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  • Smart Home Automation Guide

    Imagine the convenience of being able to manage all your home devices from one device, getting valuable insights on their use, and increasing the efficiency of your appliances. Smart home automation can enhance the comfort, convenience, security, and energy efficiency of your home.

    What is home automation?

    Smart home automation is the electronic management and control of your household utilities, activities, and appliances. It is done via the internet through a networked system of communication, hardware, and electronic devices and mobile applications.

    Get Started with your Smart Home Automation Project

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    One of the most important components of a home automation system is the controller, which can be a voice-controlled virtual assistant like the ones listed below:

    Amazon Alexa

    Developed by Amazon, the Alexa is a virtual assistant that is used in the Echo, Echo Dot, and Echo Show devices.

    • It has third-party capabilities that can be used to control other smart home devices.
    • The smartphone apps can be used on both Android and Apple phones.
    • Provides news updates, plays music/audiobooks/podcasts, sets alarms, and makes lists.
    • Voice interaction is available in English and Hindi.

    Google’s Assistant

    Developed by Google, the Assistant is used in Google Home smart speakers and Android smartphones.

    • Powered by Google Search, which helps you get accurate answers to a wide range of questions.
    • Controls smart home appliances with integrated third-party services.
    • Listen to news, music, and play back photos and videos.
    • Can distinguish voices of up to 6 people.

    Apple’s Siri/HomeKit

    Developed by Apple, Siri is the virtual assistant that is used in Apple products. The HomeKit is a smart system to control all your devices from one place.

    • Check information, schedule events, search the internet, navigate, and perform phone actions.
    • Third-party access is limited.
    • Data transfer is encrypted and secure.
    • Individualised voice recognition.

    Best Smart Home Automation Devices to Buy in 2020

    It’s best to compare and research before you buy so here’s a list of the best smart home automation devices:

    1. Amazon Echo

    Amazon eco

    This is a Bluetooth-enabled speaker that uses Alexa as its voice assistant. If you already have a speaker from another brand, you can still add Alexa functionality to it by connecting the Echo Dot to it. The Echo Show when connected to the speaker provides touch screen functionality as well, allowing you to make video calls and see search results.

    2. Google Home

    Google Home

    Google Home and Google Home Mini are smart personal assistants that let you do everything from searching the internet to controlling your smart home devices. It can be connected with Android smartphones for easier integration of tasks.

    3. Wink Hub 2

    Wink hub

    This is a home automation hub that supports a variety of protocols ranging from Bluetooth to Lutron and Thread. Helps you manage a wide variety of smart home products through the free Wink app.

    4. Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub

    Samsung SmartThings Smart Home Hub

    The Samsung hub is compatible with a wide range of devices. It works through an internet-connected router. It is compatible with iOS 8 and above, Android 4.0 and above, and Windows Phone 8.1 or above.

    5. Cloudblocks Block Lite home automation controller

    Cloudblocks Block Lite home automation controller

    A Wi-Fi-enabled controller that can control up to 4 devices without SIM card required. It also has a weekly and daily scheduling facility. Allows you to control your home appliances from anywhere in the world.

    6. Smart TVs

    Smart TVs

    Smart TVs in India come from a wide range of leading brands ranging from Sony Bravia to Panasonic and LG to Mi. With smart TVs, you can easily connect your favorite streaming apps to enjoy shows and movies on a larger screen. You can also connect your gaming devices and cast photos and videos from your smartphone onto the screen.

    How to Install Home Automation System?

    Smart home automation systems are designed with an intuitive interface that makes it easier to install and use. Here are the basic steps to installing a home automation system yourself:

    • Step 1: Connect to the power source: Connect your hub to a power source via the AC adaptor (unless it runs on batteries in which case all you have to do is insert the batteries and switch on the device).
    • Step 2: Connect to the internet: If it is wireless, connect it to your Wi-Fi router with the password. If it requires a cable connection, then do so with the Ethernet cable.
    • Step 3: Download the app: This can be done through your smartphone or on your computer, depending on your device.
    • Step 4: Set up your account: You will be prompted to create an account with a secure password.
    • Step 5: Add your devices: You will be prompted to add your smart home devices one by one.
    • Step 6: Set up your schedules, triggers, or scenes: These are the actions that you want your smart hub to set up at pre-scheduled times.
    • Step 7: Set up alerts: Notifications will be sent to you by text or email there is any breach of security.

    How Does Smart Home Technology Work?

    Smart home technology works on a variety of technologies, ranging from Wi-Fi to Z-Wave & Zigbee.

    • Wi-Fi technology is the most common for home automation devices. However, there may be limitations to the number of devices you can add on a Wi-Fi network.
    • Z-Wave & Zigbee are wireless technologies that use RF to communicate between different devices. They may require an interface for voice or smartphone control.

    Smart Home Automation Security Features

    You can enhance your home security with a wide range of gadgets that work well with your home automation system. Some of these are:

    • Smart cameras: These are Wi-Fi enabled and let you watch security footage on your smartphone through the app. The footage can also be uploaded to the Cloud for secure storage.
    • Smart home alarms: Connected to Wi-Fi and your smartphone, these allow you to detect fires in your home as soon as they start, enabling you to get help sooner. They can also be easily silenced with your phone in the case of a false alarm.
    • Smart lightbulbs: Lightbulbs that can be controlled with your virtual assistants come from a range of brands, from Phillips to Wipro. It is useful for easier control of lights in your home from wherever you are. You can also schedule the lights to be switched on or off at specific times. You can also change their colors and dim them for mood lighting.
    • Smart locks: These Wi-Fi-enabled locks allow you to lock or unlock your home from anywhere using just your smartphone. This can enhance the security of your home. You also never have to worry about forgetting or misplacing your keys.

    Top Smart Home Automation Apps

    Smart home automation apps make the management of your home appliances and devices easier, faster, and more secure. Here are the top apps in this category:

    1. SmartThings: This is an app that is optimised for Samsung smartphones and is used to control smart devices such as home appliances and speakers. Compatible with Android 6.0 and above.
    2. Apple HomeKit: This is an iOS app that allows you to control all your Apple HomeKit-connected devices and accessories through Siri. It is compatible with a wide range of brands. These accessories are approved by Apple for enhanced security.
    3. Hue Power India: This is an app that allows for easy control of your Phillips smart lighting system. You can change schedules made on other apps by using the Hue app.

    Managing and securing your home is now easier than ever with these home automation devices and apps that make everything from entertaining to navigation seamless and hassle-free.

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