What is home automation and what does it mean for your smart lock?

What is home automation and what does it mean for your smart lock?

Various smart lock brands can be linked to the home automation systems that are already present in your home. If you want to be able to do this, then it is wise to choose a smart lock that allows you to connect the two easily. 

1. What is home automation?
2. What is the difference between home automation and a smart home?
3. What are the different platforms for home automation?
4. What is a protocol in home automation?
5. What are the various uses of home automation?

 

1. What is home automation?

Home automation is a collective term for smart systems that ensure that you can live as comfortably. For example, with home automation you can remotely control the temperature, lighting and the front door of your house.
Various applications often use different protocols to communicate, such as Bluetooth, WiFi, Z-wave, or Zigbee. That can make it more difficult for devices to communicate with each other, but it doesn't have to. If a device is connected to the internet, they can still communicate with each other over the internet.

2. What is the difference between home automation and a smart home?

A home automation system can be very extensive. If you use a home automation system at home, the heating, lighting, front door, etc. can all be controlled remotely. But that doesn't make it a smart home. We only call it a smart home if the system also thinks along with you. For example, you can have a security camera in your house from which you can view images remotely via your smartphone, we call that home automation. But if your smartphone gives you a warning message you have to look at the images to see if everything is okay, then the system thinks along with you, and it is a typical example of smart home. We can conclude that a smart home is just a step more extensive and goes further in possibilities than home automation.

3. What are the different platforms for home automation?

A platform is an overarching system with which you control your home automation. A platform makes it possible to operate the devices in your home via one app. It is wise to choose one system before your first purchase, this will prevent you from needing multiple apps to expand. With every home automation purchase, it is wise to check whether the product is compatible with the platform you have chosen. A few large tech companies have launched such a system.

Google Assistant

Google Assistant is already in various devices such as your smartphone or tablet, but also in your smartwatch. Google Assistant is compatible with thousands of smart products from over 3,500 brands. And that number is increasing rapidly. With a Smart Home Hub, you can link the different devices and run them via one central device.

Apple Homekit

If you already have many Apple devices such as the iPhone, the iPad, or the Apple Watch, then the Homekit platform from Apple can be handy to use. When buying a new product, make sure that it can be linked with HomeKit. The product does not have to be made by Apple, but they must support the HomeKit protocol.

Amazon Alexa

Amazon Alexa is a voice control system that allows you to control various smart products associated with it with your voice. The range of products compatible with the Amazon Alexa protocol is constantly expanding. More than 60,000 products are compatible with this system.

Homey

Homey connects all your smart devices in one convent place, the Homey App. With Homey you can automate certain processes using simple commands. After integrating your smart products, you can create ‘waves’ to let your devices work together. Imagine that your lights are blinking when the washing machine in the attic is ready. You can also combine the app with other services, for example with a weather service. This way the lamps can be switched on when it gets dark outside. Ideal if you are on vacation, and you want to make it look inhabited at home. Homey works with Bluetooth, Wi-Fi, Zigbee and Z-Wave. 

Olisto

Olisto allows you to connect all of your smart home devices with one another and to create rules, such as turning on your lights when you enter your home. It allows you to have a most holistic experience with your smart home ecosystem by connecting multiple devices, apps, and services in real time. Olisto even allows you to use Siri commands and to use your Apple Watch to control the lock.


IFTTT

IFTTT stands for "If This Then That". With this application you can automate certain processes using simple commands. An example: when you switch on the TV, the lamps dim. This way you can connect smart devices together. The only condition is that the devices must support IFTTT. In the IFTTT app you can connect all your devices with each other. When that is done you can create an applet, which is a command that links different actions together. 

Samsung SmartThings

Samsung's SmartThings is comparable to other affordable home automation devices. The base is a hub that is the heart of a smart home system. But why is the Samsung SmartThings still interesting? Not only because of the low price, but also that the hub speaks two languages; namely Zigbee and Z-Wave. This allows most home automation devices to communicate effortlessly with each other.

4. What is a protocol in home automation?

Home automation products communicate with each other via a protocol. A protocol is a way a wireless signal is sent between devices. Well-known protocols are Bluetooth and Wi-Fi, but it can also be done via Zigbee or Z-Wave. Sometimes you need an extra bridge that allows devices to communicate with each other.

To expand your network with a new device, it should support the same protocol as the devices you already have at home. Z-wave products cannot communicate well with Zigbee products and vice versa.

5. What are the various uses of home automation?

Various applications make life just that little easier. Below we list a few examples, but the possibilities are endless:

  • Switching lights on and off: The light will go on as soon as the front door is opened.
  • Dimming of lighting: When you turn on the TV to watch a movie, the light will be dimmed.
  • Regulating the temperature: Turn up the heating half an hour before you go home using your smartphone. This way you never have to enter a cold house again.
  • Controlling blinds and shutters: You thought the sun would shine today and before you left you lowered the blinds. But then it suddenly rains. From a distance you can raise the sun blinds again!
  • Set a time at which the front door automatically locks. Then you no longer have to think about locking your door before going to bed.

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