certain age, it becomes a problem
- Un sistema domótico es un sistema vivo y, si hace cambios a menudo, como es mi caso, tener que diseñar o modificar el interface de las pantallas táctiles puede suponer un trabajo agotador
For business or building control (which is immobile, not home automation) touch screens can be very interesting but that is another story.
Nowadays tablets have practically displaced touch screens in home automation applications. Much more practical and cheap.
Positive point for voice control
Voice control has come a long way and works really well.
Manufacturers like Google with their Google Assistant or Amazon with Alexa You have made great contributions to controlling the house by voice. Apple also with Siri, in fact it was the first, I can to this day has lagged a little behind.
Voice control is very comfortable for certain things, like turning lights and appliances on and off. For others, such as the control of multimedia equipment by voice, it is still a little green but things are improving.
In my case I have six Google Home in my house, in the main sites, and the truth is that they give me many functionalities, useful and interesting in controlling the house by voice. I can do normal things, like turning things on and off, raising or lowering awnings, and so on, but I also use it to turn the alarm on and off by voice, to adjust thermostats, to ask for room temperatures, to have the system send messages by voice to the six rooms individually or together, etc.
Resumen de los consejos para instalar domótica en casa
This has been a quick overview of some of the things that, in my opinion, must be taken into account when considering installing home automation at home.
I will go deeper into each of the aspects in other articles. If you are interested in the subject, be sure to subscribe to find out about new publications.
It always seems impossible until it's done - Nelson Mandela
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